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Social Worker Excused
May 19, 2006 permalink
A Social Services Supervisor fired for misconduct has been reinstated in Connecticut, with back pay. This continues the perfect record of social workers never being punished for harming children, in this case by fabricating evidence.
Social Worker Back On Job
State Labor Ruling Forces DCF To Rehire Employee Who Was Arrested
A state social worker who was fired following allegations of fabricating evidence and tampering with a witness in a child endangerment case has gotten her job back with back pay, officials and sources familiar with the case said Friday.
Valerie M. Miles returned to work at the Department of Children and Families last week. Miles is no longer handling abuse and neglect cases. She is currently doing research in the agency's central Hartford office after accepting a reduction in pay, said Gary Kleeblatt, a DCF spokesman.
Miles was making more than $100,000 a year as a DCF supervisor in the Hartford regional office. She was placed on administrative leave when the allegations surfaced on July 7, 2005. The agency conducted an internal investigation and fired her a short time later.
She was arrested by Hartford police on July 28, 2005, and charged with two counts of fabricating evidence and one count of witness tampering.
Police accused Miles of falsely insisting in a sworn affidavit that plastic bags of drugs were found during a raid of a Hartford home that resulted in four children being taken from their parents. Police said they never found drugs in the home. Police also accused Miles of forcing one of the family's neighbors to provide a false statement supporting her claim about drugs in the home. The neighbor later told police she felt pressured to lie, according to Miles' arrest affidavit.
Miles received a special form of probation that allowed her to avoid prosecution on the criminal charges. Under this form of probation, she was not found innocent or guilty; her prosecution was suspended pending completion of her probation.
Miles appealed her termination through her union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 4 of New Britain. Kleeblatt said the state labor relations office reviewed the case and decided not to refer the matter to a neutral arbitrator for resolution. Under state labor law, the agency was forced to reverse Miles' termination based on the labor relations' ruling, Kleeblatt said.
"She's back at work because she was able to persuade enough of the right people that she had done nothing wrong and she is innocent," Miles' lawyer, Leon M. Rosenblatt of West Hartford, said.
Rosenblatt said he is confident that Miles would have won her case had the matter gone to arbitration. He said Miles intends to sue the Hartford Police Department for damages.
Not everyone was pleased with the outcome.
"It's appalling that a government officer who has tampered with and fabricated evidence against an American citizen should be tolerated," said Thomas M. Dutkiewicz, president of Connecticut DCF Watch, an organization of parents who monitor state and national child welfare services. "They didn't just break the law; they violated someone's civil rights."
Source: Hartford Courant