The Georgia Division of Family and Children Services has reinstated two workers arrested last year for falsifying documents at one of their county offices. Now prosecutors seek a court order denying the pair access to any records related to their case.
Deborah Cobb and Phyllis Mitchell were charged with felony false swearing and falsifying documents at the Muscogee County DFCS office in September 2012, authorities said. They were accused of failing to investigate child abuse in a timely manner, falsifying child abuse reports and encouraging others to lie in sworn statements.
The division works under the state’s Department of Human Services.
“No DHS employee has any reason or incentive to hide allegation of abuse or neglect in order to lower the number of children and families to be entered into the state system,” department commissioner Clyde Reese III said.
The pair was suspended but was reinstated in November, prosecutors learned. Cobb now works at the agency’s Harris County office while Mitchell is in Chattahoochee County, their attorneys said.
Assistant District Attorneys Letitia Sikes and William Hocutt IV filed motions Nov. 21 asking Superior Court Judge Gil McBride to not allow the suspects access to a database the state uses to track child abuse reports.
Hocutt said that while authorities seized about six months’ worth of records when they raided the Muscogee DFCS office last year, more records are at risk if not preserved.
The state plans to proceed with indicting the women by the end of the month, according to WTVM.
Sources: Ledger-Enquirer, WTVM