OSWEGO COUNTY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Following the murder of Erin Maxwell in 2008, a young girl from Palermo who was abused and living in deplorable conditions, the community rallied for change. Susan Lanty was one of them.

“It makes me really sad because we worked so hard to advocate,” Lanty said.

Months and even years before 17-year-old Jordan Brooks’ death, teachers and therapists were clear they had concerns about his well-being and care. While Jordan’s mother and stepfather have been charged in his death, Lanty feels the Department of Social Services is also at fault. She started a petition calling for the removal its commissioner, Stacy Alvord.

In the petition she wrote:
“We, the citizens of Oswego County, New York, demand the immediate termination of Stacy Alvord, the Oswego County Commissioner of Social Services on the grounds of repeated gross incompetence that lead to the deaths of Jordan Brooks and Galaxy Ellis-Cruz among other unforgiveable systemic problems in that department. Anything less than termination would be a grave injustice, and would likely lead to even more horrific deaths.”

“If she doesn’t become terminated that it makes her aware that we as community members are very serious about the welfare of our entire community as well as our children and she should take this very seriously,” Lanty.

Last week NewsChannel 9 asked the Oswego County Legislature Chairman James Weatherup if DSS was to blame for Jordan’s death.

“I wouldn’t be able to answer that. I’m not a case worker,” Weatherup answered. “From a layperson point of view, it’s something we’re looking at. And if there’s anything we can improve, we’re going to improve it.”

Lanty hopes the petition is a step in that direction.

NewsChannel 9 is working to get an an interview with DSS Commissioner Alvord. Last week, we did receive a written statement, saying in part:

“As commissioner, I want to assure you that each one of our caseworkers who went to visit Jordan attempted to assist him and his family. Caseworkers are not medical professionals and do not have the training to assess the special needs of a young man with cerebral palsy. What was needed was a medical professional to assess his health.”

As for Jordan’s mother, Lisa Waldron, and stepfather, Anthony Waldron. They are due back in Palermo Town Court on April 4th..