A new bill submitted in the Texas state Legislature by state Representative Gene Wu of Houston would require Child Protective Services (CPS) to increase accountability and prevent social workers from altering case records. What does this say about the current moral status of social workers in CPS when a law has to be passed to stop them from lying and falsifying records? One of the cases that was the motivation for this Texas bill is a case from 2018 that we reported here at Health Impact News where a family court judge ordered CPS to immediately return two children, a 5-month-old baby boy and 2-year-old little girl, to their family and have no more contact with them since they were removed from their home without a warrant and under false allegations. Later, Judge Mike Schneider took the unprecedented action to sanction CPS $127,000 for wrongfully removing the couple’s children and lying to the court about it. Representative Wu who authored the bill told the Houston Chronicle: “We’re talking about taking children away from families, breaking up families — we need to have the utmost transparency. We want there to be integrity in the reporting system.” According to the Chronicle: "The bill would require the department to track who makes every entry in a case and when, and it would require that the electronic records system prohibit users from modifying or deleting information."
Using taxpayer funds, government officials in Orange County have spent the last 16 years arguing the most absurd legal proposition in the entire nation: How could social workers have known it was wrong to lie, falsify records and hide exculpatory evidence in 2000 so that a judge would forcibly take two young daughters from their mother for six-and-a-half years? From the you-can't-make-up-this-crap file, county officials are paying Lynberg & Watkins, a private Southern California law firm specializing in defending cops in excessive force lawsuits, untold sums to claim the social workers couldn't have "clearly" known that dishonesty wasn't acceptable in court and, as a back up, even if they did know, they should enjoy immunity for their misdeeds because they were government employees. A panel at the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled on Orange County's appeal of federal judge Josephine L. Staton's refusal last year to grant immunity to the bureaucrats in Preslie Hardwick v. County of Orange, a lawsuit seeking millions of dollars in damages. In short, judges Stephen S. Trott, John B. Owens and Michelle T. Friedland were not amused. They affirmed Staton's decision.