Lawmakers OK Child Protective Services Audit Request Partly Sparked by OC Case: Update
See the update at the end of this post about a legislative panel approving a request to audit Child Protective Services agencies across the state, without specifying which ones.
ORIGINAL POST, JUNE 5, 8:58 A.M.: The attorney and client who last month accused Orange County Social Services Agency's Child Protective Services (CPS) workers of "aiding and abetting the commission of child abuse and child endangerment" are taking their act on the road. They are scheduled to participate in a rally this morning to support legislators calling for CPS audits in OC and elsewhere around the state.
Brian Claypool, a lead attorney in the Miramonte Elementary School child abuse case that broke in Los Angeles last year, and his client Ruby Dillon, a single mom who is filing a civil rights lawsuit against Orange County's CPS, are scheduled to rally with others on the capitol's south steps from 9 to 10 this morning.
After reading about Dillon's case, Assemblyman Tom Donnelly (R-Twin Peaks) added Orange County to the list of CPS agencies he and Assembly members Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) and Adam Gray (D-Merced) are targeting for audits, according to the Claypool Law Firm. The legislators are set to request the audits at a Joint Legislative Audit Committee hearing inside the capitol dome at 10 a.m.
Ruby Dillon and her daughter
Dillon claims her 7-year-old daughter was "legally kidnapped" by CPS "despite no reliable evidence to support removal of the little girl from her mom and repeated credible reports by the child and qualified medical experts of alleged sexual abuse by the father," Claypool announced last month. Read more about the case here:
Attorney Unveils Suit Alleging Cover-up of Disgusting Child Abuse by DA, County Agency
"In Orange County, CPS is a multi-billion dollar agency, free of oversight," the Claypool firm claims. "Michael Riley, the head of the Social Services Agency, in a recent deposition, admitted that Orange County has a 100 percent failure rate in a random state audit."
The CPS agency in the Central Valley that includes Sacramento was already on the legislators' radar because of "heavy-handed actions" against the family of a baby "with no signs of child abuse of neglect," the firm notes.
Then came revelations about "widespread problems" within the Los Angeles County CPS that allegedly led to at least one child's death, the firm adds.
UPDATE, JUNE 5, 12:11 P.M.: The Joint Legislative Audit Committee unanimously approved a requested Child Protective Services audit this morning, but the lawmakers did not specify which California agencies will be targeted.
Instead, details about the request will be forwarded to the state auditor's office, which will decide the counties that will be reviewed.
No timeline has been set for audits.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!