Officials reveal settlement amount in Jobes case

November 23, 2006|By Julie Bykowicz

State and city officials yesterday disclosed yesterday their court settlements -- totaling at least $92,500 -- with Iva T. Cruse, whose granddaughter died four years ago at the hands of an abusive caretaker.

Cruse received $82,500 from the state Department of Human Resources, which oversees the city Department of Social Services, said Kevin Enright, a spokesman for the attorney general's office. The city school board paid Cruse $10,000, said Vanessa Pyatt, a school system spokeswoman. The amount was covered by the City's Risk Management Fund, Pyatt said.

Cruse also received a settlement from the Baltimore Housing Authority, her lawyer said. David Tillman, a spokesman for housing, said he was unable yesterday to reach outside counsel to learn the amount of that settlement with Cruse.

Those agencies, Cruse argued in a civil lawsuit filed in August 2004, played a role in the death of 15-year-old Ciara Jobes, whose badly abused and emaciated body was found Dec. 11, 2002, on her caretaker's kitchen floor. Ciara had not attended school that fall.

The settlements were reached about two months before last week's Baltimore Circuit Court civil trial, in which Satrina Roberts, Ciara's caretaker, was found liable. Circuit Judge Paul E. Alpert ordered her to pay Cruse $15 million.

Roberts pleaded guilty to Ciara's death in November 2004 and was sentenced to 40 years in prison, making the civil judgment against her, "from a practical standpoint, meaningless," said Mark Herman, Cruse's attorney.

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