Corruption in Montana CPS Continues To Grow
Here in Montana we have been working to expose the corruption within the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS).
DPHHS is in control of three branches that include 12 divisions where accountability is lacking. Several claims have been made regarding corruption and abuse of children that are placed in the system.
DPHHS Executive Director Sheila Hogan has remained silent in the face of these allegations from across Montana.
Montana Medicaid Expansion would have expired July 2019. Supporters of the new law broke through the barriers at the Montana Legislature and got Medicaid Expansion passed with a sunset in 5 years. If the legislation would have failed, Montana DPHHS would be facing severe reductions in funding.
Under the new law, Children and Family Services Division (CPS) is now fully funded providing regulatory authority and an increase in personnel the department claims it needs to administer the established programs.
These programs founded in CPS place a priority on being a force in communities across Montana. The budget analysis of CPS leads to the same formula used for education. The number of children registered in the system correlates to the amount of funding from both federal and state funding programs.
Across Montana there are many times when CPS is called to save a child from harm or neglect. But what about once these children are under the control of CPS? Many questions are being raised regarding the safety of children once they are placed in the system.
Many citizens we talked to are concerned that there may not be a safety net in CPS programs designed to protect children and their families. We are hearing the call for a review of the programs including security and background qualifying for those employed by CPS.
Vietnam Veteran John Jay Walton is working hard to secure protection of his 4 grandchildren. His daughter had issues with her husband, and instead of allowing Walton to take care of the children, CPS took custody and placed them in several locations, possibly out of state. The children have been separated since CPS took them.
Each time he has gone to an office of CPS, Walton found doors being slammed shut. Because he is a veteran and has never backed down from a challenge, he has escalated his efforts to protect those kids.
Being assertive in his actions to obtain justice, Mr. Walton got a lesson on administrative rules. He found that if he rocked the boat too much, trouble met him at the door. Claims mounted that he failed to comply with rules established by CPS and access to his grandchildren was denied.
Walton soon discovered that CPS had complete and total control over his grandchildren. In trying to locate his grandchildren, he was denied access to them and their records. Walton began to make claims that CPS officials were abusing their power under the law.
The veteran pushed to get his grandchildren out of the system, as he feared for their safety while they were a part of the CPS system, but the doors continue to be locked. The next action taken by CPS to stop him in his quest to gain access to his grandchildren was to silence him.
To silence Walton, CPS officials filed a legal complaint against him. The local county attorney charged the grandfather with threatening and intimidating public officials within CPS. He soon found that his fight to protect his grandchildren would land him in jail.
DPHHS claims that Walton was threatening and intimidating a CPS case worker and other officials in the department. Many cases across Montana are using the judicial branch to silence those that are questioning public officials using the “Right to Privacy” clause of the Constitution of Montana.
As the grandfather of the children in need, Mr. Walton could not understand why he was being refused access to his grand babies, even to verify their safety.
So, Mr. Walton continued his march to expose those standing in the way of his grandchildren. He began using social media to expose those within CPS as being responsible. Walton subsequently was ordered by the court that he would go back to jail if he continued to use Face Book sharing his story.
A change in district court judges afforded a break for Mr. Walton by having the charges filed against him reduced. All proceedings against Mr. Walton within the judicial court have been closed. The new judge advised the grandfather to use care in disclosing names on social media.
Several legislators at the Montana Capitol have asked how a 73 year old Veteran of the United States Army, crippled up using a cane, not to mention surviving 8 heart attacks could be a threat to anyone.
Walton has plenty of documentation showing examples of why he is concerned about the safety of children here in Montana.
Montana law requires a licensed attorney be appointed for children being separated from their family by CPS. An attorney in Helena Montana that is currently contracted by CPS has a background that raises one of those concerns.
This attorney ran a shelter for homeless kids in Billings until loss of federal funding forced closure of the shelter. Current research shows the address of the shelter is a parking lot. The Shelter could have been torn down or removed, but no documentation of demolition or moving was found.
At the time of the shelter operation, the attorney was allegedly accused of several crimes against children. As a result, his license to practice law was suspended. With the paying of fees, the attorney was reinstated with the Montana BAR Association providing for his legal ability to contract with CPS. Mr. Walton and many others we spoke to are questioning his legal position with CPS.
We did an earlier story here in Montana where Keith and Raye Newmeyer, and others, have been on this battlefield fighting for their kids. CPS came and removed the Newmeyer’s adopted children based on an unsubstantiated complaint. In seeking a seat at the table to resolve the issue the Newmeyers’ were denied due process.
The Newmeyers have been spending many hours at the Montana Capitol this legislative session working to expose the truth. Several bills have been working through the legislature with limited success to enhance the rights of the people. So, the battle continues!
It was once said that the farm is not safe if the fox is guarding the hen house. Transparency is the best disinfectant when the house is dirty.
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