CPS ‘suspends’ relationship with West Texas
Rehab after 2 arrested for falsifying drug tests
ABILENE, TX – Child Protective Services has suspended its relationship with West Texas Rehabilitation Center in Abilene in the wake of two former rehab center workers being arrested for falsifying drug tests in exchange for personal and sexual favors.
CPS has used West Texas Rehab to drug test parents as part of that office’s abuse and neglect investigations.
“As soon as CPS became aware of the allegations against these two West Texas Rehab employees, we immediately suspended our relationship with West Texas Rehab and stopped using their facility for drug-testing,” said Marissa Gonzales, spokesperson for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
Gonzales said her agency has taken steps to “ensure that no children were placed in an unsafe situation as a result of incorrectly administered tests.”
“CPS has completed nearly 150 safety checks of children who may have had contact with a family member who took a drug test at this facility,” Gonzales said. “We are confident no children were harmed.”
Asked if CPS had severed ties with West Texas Rehab, Gonzales said: “At this point, it’s accurate to say that CPS business dealings with West Texas Rehab are ‘suspended.'”
Arrested and charged with tampering with evidence in the case were two Abilene men – Shawn William Franklin, 28, and Walter Allen Williams Jr., 29.
On Wednesday, West Texas Rehab officials told KTXS that they learned of the allegations on Aug. 4 and immediately fired Franklin and Williams.
Gonzales said CPS learned of the investigation during the first week of August.
West Texas Rehab officials said they were “devastated by the news” and “felt betrayed.” They also said this is the first time anything like this has happened in the center’s 64-year history and that they’re reevaluating hiring practices as a result.
They said they had no additional comments to make Thursday.
In July, CPS expressed concern to Abilene police about how some parents’ drug tests were being handled at West Texas Rehab.
During a police interview, Franklin admitted being friends with a woman who was working with CPS to get her children back. Text messages between the two revealed the woman would send pictures – “sexual in nature” – to Franklin. In return, Franklin would allow the woman to bring in someone else’s hair to send off for testing.
“Franklin would even look for ‘clean hair’ himself to be submitted on (the woman’s) behalf,” the documents indicate.
Franklin told police he advised the woman to use shampoo and vinegar on her hair to help with her test results. When the woman tested, Franklin said he smelled the vinegar in her hair but still accepted the sample knowing it had been altered.
According to the detective, Franklin and Williams admitted allowing friends to bring in clean urine samples rather than urinate on site. Williams also said he knew some of the samples were “synthetic urine.”
In addition, Williams admitted to accepting a hair follicle from a woman who told him she would be bringing in “someone else’s hair,” the documents indicate. Williams said he knew she needed a clean drug test for CPS, and during May, he accepted false hair from the woman in exchange for oral sex.
Murrieta, CA – A Murrieta couple have been charged with child abuse and torture after a 5-year-old boy was hospitalized with severe injuries and is now comatose, authorities announced Thursday.
Benjamin Matthew Whitten, the boy’s biological father and a U.S. Navy sailor, and his live-in girlfriend Jeryn Christine Johnson appeared for arraignment in Murrieta on Thursday afternoon, but the hearing was postponed, according to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.
The couple were arrested Tuesday, about 10 hours after Johnson called 911 to report the child being in medical distress, police said Wednesday.
Police officers found the unidentified boy frail and extremely malnourished, a Murrieta Police Department lieutenant said. He had “severe injuries requiring immediate medical” care, the DA’s office said.
A neighbor said she saw paramedics doing chest compressions on the child.
The boy was taken by ambulance to an area hospital and then airlifted to another hospital in San Diego County. He remains in grave condition Thursday, according to the DA’s office.
Dozens came out for a vigil outside the family’s home early Wednesday’s evening. Neighbors said they didn’t see the family outside very often, though the father was sometimes heard yelling at the boy.
Whitten, 33, and Johnson, 25, were charged Thursday with one count of torture, and one count of child abuse with an allegation of causing the child to become comatose.
At Thursday afternoon’s appearance, their arraignment was posted until Aug. 24 and the judge kept their bail at $1 million each. A public defender was appointed for Whitten and a defense attorney will be appointed to represent Johnson because the public defender’s office said it cannot represent two defendants in the same case, a DA’s spokesman said.
After getting a warrant, investigators searched the couple’s home in the 24000 block of Verdun Lane, where police said they found “extremely unsanitary” conditions. Eleven dogs, four cats and two fish were taken from the home.
Administration code enforcement violations have occurred at the home, but no emergency calls were made after the family moved there in April 2016, police said.
Whitten serves as a machinist’s mate nuclear first class stationed at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Detachment in San Diego, the U.S. Navy confirmed. Whitten enlisted in 2009, with his home state listed as Texas, and he was stationed on the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier from 2011 to February 2016, naval records show.
If not for this sewer rat, and a lot more, several big fish frys would never have happened. Actually let’s just say that the barrel would never have been so full of fish(sewer rats) to shoot, and sliced onions refer to TOR. Timothy DeFoggi, 56, was Director of Cyber Security at HHS.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray Sexually Abused foster son, Child Welfare investigator found in 1984
An Oregon Child Welfare investigator concluded that Ed Murray sexually abused his foster son in the early 1980s, leading state officials to assert that “under no circumstances should Mr. Murray be certified” as a foster parent in the future, according to public records obtained by The Seattle Times.
