Republican state senator Mary Lundby of Marion is demanding the state release information on the death of a Spirit Lake toddler. Autopsy results showed two-year old Shelby Duis died in January from massive injuries inflicted over several weeks or months. Shelby’s mother and boyfriend have been charged with her murder. Some Spirit Lake residents say they contacted the Department of Human Services repeatedly about past signs of abuse, but the child remained in the home. Senator Lundby is calling on the D-H-S director to release more details on the case.D-H-S Director Jesse Rasmussen says they can’t legally talk about the information in the case. As chair of the senate state government committee, Lundby must sign off on certain appointments by the governor before they are voted on by the senate. Lundby says she’ll hold up those appointments until she gets answers.Governor Tom Vilsack responded quickly, saying he won’t be persuaded by political threats. Vilsack says it doesn’t advance the cause of child safety to threaten the governor and it’s not the way they’re going to do business.Vilsack says the Human Services Department can’t release information about the case because of the state’s confidentiality laws. He says the D-H-S director can’t even tell him about the details or it could hurt the prosecution of the case.Vilsack says if Senator Lundby or other lawmakers want to discuss changing the state’s confidentiality laws, he is willing to do so. Until then, he says no information will be released.
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