Former DCF employee's personnel file released
MIAMI (WSVN) -- The Department of Children and Families has fired an employee for how she handled one of her cases.
The Department of Children and Families is in the spotlight after the death of 11-month-old Bryan Osceola. Police said he was left in a hot car where his body temperature reached 109 degrees.
Police arrested his mother, Catalina Bruno.
Earlier this week, DCF released documents that they had a history with Bruno, including a 2012 incident where Bruno was suspected for being drunk.
Police said Bruno's 11-month-old was in the car at the time they found her "passed out asleep behind the wheel of her vehicle."
After that incident, DCF investigator Shani Smith said, after contacting a substance abuse expert, there was no evidence of substance misuse.
Her report read: "Showed no evidence of substance abuse. No service recommendations for mom."
"We confronted this employee. While she denies that she falsified records, all the evidence available to us, at this point in time, points to the contrary," said DCF secretary David Wilkins.
DCF secretary David Wilkins said the assessment of Bruno was not there. "We will never know if the services we could have offered would have made a difference for Bryan's mother or change the tragic outcome of this case," said Wilkins.
On Friday, DCF released Smith's personnel file. She became an investigator in April 2011. There was nothing that stood out. She received numerous evaluations that were either average or above average.
Smith's attorney released a statement: "At this time, it's my understanding that Ms. Smith followed all DCF protocol with respect to Ms. Bruno's prior case management. She is deeply saddened by the tragic incident."
Smith was hired as a child protective investigator when DCF was receiving a lot of criticism over the death of 9-year-old Nubia Barahona. Nubia died days after a DCF investigator visited the home.
In Smith's letter of employment it reads: "You are being offered employment in an organization that takes great pride in what we do. We are getting better day by day."
If you want to review the entire personnel file of Shani Smith, click here: http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/newsroom/publicdocuments/Northwest/Final.Smith,Shani.pdf
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