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False Exonerator Arrested
July 15, 2010 permalink
Social worker Todd O'Brien has been arrested for falsifying evidence in child protection cases. No, not for creating evidence falsely accusing parents of abuse and neglect. Social workers are never reprimanded for that. Mr O'Brien did the opposite: he marked cases as "unsubstantiated", clearing affected families of the burden of dealing with CPS, and denying his bosses the opportunity to seize children for a claim on appropriated funds. Earlier story.
Former County Worker Charged with Falsifying Child Protection Documents
RACINE - He was in charge of investigating cases for child protective services in Racine County, but Todd O'Brien has been accused of falsifying documents that could have put hundreds of children at risk.
O'Brien pleaded not guilty in a Racine County courtroom to six charges of falsifying documents.
His former employer, the Racine County Human Services Department, is in the middle of reviewing his entire case load.
The trust O'Brien allegedly fabricated may take years to repair.
"This is a combination of a white collar matter and a typical criminal investigation," said District Attorney Michael Nieskes.
O'Brien, who is 37 and from Franklin, was in charge of investigating child abuse and neglect cases.
But instead of investigating, he allegedly marked the cases as "unsubstantiated."
He has since been fired, and Racine County Human Services is reviewing about 250 of O'Brien's cases.
Neither O'Brien nor the people he was with in court would talk to us.
Officials with Human Services would not comment about the internal investigation or what specifically they're doing to make sure this doesn't happen again, but they say they're taking this situation very seriously.
So are prosecutors.
"Our fear is that someone will continue to be victimized or was victimized further," said Nieskes.
O'Brien is scheduled to return to court next month.
Source: WTMJ Milwaukee
Addendum: Within days, another case of the same from Florida.
Ex-DCF Worker Charged With 2 Felonies
FDLE: Child Protective Investigator Falsified Records, Led To Child's Abuse
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A former child protective investigator for the Florida Department of Children and Families' Jacksonville office was arrested Friday on two felony charges, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Special agents arrested Qua-Keita Anderson, 27, on charges of official misconduct and falsification of child protective records which contributes to great bodily harm.
The FDLE said it began its investigation after receiving information from DCF's Office of Inspector General that Anderson falsified records.
Investigators said they found that in July 2009 Anderson was assigned a case after the Florida Abuse Hotline received a call of child abuse caused by the child's mother in Duval County. According to Anderson's investigative notes, she conducted a face-to-face interview with the child and the child's father in August and subsequently closed the case in September and indicated no abuse had occurred.
In September, the Florida Abuse Hotline received another call on the family, who had moved to Highlands County, investigators said. This time, the child protective investigator verified findings of "failure to protect" and "physical abuse."
The investigation revealed that Anderson lied about visiting the home and conducting interviews with the family, which resulted in further physical abuse being incurred by the child, investigators said.
Anderson was booked into the Duval County Jail.
DCF spokesman John Harrell said the FDLE reported that this is the first time a charge of falsification of child protective records which contributes to great bodily harm has been made against a DCF employee.