A former child protection investigator with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office has been arrested on charges of falsifying records.
Steven Urban, 29, is being held at the Pinellas County Jail on a $20,000 bond after investigators say he falsified official reports. He now faces 10 felony charges of falsifying records.
In Jan. 2018, another child protection investigator found multiple discrepancies in one of Urban’s cases and discovered Urban had never conducted any interviews regarding the case.
“The grandmother who Urban wrote in a report that he interviewed in November 2017, she had died three years earlier in 2014,” said Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.
After reviewing the 142 cases Urban was assigned to between Jan. 1, 2017 and Jan. 17, 2018, authorities determined he had falsified records in 75 of those investigations using lies, misleading information, and statements that showed the investigations had been conducted when no investigation had been conducted at all.
“In 44 of the 75 falsified cases, Urban committed what is really the most egregious act that somebody in his position can commit when he documented that he personally saw children who are alleged victims of abuse, abandonment or neglect, and verified their wellbeing, when he never even he saw them and had no idea as to their condition or to their jeopardy,” Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said.
In 29 of those cases, Gualtieri said Urban did no investigation or casework whatsoever.
When confronted by supervisors, Urban said he may “skirted” some parts of his investigation, but denied complete fabrication of case files.
Investigators later determined that in two of the 75 falsified cases, the children should have been removed from their homes due to a present risk, but CPS investigators said none of the children in these cases suffered harm due to Urban’s misconduct.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office has implemented a new policy that requires CPI supervisors to randomly review five case files each week.
Urban was hired by the agency as a Child Protection Investigator on Feb. 10, 2012.