FL Regional Welfare Boss Portrayed as Sexist Bully


The Miami Herald explores the troubled leadership of the regional Florida child welfare office that had numerous contacts with the family of Don Charles Spirit, who killed his daughter, six grandchildren and himself on Sept. 18. The family was the subject of 18 child abuse reports, including a call to a state hotline on Sept. 1 that warned that the drug use of the adults in the Spirit home endangered the children. The regional welfare office did not act on that final report.

A 38-page inspector general’s report completed days before the Spirit shooting portrays the region's top administrator, David Abramowitz, as a profane leader preoccupied with the appearance of his staff. Abramowitz is accused of calling female employees “hoochie mamas” and “hos in high heels.” The report contained no allegations that his management style had resulted in poor outcomes for children or vulnerable adults within his agency’s region. But the report paints the former U.S. Army colonel as a bully whose administration sometimes resembled a frat house.

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