NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. (WFLA) – A 24-year-old Child Protective Investigator with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office has been charged with a third-degree felony for falsifying records in a December child abuse investigation.
Major Jeff Peake of the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office says once Kaylynn Scott admitted to submitting to phony records, investigators engaged in a massive review of all the cases she’s had since she was hired by the sheriff’s office.
Major Peake says there were three other cases in which Scott claims she interviewed people she did not. Those cases were forwarded to the Pasco County State Attorney’s Office, where prosecutors will determine whether to bring additional charges.
“This came to light when one of our C.P.I.’s went out and investigated, a C.P.I. investigation involving the same family in a prior investigation,” Peake said.
The later investigation was initiated after a newborn baby tested positive for an opiate-related drug. The C.P.I. began asking questions.
“If the child was born with this and you were pregnant when this other investigation was going on, how come this didn’t come up then when you were tested?” Major Peake explained.
Detectives investigated, confronted Scott, she fessed up and they arrested her.
According to Major Peake, the sheriff’s office is looking through all 95 cases Scott handled in the less than a year that she worked as a C.P.I. She was terminated in May.
“We’re going through each case systematically looking for anything that would identify pattern looking for anything else that would have been falsified,” Major Peake stated.
Attorney Mischelle D’Angelone has represented clients on both sides of the abuse aisle. She believes Scott’s case will create a dark shadow that will loom over the child protective system.
“If I were a judge, I’d have to sit back and wonder, can I trust the information I’m being given?” Ms. D’Angelone asked. “I think this is probably one of the most egregious abuses you could have.”
Attorney D’Angelone believes when a C.P.I. lies, it leaves children in jeopardy.
“We’re not protecting kids anymore, we’re leaving kids potentially at risk because they’re still in this home because she lied and said she visited and everything was fine,” Ms. D’Angelone said.