CPS case worker remains on the job after being convicted of drug possession

Parents all over the state can find themselves in court battling Child Protective Services because they smoked marijuana.

“It’s something as simple as maybe mom and dad smoked a little marijuana when the baby was at Grandma's or something like that or maybe they just tested positive for low levels of marijuana and children are being removed every single day by CPS for that very thing,” said family law attorney Julie Ketterman.

But a criminal charge for marijuana doesn’t mean you can’t be a CPS caseworker. Take Kevin Daniel Lara for example.

Court records show he was charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession in Fort Bend County on April 10th of last year.

A CPS spokeswoman confirms Lara remained a CPS caseworker until just 8 days ago, even though he pled no contest to the charge on February 8th.

“The hypocrisy,” Ketterman said. “He’s removing children for smoking marijuana when he may go home and is clearly doing the same thing.”

CPS tells us employees who pick up criminal charges get to keep their jobs until the case is decided in court. Lara was demoted to an administrative assistant on March 12th more than a month after he pled no contest.

CPS says it relies on employees to give updates on their criminal cases.

“They let him continue to do his job when he was guilty of the same thing he was taking kids away for,” said Ketterman.