By Sara Belsole
COLUMBUS, GA - Agents from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation along with the Department of Health and Human Services raided the Muscogee County Department of Family and Children Services Wednesday. It all started when they went in to execute search and arrest warrants for one current and one former employee of the Department of Children and Family Services who they say broke the law.
"The District Attorney's Office was notified some time ago by the Department of Health and Human Services and Office of the Inspector General and asked to help with an investigation concerning DFCS," District Attorney Julia Slater says.
Muscogee County DFCS Intake Supervisor Phyllis Mitchell and former Muscogee County DFCS Acting Director Deborah Cobb are charged with making false statements and writings, concealment of facts and fraudulent documents.
Cobb served as the Acting Supervisor for Muscogee County DFCS for about one and half years. She is currently the Director of Social Services.
"I think what is says is that local law enforcement and the District Attorney's Office, if someone breaks the law whether they are a government official or not, we will prosecute you," Slater says.
Officials say the women allegedly destroyed, delayed, changed and falsified the intake of child abuse reports in order to meet federal requirements that awarded millions of dollars in grant funding.
"This is the first time I have ever been presented with a potential investigation into something like this," Slater says.
In a statement, Commissioner Clyde L. Resse, III of the Georgia Department of Human Services says, "No DHS employee has any reason or incentive to hide allegations of abuse or neglect in order to lower the number of children and families to be entered into the state system."
If true, the falsification of government records is a felony under Georgia law.
The two suspects in the case will now face an arraignment where the judge will decide if their case will be bound over to Superior Court.
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