A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Social worker in NKY region awarded $2 million in damages in whistleblower lawsuit against CHFS

Staff report

In 2015, Tim Williams, then a 14-year employee with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services in the Northern Kentucky region, filed a whistleblower lawsuit claiming he experienced retaliation and harassment from supervisors after he reported problems. Among them were 93 cases of alleged child abuse or neglectt that had been “misplaced” and had not been investigated.

The lawsuit was filed by lawyer Kelly Wiley in Boone County Circuit Court.

Williams, who worked out of Gallatin County, claimed the region was plagued by soaring caseloads and high turnover of workers — and noted such atrocities as young children left in the care of drug-impaired adults, investigations saying a male had no disabilities when the subject was in fact a female with Down’s Syndrome, and numerous examples of case workers deliberately lying about the facts of a case.

Last week a jury awarded Williams $2 million in damages, according to reporting by the Louisville Courier reporter Deborah Yetter, who also said Williams, a social services supervisor, was back on the job. Yetter is an award-winning reporter who has covered child welfare, human services, health policy and state government during her long career with the Courier Journal.

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services provided a statement that officials “disagree” with the verdict and are reviewing the record of the trial, including post-trial action and an appeal.

Williams, 54, now a 21-year employee of the agency, told Yetter that staffing shortages continue to be a problem in the Northern Kentucky region.

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One Comment

  1. Bobby Vires says:

    Very Sad! This makes me angry!

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