In response to your request, the Santa Cruz County Human Services Department has completed a review of the investigation to determine whether the report made to the Department of Justice (DOJ) was made in accordance with the statutory requirements.Cecilia Espinola was paid $276,029.04 in 2014.
Section 11169 of the California Penal Code requires child protective agencies to forward to DOJ a written report on each case of known or suspected child abuse that the agency investigated and determined to be either substantiated or inconclusive, and not unfounded. The one exception is for cases of neglect coming within subdivision (b) of Section i1165.2.
I have reviewed the recommended decision, dated April 21, 2016. The recommended decision is attached and its findings incorporated by reference.
Based on my review of the recommended decision, I:
|X| Adopt the findings in the recommended decision. ...
Your name was incorrectly submitted to DOJ. We have notified DOJ and requested that your name be removed from the Child Abuse Central Index (CACI).
Cecilia Espinola, Director
Human Services Department
She still gets the law wrong. The Penal Code says:
11169. (a) An agency specified in Section 11165.9 shall forward to the Department of Justice a report in writing of every case it investigates of known or suspected child abuse or severe neglect that is determined to be substantiated, other than cases coming within subdivision (b) of Section 11165.2. An agency shall not forward a report to the Department of Justice unless it has conducted an active investigation and determined that the report is substantiated, as defined in Section 11165.12. If a report has previously been filed which subsequently proves to be not substantiated, the Department of Justice shall be notified in writing of that fact and shall not retain the report.The crucial point here is that Child Protective Services (CPS) investigates reports, and classifies them as substantiated, inconclusive, or unfounded. The California law clearly says that only substantiated reports are forwarded to the DoJ CACI, but she says that she forwards reports that are "either substantiated or inconclusive".
The exception is that cases of "general neglect" are not forwarded to the DoJ, whether substantiated or not. I think the idea is that if a parent fails to feed and clothe her own kids adequately, then CPS can take action on this as general neglect, but it is not forwarded to DoJ because such a parent would not be a threat to others. The purpose of the CACI is for use in background checks for teachers and others with kid responsibilities.
Someone who makes $276k per year to enforce these rules should understand that reports have to be substantiated to be forwarded to the DoJ. She persists in the error even after I prove her wrong in a legal hearing.
Representing CPS at the hearing was Santa Cruz County attorney Shannon M Sullivan, who made $190,012.53 in 2014.
My notice of the hearing said:
You may attend the face-to-face meeting alone or with an attorney or other representative. If you bring an attorney, you must notify the Department in writing at least 10 business days in advance so that County Counsel can also attend. If you do not bring an attorney, County Counsel will not be there.I actually intended to bring a lawyer, and hired one for the purpose. But CPS said that if I did, then it would not hold the hearing until July.
So I dropped the lawyer, and went by myself. To my surprise, County Counsel Shannon Sullivan was there anyway, and refused to leave even when I objected and showed the document proving that her presence was against their own rules.
The acting judge was just a CPS consultant who was previously a CPS director in another county. He found that the report was not credible, and that it would not be reportable even if it were 100% true. At no time did any child suffer any harm or be in any danger.
Actually, I just have the consultant's conclusion, as CPS has so far refused to release the full report to me. Perhaps I will have to subpoena it, as CPS probably finds it embarrassing.
This is now the seventh time CPS has brought a legal action against me. Every single one of them was ultimately resolved by proving that the CPS accusations had no merit whatsoever. This is harassment. I think that the whole department should be shut down.
I have never met a more despicable class of human vermin than CPS social workers, managers, and lawyers. They lie, violate the law, and mistreat children. There is no merit to anything they say.