Court hearing held to decide sanctions against CPS
HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Child Protective Services took away Michael and Melissa Brights' 2-year-old daughter and 5-month-old son in an emergency removal claiming the children were in immediate danger.
"What they told the court in their affidavit to remove wasn't true and what they told the court in their emergency hearing wasn't true," said the parents' attorney Dennis Slate.
Levar Jones the CPS caseworker behind the questionable emergency removal did something no CPS case worker has ever done in Harris County court before.
"He began taking the 5th to refuse answering questions under oath," Slate said.
Jones' supervisor Niesha Edwards testified the program director was fully aware of what she and caseworker Jones were doing with this case.
"When the program director testified, it was very clear there were things she didn't know about for 8 to 10 days," said attorney Stephanie Proffitt.
During her 6 hours on the stand, supervisor Edwards couldn't remember much when questioned by the parents' attorneys.
"It was in the hundreds of times that the supervisor either refused to answer our questions or said she didn't understand our questions or wasn't able to answer our questions," said Slate.
Edwards didn't have that problem when questioned by the assistant county attorney representing CPS.
He argued to the judge that CPS doesn't always have to give parents a notice of removal, something the Brights never got.
"I am troubled that it was even an issue for the county attorney and also clearly CPS not to know that parents are entitled to a notice when their children are being removed," Slate said.
"I think Miss Edwards needs to be fired. I think Mr. Jones needs to be fired," Proffitt said.
CPS says it will give us a comment once the judge issues his ruling, which is expected on Wednesday.
He could order monetary sanctions against CPS and order more training for CPS workers.