A Kentucky social worker is accused of calling in phony child abuse complaints against her upstairs neighbors over several weeks.
The first call came late on April 1, prompting Corey Chaney and April Rodgers to believe the visit from police might be part of an April Fool’s Day prank, reported The Courier-Journal.
But the calls kept coming until the end of May, when an employee with the state’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services was identified by Elizabethtown police as the source of the complaints.
“The cops by the third call were apologizing, and by the fourth call they were getting mad,” Chaney said.
Beth A. Bond, 37, and her fiancè, Joseph W. Applegate Jr., 42, were each charged in Hardin District Court each with six counts of complicity to call in false reports.
Elizabethtown police investigated the calls and said they were the result of an altercation between the young parents and their downstairs neighbors — who said the other couple was “too loud.”
Chaney and Rodgers, who are engaged, said they feared they would lose custody of their baby over the claims, and they underwent drug tests and signed multiple “prevention plans” intended to prevent further abuse — even though they knew the claims were false.
Bond, who had worked for the cabinet since 2013 handling child abuse and neglect cases, resigned from her job on June 1.
A spokeswoman for the Department for Community Based Services said she was appalled by the claims against Bond, who would have faced disciplinary action if she had not resigned.
Cabinet officials said they had reviewed Bond’s previous cases and turned over all open cases to other social workers.
Chaney, 25, and Rodgers, 23, told the newspaper they were relieved Bond had been arrested, but they said cabinet officials never seemed to take seriously their claims about false anonymous complaints.
“There is no way to hold a rogue social worker accountable,” Chaney said. “There’s got to be a system in place to protect families. There’s everything in place to protect anonymous callers.”
He was even more disappointed the Bond and her fiancé face only misdemeanor charges.
“You can tear someone’s family apart and it’s a misdemeanor,” Chaney said.