Iowa Social Worker Sued After Lying to Court to Remove Children from Parents
Comments by Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News
Former Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) social worker Chelsea Gray may finally be facing justice for her part in lying to a judge in 2018 that caused 4 children to be wrongly removed from their parents.
Many Iowan parents are probably wondering if this is the “tip of the iceberg” in wrongful state-sponsored kidnappings in Iowa through DHS.
In October of 2018, the Des Moines Register reported that Chelsea Gray’s case:
came as Iowa DHS social workers were under fire for failing to stop child abuse in some high-profile cases, including two teenage girls who died under the care of their adoptive parents.
District Associate Judge Adam Sauer had ruled in 2018 that Chelsea Gray had:
delivered fabricated reports and trial testimony that helped convince a judge to terminate the legal rights of the mother and father of four northern Iowa children. The judge said Gray’s testimony was riddled with “lies and misrepresentations.” (Source.)
The Judge had harsh words for Gray and DHS, and ordered a halt of the termination of parental rights.
Sauer called Gray’s testimony unacceptable. He said that terminating a parent’s rights was the most important decision a court can make, and that it must be a fair proceeding based on facts and evidence.
“What does not, or at least should not happen, is that an agent of the government, charged with the task of safeguarding the welfare of children, would completely fabricate contact with a family in order to mask non-compliance with the agency’s policy,” Sauer wrote.
He added, “Providing false testimony of any kind is an unfathomable violation of the trust that the people in the State of Iowa place in their public servants and cast a dark and permanent shadow upon all of us.”
Sauer blasted the state for trying to minimize the impact of Gray’s testimony on the outcome of the case. He dismissed all four petitions to terminate parental rights filed by the state, and ordered that “referrals for new foster case placements shall stop immediately.” (Source.)
However, even after this ruling, apparently nothing was done to hold Chelsea Gray or DHS responsible for these actions, even after a county attorney found 10 other cases where Gray allegedly gave false information, and reported this to the attorney general’s office.
It’s unclear whether Gray faced any discipline and whether she gave false testimony in any other proceedings. DHS rejected AP’s request for the findings of the case review or any information about corrective actions taken as a result, noting that much of the agency’s work is protected by confidentiality laws.
Gray said Tuesday that she was unaware of Sauer’s ruling because she was on maternity leave with newborn twins this summer. Gray, 29, declined comment on the reason for her departure from DHS, where she’d worked for about 2 1/2 years. (Source.)
Earlier this month (April, 2019), however, criminal charges have now apparently been filed against Gray for perjury, presumably by one of the families that suffered from her false testimony:
A former Iowa social worker has been charged with three counts of perjury in connection with what prosecutors say is false testimony in child welfare cases.
Former Iowa Department of Human Services employee Chelsie Gray was charged Monday in connection with statements she made in December 2017 in a Cerro Gordo County case, according to the Iowa Department of Public Safety.
Criminal complaints released Tuesday allege that Gray lied repeatedly during a 2017 hearing in which she recommended a judge terminate the parental rights of a mother and father.
Perjury is a felony that can be punished by up to five years in prison. (Source.)
False Testimony in Court by Social Workers Common in State-sponsored Kidnappings
Sadly, this story from Iowa is not an isolated instance where a rogue social worker went bad.
All across the U.S. stories are being reported that social workers routinely lie and falsify recorders in order to take more children out of their homes and place them into the lucrative, federally-funded foster care and adoption system, which is, in fact, a child trafficking business.
The ease at which social workers across the country get away with this is so widespread, that the Texas State Legislature just took up a new bill that is designed to stop this illegal practice. See:
In October 2016, attorneys for social workers in Orange County California tried to argue to the 9th Circuit of Appeals that it was acceptable for social workers to lie about parents in order to take their children.
The 9th Circuit judges did not buy the argument, and ruled against the social worker.
The 9th Circuit video tapes most of their cases, and you can watch the incredible 23 minute video of the defense attorney trying to argue that a social worker has the right to lie: