According to Attorney General Jack Conway’s office, social worker Margaret “Geri” Murphy, formerly with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, falsified a number of reports to make it appear that she had investigated cases in which there was evidence of child abuse, including a disturbing case involving sexual abuse by a three-year old’s own father. Prosecutors alleged that Murphy left children in homes in which they were abused and neglected, never looked into the claims, and lied to the state.
Murphy pleaded guilty to nine counts of falsifying documents. According to reports, she appeared surprised as she was taken into custody to serve the five year sentence, having requested probation.
Judge Charles Hickman said on the record that he was disturbed by the nature of the actions and non-actions taken by Murphy in specific instances.
“I feel like it sent a message,” commented Assistant Attorney General Barbara Whaley.
This is not an isolated incident. I have personally witnessed lack of investigation and complacency in the juvenile dependency system in my own work in California. Until the system starts looking at itself with a clear lens with a willingness to acknowledge its problems and deficiencies and until those working within the system start putting the safety of minors before personal interests, we will not be doing our part to protect our children.