Simpson gave a second interview a day later with Butler and Portland police Detective Dave Foesch. Simpson told the detective that Murray sometimes warned him that if he told anyone, he’d be removed from Murray’s home and sent to an institution.
When the detective asked if Simpson was willing to help prosecute Murray, Simpson responded, “No, he is my father,” Foesch, who has since died, wrote in a police report.
“It was then explained to Jeffrey that Mr. Murray is not his father and that a father would not do these things to his son,” Foesch wrote. “Jeffrey then thought about it for a while and agreed that he may possibly be able to save some other child from suffering the same indignations.”
The next day, Simpson, Butler and Foesch testified before a grand jury, Butler’s report states. Meantime, Murray, unaware of the allegations, called Simpson’s group home several times, demanding to speak with him and threatening to sue when he was denied contact, Butler’s report states.
After testifying to the grand jury, Foesch called Murray to inform him of Simpson’s allegations and set up an interview. A lawyer for Murray later told Foesch his client was “too emotionally upset at this time to be interviewed,” the detective’s report states.
Murray changed lawyers several times before settling on Hoffman, who soon provided statements to investigators from people who knew Simpson and Murray, and did not believe the allegations.
Murray also reportedly took a private polygraph, but “since the exact results were not released to the D.A. my assumption is that it was inconclusive,” Butler wrote in the assessment. She noted Hoffman described Murray as “coming out ‘Real good’” in the test.
Murray and Hoffman said last week they didn’t have records of the polygraph results.
Simpson, who state foster reports show was prone to lying, stealing, using drugs and running away, presented problems for the district attorney in proving the case. About a month after the allegations emerged, the prosecutor’s office withdrew the case against Murray and the other accused foster parent from the grand jury.
But in her CPS assessment, Butler found Simpson believable. She noted he’d expressed concern that his claims would ruin Murray’s career, and had “no motive to make something like this up” because Simpson knew he’d likely be placed in an institution and never allowed to live with Murray again.
“It is unfortunate that the criminal justice system chose not to act in this case simply because a conviction of … Mr. Murray would probably be the only way of mandating (him) in to treatment for … sexual deviancy,” Butler added.
A few months after the investigation ended, Murray left Portland and moved to Seattle.
“Those records exist”
Simpson said Friday he didn’t remember accusing the other foster parent of abuse when he spoke with reporters earlier this year, saying that was probably because it didn’t compare to what Murray allegedly did to him.
“It upsets me that I didn’t remember,” he said. “I’m not trying to be deceitful or anything like that. It hurts my validity.”
The other man was Simpson’s foster provider for about a month, the records show.
Simpson is one of four men who have publicly accused Murray of sexual abuse decades ago when they were teenagers. Heckard claimed Murray started paying him for sex in 1986, when Heckard was a drug-addicted 15-year-old. Lloyd Anderson and Lavon Jones also separately allege Murray paid them for sex as teenagers.
In May, Murray’s personal spokesman, Jeff Reading, provided The Times with copies of several statements from people who supported Murray when Simpson first made his allegations in 1984.
Reading said he was providing the information because “there is an existing body of evidence that rebuts and contradicts what Jeff has said.”
The statements were given by people who had counseled or taken in Simpson and described him as emotionally unstable and Murray as having tried hard to help.
One couple, who took Simpson on weekend outings, told a Murray defense investigator Simpson didn’t respond well to discipline and in his early teens “seemed to be very obsessed with the fear of being a homosexual.”
The couple believed the boy’s sex-abuse allegation “was nothing more (than) Jeff acting up” and “striking back” for “some form of rejection.”
Another statement, from a counselor who had worked with Simpson at Murray’s request, said the teenager previously had claimed sexual abuse.
The counselor said “he recalled a telephone call in which Jeff alleged that Ed had forced him into sex and paid for it,” he told Murray’s defense investigators.
The counselor dismissed Simpson’s claim, saying “he did not believe that allegation at the time, and found it to be completely irrational.”
Some of the same statements were included in the state foster records released to The Times this month. The CPS investigator considered them before making her finding.
Murray said the CPS report doesn’t accurately reflect what happened, noting other important records from Simpson’s foster file and the D.A. inquiry that no longer exist would illustrate Simpson’s destructive behavior.
“He got angry at every foster parent that he’d ever been involved with,” Murray said.
In interviews, Simpson has acknowledged his troubled youth, drug problems and lengthy criminal record, including a 10-year prison term.
He also has signed several waivers to allow authorities to release his private counseling and other records.
In June, after Heckard withdrew his lawsuit, Murray held a news conference at City Hall to declare he’d been vindicated. The mayor also told reporters the media hadn’t gone far enough in seeking information that would demonstrate his innocence in the Simpson case.
“All those records exist,” Murray said. “Also, that a prosecutor and grand jury investigated it and didn’t pursue it, all those facts exist.”
When reminded Thursday of his statements criticizing the press for not pursuing more records, Murray responded: “But you cherry-pick records. You cherry-pick records.”
In the Saturday night letter, Murray’s attorney Heekin also said, “The Seattle Times … seeks to reinvestigate the case, to take the place of law enforcement and the District Attorney’s Office, act as judge and jury without a full vetting and disclosure of the facts that were available to law enforcement in 1984, rewrite history, and mislead the public.”