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CPS Fires 3 Employees for Failing to Act in Colton Turner Case

Texas Tribune

Child Protective Services has fired three caseworkers for failing to protect Colton Turner, the 2 year-old whose body was found buried in Southeast Austin last month. 

Colton Turner's mother, Meagan Work, and her boyfriend, Michael Brandt Turner, had been the subjects of four CPS investigations. Allegations included excessive drug use and the toddler's physical and sexual abuse.

Today, CPS spokesperson Patrick Crimmins called it a "very difficult case, a very tragic case."

Crimmins says investigators did not follow policy and made "mistakes of judgment." The agency's report shows investigators were constantly rotating and investigations were sloppy at best. Photos were missing or misplaced or nonexistent. The allegations of sexual abuse were never investigated.

Crimmins says last week CPS recruited experienced investigators to review open cases of kids five and younger.

"What we're going to do with that information is figure out where are the troubled spots and perhaps what we need to go after," he says.

Crimmins believes up to a thousand cases in Travis County could fit that criterion. It is likely that more changes will be coming to the agency beyond the firing of the three former employees.

Texas Standard reporter Joy Diaz has amassed a lengthy and highly recognized body of work in public media reporting. Prior to joining Texas Standard, Joy was a reporter with Austin NPR station KUT on and off since 2005. There, she covered city news and politics, education, healthcare and immigration.
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