Three current and former employees of a child services agency in North Carolina were arrested this week and indicted with over three dozen felony and misdemeanor charges related to its alleged practice of separating children from their families without proper judicial oversight.
Carolina Public Press reports that among the former and current workers arrested on Monday was Cindy Palmer, the former director of the Cherokee County Department of Social Services and wife of Cherokee County Sheriff Derrick Palmer.
The other two are former Child Protective Unit supervisor David Huges and former agency attorney Scott Lindsay.
The indictment follows two years of investigations and legal action from parents who said their children were unlawfully removed from their homes by the agency’s use of coercion.
According to the independent news outlet, the practice of removing children from homes without judicial oversight is said to have occurred in the county for over a decade before the state intervened in 2017.
Palmer and Hughes were booked within minutes of each other at the Cherokee County Detention Center while Lindsay was booked on Tuesday. Palmer was released on an $8,000 bond, while Hughes was let go on a $12,500 bond and Lindsay was released on a $25,000 bond.
In total, grand jurors indicted the three accused on 41 charges that will be prosecuted by the state attorney general’s office. However, investigations did not cover all allegations against the department and there could be more charges pressed down the road.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith