Child Protection Investigator Falsified Records, Pinellas Sheriff Says
“He flat out lied,” Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said during a press conference.
PINELLAS COUNTY – An investigator whose job it was to protect children was arrested this morning (March 8) on charges that he falsified records in more than half of his assigned cases last year and early this year.
“He flat out lied,” Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said during a press conference this morning.
Steven Michael Urban, 29, of Largo, is charged with 10 counts of falsifying records, a felony. Urban worked for the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office from Feb. 10, 2012, until Jan. 18.
Gualtieri said the department was first informed in January that Urban might have falsified records when another child protection investigator was assigned to a case that Urban had previously handled. She found discrepancies between Urban’s report and what she was encountering on the case. She reported the discrepancy to a supervisor and an investigation was begun. The investigation found that Urban had fabricated records within multiple child protection investigations that he had conducted.
Once confronted about these discrepancies by supervisors, Urban told deputies that he might have “skirted” some parts of his investigation, but denied complete fabrication of case files. Urban resigned Jan. 18 when he was told there would be an official investigation conducted.
Detectives reviewed Urban’s case files from Jan. 1, 2017, through Jan. 17, 2018. During that time, Urban was assigned to conduct 142 child protection investigations. It was determined, deputies said, that Urban falsified records in 75 – or about 52 percent – of those investigations. The falsifications included lies, misleading information, and statements that investigations had been conducted, when no investigation had been conducted at all.
In 44 of the 75 falsified cases, Urban documented that he personally saw children who were victims of abuse, abandonment, or neglect, and verified their well-being when he never saw them and did not know their condition. In 29 of the 75 falsified cases, Urban did no investigation or casework, deputies said.
After conducting a thorough investigation and follow-up, deputies determined that, out of the 75 falsified cases, two cases required the removal of children because of present risk to the children.
During the follow-up investigations conducted by Child Protection Investigators, deputies said, it was verified that none of the children in these investigations suffered harm because of the misconduct by Urban.
Gualtieri said the situation was an anomaly.
“It is imperative that we do everything we can to make sure this never happens again,” Gualtieri said.
Along with the extensive safeguards already in place, an additional precaution was added to ensure the investigations are being conducted properly: A new policy requires child protective investigator supervisors to randomly review five case files every week. The CPI Supervisors will contact family members and witnesses to confirm contact was made by the investigators.
“When it comes to child welfare and making sure the kids are safe, you have to do absolutely everything possible,” Gualtieri said.
To watch the video from Gualtieri’s press conference, go to youtu.be/zZkJb3K3wFU.
Pinellas Sheriff | Bob Gualtieri | Crime | Falsifying Records | Arrests | Tampabay News
#PinellasSheriff #BobGualtieri #Crime #FalsifyingRecords #Arrests #TampabayNews