A special investigator for Child Protective Services in Central Texas says his superiors threatened retaliation after he accused officials of using the race of a black woman to influence their decision to remove her son from her custody.
Chris McMahan filed complaints with the Department of Family and Protective Services and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, the latter an employment discrimination claim, the Houston Chronicle reported.
The 5-year-old Limestone County boy was found in early May to have bruises on his back, which the boy said was the result of his mother’s boyfriend whipping him with a belt while she was away, McMahan said in his complaint.
A supervisor decided to remove the boy from the home, although McMahan claims the boy said he never told his mother about the beatings and CPS workers never talked to the mom or the boyfriend.
“In 14 years I have never had a decision made this fast,” McMahan wrote, according to the Chronicle, “especially without speaking with the parents.”
The newspaper said it’s unclear why McMahan blames race in the incident, as his complaint letter provides few details.
CPS spokesman Patrick Crimmins told the Chronicle the department followed proper procedures.
“We take this accusation extremely seriously, and the steps we took in this investigation have been scrutinized over the last 24 hours with a critical eye,” he said. “We stand by the investigation and removal. There was not a whiff of discrimination present in the decisions that were made.”
Crimmins said workers interviewed the mother and boyfriend, and a judge had to approve the removal.
McMahan alleges in the discrimination complaint that his supervisor ordered him to keep quiet about the case and threatened to transfer him.