Allegations denied by state, local DCS staffs
Plaintiff claims damages after name placed on Child Protective Index
Tuesday, December 04, 2012 10:00 AM
State and local Department of Child Services workers deny allegations that they continued an investigation of a Jefferson County man after charges of child molestation had been invalidated.
The man, who has been allowed to proceed anonymously, is seeking damages for attorney fees and expenses incurred through the administrative appeal hearing, for defamation of and injury to his character and reputation, and for interference in his pursuit of employment.
The lawsuit, filed Sept. 26 in Jefferson County Circuit Court, names John Ryan, interim director of Indiana Department of Child Services; James W. Payne, former director of Indiana Department of Child Services; Gary Keith, director of Jefferson County Department of Child Services; Robert King, former director of Jefferson County Department of Child Services; and Cindy Sommer-Long, former supervisor of Jefferson County Department of Child Services as defendants.
The original complaint alleged that the plaintiff was entered into the Child Protective Index in October 2010 without proper due process, which is guaranteed by the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
In response to the lawsuit on Nov. 21, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller wrote that the defendants admit that child abuse records regarding the plaintiff were placed in the database, but added that it was done in accordance with state law.
Zoeller went on to say that the defendants were not the cause of the plaintiff's alleged harm. Therefore, he argued that the plaintiff should not receive compensation for attorney fees or damages.
The defendants went on to deny that evidence was destroyed by the Indiana Department of Child Services and Jefferson County Department of Child Services. The defendants also denied that Sommer-Long decided to place the plaintiff on the Child Protective Index after a caseworker, pediatrician and Indiana State Police ruled out signs of child abuse.