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24 July 2009 @ 10:52 am
I return to livejournal to post my thoughts about integrity and the lack of integrity. Two weeks ago I went to work. I am a child advocate and part of my job is to go to court and give the court updates on the children who are in the custody of Children's Services. I presented my report to the court. Also realize that as I presented my report, I was seated with our staff attorney. CSB was also present in court with their staff attorney. Upon completion of my report the magistrate expressed concern about how CSB was behaving (I won't get into the details) but she asked if I would arrange a meeting between the teenager on the case and herself. The teen had runaway from a locked residential facility. I told the magistrate that the teen would not come in because CSB had threatened that when she turned herself in "her butt was going back to the facility." The magistrate then requested I arrange for her to meet with the teen at a location chosen by the teen and "you are not to report the location to CSB." I then turned to our staff attorney and asked "am I allowed to do this?" She reported, "if the magistrate orders you, you have to follow through." CSB never objected. I then returned to my office and informed my supervisor and my program director. Both patted me on the back and told me I was doing a good job. I followed through with the order and arranged a meeting with the teen and the magistrate.

Now let's fast forward a week...CSB files a complaint with the judge about the magistrates order and my behavior. Apparently they are alleging that the magistrate acted improperly and outside of the law. My office assures me that I have nothing to fear because they support me and I did nothing wrong.

Fast forward anothe week...the heat is on. The judge is furious that the magistrate and I met with a teen who was AWOL. Apparently there is now huge liability for the court and yes the magistrate did act improperly. But certainly I have nothing to fear? The court session was recorded and the judge will see I was only following an order of the magistrate right? I was told to follow the order by our staff attorney, by my supervisor and the program director, so I will be supported, right? WRONG! Everyone started telling me that this was all so unfair and telling me what a great worker I am and how sorry they are that I am in so much trouble with the court...ummm, but you guys told me to follow the order *crickets chirping* Here is the lack of integrity...NOBODY went to the judge and made that clear...now maybe that wouldn't have changed the actions of the judge and I knew the writing was on the wall...I was going to be fired.

So last Tuesday I resigned. I called everyone on my case load and said goodbye...I update my cases and left on my own terms. The following day security escorted the magistrate out of the court house...thank God I left on my own and didn't suffer that humiliation.

Everyone was kind, loving and hugged me. But nobody stepped up and did what should have been done...nobody said anything to the judge...nobody risked looking bad...they let me take the fall...nobody acted with integrity.
Doom Diva: Whapdoom_diva on July 24th, 2009 08:08 pm (UTC)
That is so messed up! I am so sorry!!!

Will you at least be able to get another job? References? I can't imagine being so calm and collected like you are. I'd be on the phone with the local media, dropping names all over the place! In other words, I'd have burnt bridges I didn't even know existed!
frizz_easefrizz_ease on July 24th, 2009 08:48 pm (UTC)
Over the past couple of days I have been flooded with calls from attorneys and therapists who I have worked with over the past three years...tons of offers for references...I cried on Tuesday...but now I'm very angry...I'm telling myself not to make and choices for 7 days...by nature I am impulsive and I'm trying to give myself time...but this really sucks and it's REALLY wrong!
Doom Divadoom_diva on July 25th, 2009 12:32 am (UTC)
I would only be impulsive on a new job offer :)

Other than that, I've got nothing. I won't try to be a phony or thinks-they-know-it-all and offer pseudo advice. All I can extend is good thoughts and vibes.
frizz_easefrizz_ease on July 25th, 2009 03:34 am (UTC)
I always appreciate what you have to say and advice you offer...I know it is real and honest! Thanks for responding :-)
Doom Divadoom_diva on July 25th, 2009 12:53 pm (UTC)
Hey no problem. Just make sure you have everyone's phone numbers/email addresses so you can hit them up for written references. Come to think of it, I'd actually be contacting them to do that now, while it's still fresh in their heads how badly you got shafted. People are more willing to take a few moments when there is a sense of urgency and a "that could have been me!" mentality.
frizz_easefrizz_ease on July 25th, 2009 01:07 pm (UTC)
One step ahead of you!!!!
brgk44brgk44 on July 25th, 2009 02:38 am (UTC)
Same here!
frizz_easefrizz_ease on July 25th, 2009 03:34 am (UTC)
I didn't want to post the details on facebook...But I wanted you to know the back story to what I was posting.
brgk44brgk44 on July 25th, 2009 04:07 am (UTC)
Well, I have lots to say, but I need to respond when I'm not going on 4 hours of sleep and fumes ;) We had a LONG day and I'm not making a whole lot of sense right now...

But know that I am thinking of you and I'm disgusted by the actions of all those silent people. :(
t: bjork_kissestete6871 on July 25th, 2009 04:07 am (UTC)
You know my thoughts on this and I'm here if you ever need to vent/bitch/cry/throw things!!!!
brgk44brgk44 on July 25th, 2009 12:37 pm (UTC)
Did anyone ever go back and read the record of the court proceedings? I don't understand how they could do this to you. I can't imagine a situation in which going to the judge to say, "Hey, she was told to follow these orders by her superiors" could get anyone in trouble.

It's bullshit. I'm sorry you're going through all this. I'm glad you left on your own terms, though. *hug*
frizz_easefrizz_ease on July 25th, 2009 01:06 pm (UTC)
The judge listened to a recording of court and she had my written response to what happened. The bottom line was she didn't care...she ordered me to answer "at what time did you call the police and at what time did you call CSB" I wrote: "I believed I was following an order of the court, I was advised by our staff attorney to follow the order, I was told by my supervisor to follow the order, I was told by my program director to follow the order. So at no time did I call the police of call CSB." The bottom line was she was protecting her butt because our actions were not legal (I had NO IDEA). So I realize that folks stepping up might not have prevented the judge from firing me I am HUGELY disappointed that nobody did!!!