Sunday, January 23, 2011

Whistleblower suit headed for trial

By Deborah Yetter • • January 23, 2011

LEXINGTON, Ky. — More than three years after a former Lexington-area social worker filed a whistleblower action against the state, alleging misconduct by her bosses in child abuse and neglect investigations, her case appears headed for trial.

But Jami Hall’s lawsuit against the Cabinet for Health and Family Services has had some odd twists — including sensitive files that “curiously disappeared,” and a last-minute decision by one her former supervisors to apologize to Hall and testify on her behalf at the trial.

Cabinet lawyers were caught off guard when Arthur Hayden, a former top supervisor in the Lexington social service region who oversaw Hall’s office, announced in October — one week before the suit originally was to go to trial — that he would verify some of Hall’s claims in the suit.

....Hall began work for the cabinet as a social worker in 2002 and moved to its Jessamine County office in 2004.

She resigned in 2008, the year after she filed her whistleblower suit, alleging that cabinet officials ignored her reports of wrongdoing in child abuse and neglect cases by Melanie Taylor, her immediate supervisor, and then retaliated against her.

In the suit, Hall alleges that Taylor backdated reports of suspected child abuse and neglect to make it appear social workers responded promptly, refused to take some reports of abuse and once decided to leave children in an unsafe home “to limit paperwork.”

You simply MUST SEE the rest of the story (3 more pages)

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