More lawsuits are being filed against Arapahoe County Human Services. A former human services case worker. Robin Niceta, the former partner of former Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson, is at the center of one complaint, but there are more.
The latest round of lawsuits reaches beyond Niceta, with allegations that many children were taken away from families when they likely should not have been removed.
"And as I stand here right now. Some of these women are still missing their children and I can't stand that... I can't stand that," said Aurora City Councilwoman Danielle Jurinsky.
She claims to be a victim and has become a spokeswoman for the group with a united complaint against the Arapahoe County Department of Human Services.
At a news conference on Thursday, one woman held up a picture of a chiId, "This little boy is the victim of a system that is broken and now his mom, my ex-wife is now dead, she died May 31st before her little boy came home."'
At the center of the grievances is Niceta. She has been criminally charged with making a false child abuse report about Jurinsky who said, "That morning, very early, Robin Niceta went into her supervisor's office and requested my case."
Allegations such as that are contained in one of the three lawsuits now filed against Arapahoe County Human Services. One was filed against Niceta as well, on behalf of Jurinsky and any other person who may have suffered abuse.
Elliot Singer, an attorney for the plaintiffs said, "The reason we are here today is because we want to bring as many parents and caretakers forward to have their day in court to tell their stories and be present with us today."
Late Thursday afternoon Arapahoe county issued the following statement: Arapahoe County is equally appalled and concerned as our community is about the alleged criminal actions of Robin Niceta, a former employee of our Human Services department.
There are many checks and balances within the child protection system to weed out false allegations. We have confidence in our ability to protect children from abuse and neglect in our County, and at the same time to preserve the rights of parents and guarantee due process. All allegations of abuse and neglect of children are fully evaluated and investigated by multiple layers of human services, educational, medical, mental health, and legal professionals, in accordance with State laws and regulations. When disputes arise during these investigations, all parties have the right to have their case heard by a judge or jury, and also to appeal. There also is a State-prescribed process for reviewing complaints we receive about closed cases, and we act upon the conclusions of those evaluations as needed.
We have not yet had a chance to review all of the allegations in the recently filed complaints but point out that many of them draw conclusions without citing factual specifics. We are not aware of any evidence of widespread misconduct by the caseworkers and other professionals within the Arapahoe County Human Services Department, despite what is alleged in the complaints.
The Colorado Department of Human Services, as the supervising agency of each county department of human services, is investigating, at our request, whether there are potentially other issues of concern in all assessments and cases conducted by Ms. Niceta during her tenure with the County. We are awaiting the results of this independent investigation and will swiftly take any appropriate action after it is completed.
Niceta has not returned calls from CBS Colorado.
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