Since Health Impact News started publishing stories from families telling about their horrible experiences with medical kidnapping, we have had more families contact us from Arizona than almost all the other states combined. But one case stands out from all of them in terms of the depth of the corruption in the medical system, and child protection services, within the state of Arizona. Award-winning investigative journalist Jennifer Margulis looked into one civil rights case that is currently in the 9th Circuit Court, and found what appears to be a tangled web of corruption and deception in Arizona that will shock you. Read the story of the Darrell and Leanna Smith, and how they lost 2 of their 3 children when Leanna questioned doctors in what appears to be a medical malpractice case. Their family was destroyed, and they are still in the midst of years of legal battles. How many other families in Arizona do they represent?
Friday January 16, 2015 the Shoars family had a hearing in Arizona family court over the custody of their 7 children that were taken away by the State after the accidental death of their three-year-old daughter Khloe. At this hearing, the judge reportedly issued a gag order on the parents, and ordered them to stop discussing the case on the Internet. Two days before this hearing, on Wednesday January 14, 2015, Tabitha Shoars was interviewed by Ty Bollinger on the Robert Scott Bell syndicated national radio program. On the Friday night (January 16, 2015) broadcast of the Robert Scott Bell show, they reported that a "Detective Kalcum" from Arizona had contacted their syndicator wanting to "subpoena" the broadcast of the show with Tabitha Shoars.
The unthinkable happened to a family in Arizona. Their three-year-old daughter mysteriously collapsed while her parents were away from home, and she died shortly after. As horrible as that tragedy was, Khloe's death was only the beginning of the devastation to the Shoars family. Child Protective Services immediately came in and took away all seven of their other children, placing them in various foster home settings around the area. The children now don't have their parents, or even each other, as they try to grasp what has happened to their sister. None of the children, ranging in age from 2 to 9 years old, have been placed with family or friends, and they cry to come home. They don't understand what has happened, and neither do their parents, Jeff and Tabitha Shoars. "It's like a bad nightmare you can't wake up from," says Jeff. No charges have been filed against anyone, yet the state of Arizona has already begun the TPR process, Termination of Parental Rights.
A mother of two young girls in Arizona breaks a gag order issued by the court, in the hope that people will come forward and help her and her two daughters, whom she claims are suffering in state custody. She has now been threatened with arrest for breaking her gag order. And this all began simply because she saw her daughters suffering with medical treatment, and wanted to seek a second doctor's opinion.
"Surprise (Ariz.) police came in, (DCS) came in and told my wife she was going to prison," the boy's father told KTAR News on Monday. "They just started threatening her -- basically trying to force a confession of something that didn't happen." The family's attorney, Alane Roby, believes the case was grossly mishandled. According to Roby, the Department of Child Safety has not much different than the original state agency entrusted to protect Arizona's children. "Case workers are overworked, underpaid, there's no accountability. The case workers are generally very young, inexperienced and don't understand the ramifications of the decisions they make. Children are ripped from their homes, placed in foster care even when family members are available to care for them and often," Roby said. "The scariest thing in the world is that this could be happening to anyone and they'd be going through the same thing," Roby said.
ABC 15 Arizona interviewed a former CPS caseworker turned whistleblower regarding some of the alleged abuses in the Arizona foster care system. The caseworker reportedly quit her job after seeing the abuse of power within CPS last year. Keeping her identity hidden, the former caseworker claims that many of her colleagues forged reports and were not truly investigating the welfare of children taken into state custody. She claims there was one instance in which a child died while in state custody, and the caseworker knew nothing about it. ABC 15 did an excellent investigative report showing court documents in which judges admitted that children were removed from their parents' home simply because the caseworker "got ticked off" at the parents. The Arizona CPS whistleblower states in the interview that these are not isolated cases, but happen frequently.
Maria Hoffman carries the title "Director of the Arizona Legislative Office of Family Advocacy." Her job description is stated to be: "Under contract to the President of the Arizona Senate and the Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, and working for all ninety members of the legislature, Ms. Hoffman is the only person at the legislature who handles CPS constituent issues directly and with the Attorney General’s Office." So any parent who has a question about why CPS took away their child cannot even ask their elected representatives in the Arizona State Legislature anything about their child, as all such inquires are handled only by Maria Hoffman, who is an employee and not an elected official. When people ask questions about her role or about their children in state custody, she replies by threatening them with jail time or fines, including state legislators according to one source. This is a "Family Advocate"? How can one woman have so much power to keep families apart as a paid employee of the government and not an elected official? Who is she really protecting? Health Impact News has discovered some shocking information about Maria Hoffman.
Lisa Meltzer is an Arizona mom of a special needs little boy. She and her family received special training to care for this precious little baby. But one day Lisa was so sick, she felt she needed more help than her family could supply for her son for a short time, while she recovered from her sickness. She called the Arizona State social services to request help. But according to Lisa, instead of helping, they removed the child from her custody and are now offering him up for adoption to foster parents. Even though she has not been charged with abuse, the state apparently believes they can remove the child simply based on his complicated medical needs. Her parental rights have allegedly been violated, as she has not been able to visit her 2 year old son for 4 months, and the Arizona Attorney General and Family Court Judge allegedly removed her from court when she tried to speak up for her parental rights. What is going on in Arizona?
KPHO CBS5 in Arizona reported that there are so many children being removed from homes and put into foster care in Arizona, that there is a severe shortage of foster homes, and that babies and children are being "housed" in social services' office buildings.