In the midst of a heated Republican primary race, a rival political operative instigated a CPS investigation by making false allegations of child abuse and neglect against the opposing candidate just four days before the election, according to a lawsuit.
The lawsuit filed by that candidate, Bo French, and his wife Sheridan allege that Child Protective Services (CPS) unexpectedly showed up at the French home while both parents were away at a campaign event and had left their children with the children’s grandparents. Surprised by the visit, the grandparents refused to let CPS interview the children without their parents present.
The lawsuit states that even after the children’s pediatrician confirmed the following morning that the children were not abused or neglected in any way, CPS workers appeared again that Saturday evening and again on Sunday. Though CPS ultimately closed the case, the Frenches claim that the false report allegedly made by a campaign operative of Mr. French’s opponent in the primary election caused severe emotional distress for the entire family and greatly damaged their reputation in the community.
Read the entire article here: “‘Political Dirty Trick’: False Claim of Child Abuse Alleged in Texas House Race”
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Allegations of abuse and neglect can be made at any time and by anyone. Even if a report is false, the reporter typically has immunity from suit and often immunity from prosecution unless it can be proven the reporter knowingly made a false report. This is a very difficult legal standard to meet, and it is made even more difficult because the law generally forbids the disclosure of the reporter’s identity.
Because of all this, false reporting frequently happens with little to no accountability for those who use CPS as a tool to harass others.
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