Child Social Workers Arrested in NC on Charges of Removing Children From Families Without Judicial Oversight

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Three Cherokee County Department of Social Services social workers, including the DSS director, were indicted with more than three dozen felony and misdemeanor charges in North Carolina on Monday. Among the arrested are Cindy Palmer, DSS director and wife of County Sheriff Derrick Palmer, David Hughes, a supervisor at DSS, and Scott Lindsay, former DSS attorney. The three were booked and released on bond.

The charges included multiple felonies and misdemeanors related to a yearslong Cherokee County DSS practice that removed children from parents without judicial input. The Carolina Public Press has the story.

The indictments come after more than two years of investigations by state and potentially federal authorities. They also do not cover all of the allegations of misconduct, meaning more charges could surface in the future.

But they stand to shake up Cherokee County because of who was indicted and why, as well as who had backed them despite ongoing criminal investigations.

The indictments may also have important implications for the accountability of social services agencies across North Carolina, as well as the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, which intervened in Cherokee County while the investigation was underway. – READ MORE

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