“Fraudulent worker” investigation shakes Moffat County; human services director leaves job | CraigDailyPress.com

“Fraudulent worker” investigation shakes Moffat County; human services director leaves job

County officials refuse to respond to inquiries about the staff shakeup and probe of more than 80 cases

Jennifer Brown / Colorado Sun
Sagebrush and blooming rabbitbrush color the hillsides in Moffat County. The county's child welfare division has been in turmoil after allegations that a caseworker falsified reports about checking on children.
Dean Krakel / Special to Colorado Sun

Jennifer Tipp knew who was giving her 15-year-old son methamphetamine. She even had a photo of the adult in a living room with a group of teenagers and a bong. 

The Craig mom called police and local child welfare authorities more times than she could count, begging them to confront the person who was smoking meth with teenagers. No one ever responded, Tipp said. 

Desperate to save her son, Tipp sent him to rehab and then to live with his older brother in another state, where he enrolled in a new high school, far from Moffat County, where crystal meth became the focus of his life. 

Then — almost three years later — a child protection caseworker knocked on Tipp’s door. The woman wanted to verify the county’s files regarding the case involving her son, to make sure that a caseworker had checked on the teen and had contacted the adult who provided him meth, just as the case report said. 

But the case file was pure fiction. The log of visits, Tipp said, was a lie.

The case is one of more than 80 reinvestigated this year after Moffat County child welfare officials discovered that a caseworker had fabricated reports going back years, including detailing home visits to check on children that had never actually occurred. The Colorado Sun revealed the misconduct in a story last month after receiving state documents through the Colorado Open Records Act. 

Moffat County commissioners, as well as officials at the county human services department, have refused to answer questions about the system failure that affected potentially hundreds of children. But through another public records request, The Sun has learned that the county’s human services director — who oversaw the department and its child welfare division since early 2019 — left the position the day after The Sun published its story exposing the fraudulent casework. 

To read the rest of the Colorado Sun article, click here.

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