Starr Commonwealth severs Sequel ties
ALBION, Mich. (WILX) - The company connected to the death of a teenager at Kalamazoo’s Lakeside Academy was officially removed from another Michigan facility.
Starr Commonwealth CEO Elizabeth Carey said in a statement Wednesday that the children’s services center and school’s board of directors unanimously voted to end the contract with Sequel Youth and Family Services.
Cornelius Fredericks, 16, was restrained by Sequel staff members at Lakeside Academy in May after throwing a sandwich. He lost consciousness and died two days later, and his death was ruled a homicide by investigators.
“Such treatment is unacceptable,” Carey said in her statement. “Those of us working with children have a duty, first and foremost, to love and protect those in our care.”
Carey said Starr’s arrangement with Sequel was different than Lakeside Academy’s work with the for-profit company.
“Since 2015, we have run our campus as a partnership with Sequel, using many longtime Starr Commonwealth team members who know our philosophy, our protocols and the children we serve,” Carey said. “Our residential program is currently being run by a team member who has been on our campus for more than three decades. Three-quarters of the current leadership team are former Starr employees who have been with us for years.”
Former Sequel employees Michael Mosley of Battle Creek, Zachary Solis of Lansing and Heather McLogan of Kalamazoo are charged with involuntary manslaughter and second-degree child abuse.
Mosley and Solis are also accused of restraining Fredericks in a “grossly negligent manner,” Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting said. McLogan is accused of gross negligence for allegedly failing to seek medical care for the teen in a timely manner.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services terminated its contract with Sequel after Fredericks’ death, and pulled its license to operate in the state.
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