“The Georgia Bureau of Investigation teamed up with local agencies to serve a search warrant at the Muscogee County Offices of the Division of Family and Children Services Wednesday morning.
Agents also arrested Muscogee DFCS Intake Supervisor Phyllis Mitchell and former Muscogee DFCS Acting Director Deborah Cobb.
Both women are charged with making false statements and writings, concealment of facts, fraudulent documents in matters within jurisdiction of state or political subdivisions, and subornation of false swearing.
District Attorney Julia Slater asked the GBI for assistance on August 15 after learning of an active investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of the Inspector General.
The District Attorney was notified after information was developed indicating supervisors at the Muscogee DFCS Child Protective Services were alleged to have destroyed, delayed, changed and falsified the intake of child abuse reports in order to maintain compliance with internal DFCS guidelines.
The Department of Health and Human Services issues federal grants to help DFCS programs, but only when they comply with federal requirements. Georgia DFCS failed to meet requirements, including the failure to meet the timeliness of initiating child maltreatment investigations.
Georgia DFCS was required to complete a Program Improvement Plan (PIP) to fix the problems. Millions of dollars were withheld until they completed a second PIP. Funding was then released by the Department of Health and Human Services.
The investigation centers on allegations that the data was falsified.
If the allegations are true, the falsification of government records is a felony.
Wednesday’s search was performed to locate and gather records stored at the Muscogee County DFCS facility.”
[WVTM 9/5/12 by Joshua Ninke]
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