A lawsuit was filed in Cleveland County Superior Court on May 3, 2010 against the Cleveland County Department of Social Services, the Director of the CCDSS-Karen Ellis, and DSS Caseworkers Tamara Hardin and Dante Murphy. The Civil Summons was served on DSS, Karen Ellis and Tamara Hardin by the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Department on May 4, 2010. Dante Murphy was served by the Sheriff’s Department on May 5, 2010. The Defendants have 30 days, by law, from the date of service to file their answer to the Civil Summons. An automatic 30-day extension will be granted if asked for within the original 30 day period. As of this report, no defendant has provided an answer to the lawsuit or asked for an extension. Each defendant is sued for an amount in excess of $10,000.01. However, on June 3, 2010, the lawyers representing DSS’s insurance carriers filed a Notice that they want the case moved to Federal Court. A second and similar lawsuit has been filed in Raleigh with the North Carolina Industrial Commission against the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Resources. The NCDHHR is responsible for overseeing Cleveland County DSS and making them follow laws and rules, which they didn’t. Did you read about this in the Star? You will soon find out why. Read on all you Citizens who pay the bills in Cleveland County!!
In general, the lawsuit alleges that the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the Cleveland County DSS and the named individuals involved willfully violated the United States Constitution, the North Carolina State Constitution and numerous policies and laws. The major and most specific event was when the DSS and an un-named police officer arrived at the plaintiff’s residence in the middle of the night, supposedly due to an after-hours anonymous call, and forcibly removed two sleeping children from the residence without any valid paperwork or court order.
On May 27 and again on June 7, 2010, this reporter made a complete review of every page and every line of the lawsuit and all related court files. From all appearances, these clearly illegal acts of the DSS and others appeared to me to be the same story that I have heard many times: there is a divorce and custody matter, one party gets an insider lawyer and a phony DSS report is made, the other lawyer sells out and a kangaroo judge makes stupid rulings. Then, no attorney in Cleveland County will take the case to appeal or to sue the DSS. In this case, the Judge was Anna F. (Dina) Foster. DSS lawyer Les Farfour represented the party that DSS took the children to. Lawyer Becky Brown appeared to sell out her client and when her client complained of obvious illegal acts of DSS and perhaps others, Becky Brown quit the case and no other lawyer in Cleveland County would take the case against DSS. Only this time, a lawyer from way out of Cleveland County was located who did take the case and filed these two lawsuit. And, of course, not a peep about this case is heard from the Shelby Star where Skippy Foster, husband of Dina Foster, is in charge.
The DSS has a long and undistinguished reputation for illegal acts. This reporter has personally witnessed lawyer Les Farfour advising a DSS supervisor and other DSS workers during a Civil case to take the Fifth Amendment regarding on the job criminal activity by DSS when the DSS worker was in Court and under oath. “Taking the Fifth” in Civil Court is only allowed when the witness (and lawyer Farfour) believes what they did was a criminal act and if they testify they will be subject to criminal prosecution themselves. When other DSS witnesses were called, lawyer Farfour stated that he would advise them all to take the Fifth because if they saw or knew the illegal act was happening, they would be criminal “accomplices” and would themselves also be subject to criminal prosecution.
But, we all know criminal acts at DSS have never been prosecuted by the Cleveland County District Attorney. And when this information of criminal activity at DSS was passed along to DSS Board Member and County Commissioner Mary Accor, no action was ever taken. Mary Accor is presently running for the NC House, District 111, against incumbent Representative Tim Moore. Attorney Tim Moore is also believed to have personal knowledge of the doings at DSS but has never been in an elected or appointed position with direct over-site of DSS like Mary Accor.
Filing of these lawsuits may be the first step in cleaning house at the DSS, DSS Board and perhaps elsewhere. The abuse and deaths of children like Travis Gammons, Jodice Peeler and Jeremiah Swofford have pretty much been covered up by DSS, Cleveland County and The Shelby Star. For instance, how many people know that Fred Gammons, father of Travis Gammons, sued DSS and won? As I recall $90,000 was paid out to Fred Gammons by DSS and not a peep from anybody.
This time these lawsuits will be covered and reported upon at every turn. This is all public record and anyone from anywhere can go to the Courthouse and ask to see file number 10-CVS-940, just like I did. That is probably why the DSS lawyers want the case moved to Federal Court in Asheville-to make it more difficult for average citizens to know what is going on. That is OK. The CGG knows how to get to the Federal Courthouse in Asheville and to Raleigh. No DSS secrets will be safe from the eyes of citizens in Cleveland County and elsewhere this time.
DSS, Karen Ellis, Tamara Hardin and Dante Murphy have delayed having to file their response to the lawsuits while the determination is being made whether or not to move the case to Federal Court. Remember, their responses have been only delayed. Soon enough they will run out of loopholes and have to face the music for their actions. Soon the “Answers” to the lawsuit by DSS, Ellis and others will have to be filed. Those answers will then be reported in detail, along with anything that happens in the meantime–such as responses by the DSS Board, Commissioners and others to the written questions regarding this case that I am about to send them.
The full report of these lawsuits will be a series of reports and articles. For the convenience of readers, the Citizens For Good Government will modify our website categories to better keep track of this breaking news. For those that have had bad, unethical or illegal treatment from the DSS and would like to help stop the corruption at DSS, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 704-538-8257. Your information will be made available to the proper people involved in this lawsuit. Note that I have not printed the name of the victim of the DSS or the names of the children involved in this lawsuit. But for anybody else to help, they must be willing to give their name and pertinent information. Such information would be: your name, DSS caseworker names, names of any lawyers and judge, dates and details. I will not print this information without your permission, but I will pass it along to the proper people.
STAY TUNED!!! And remember, you heard it first at the CGG.