FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Broward Sheriff's Office child protective services investigator has been charged with falsifying records, accused of asking for cell phone photos of children who she said she met in person.
Police on Tuesday charged Sandra Marti, 57, of Coral Springs, with five counts of falsifying records.
"Carelessness and neglect is just something that is unacceptable, especially when you're talking about the safety of children," said Broward Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Keyla Concepción.
The investigation began in June when Marti asked a woman to send her a cell phone photo of her son, according to an arrest affidavit. The boy's mother couldn't send the photo because she had lost Marti's cell phone number.
"Her job was to go out there and physically make contact with these children and the parents to make sure whether or not there is actual abuse," said Concepción. "She was actually asking the parents or the person who was caring for the children to take the picture and send it to her. That was not what she was supposed to be doing."
In a second case, Marti filed a report that she met with a boy on Jan. 3, 2012 but the child's mother said she never met her son, said BSO.
In a third case, BSO said Marti filed a report that she met with a girl at Croissant Park Elementary School on Dec. 13, 2012, but the girl's mother and the school's assistant principal said Marti was never at the school. Instead, another investigator had met the girl two months prior.
In a fourth case, Marti filed a report saying she met with a father of a child on May 16, 2013, but he said he only spoke with her over the phone, according to the arrest affidavit.
In a fifth case, Marti said she met with a 16-year-old boy on April 16, 2013, but the boy and his mother said he never met her, police said. The boy told investigators he emailed a picture of himself to Marti as she had asked.
There were no answers at Marti's Coral Springs home Thursday night after she bonded out of jail on $5,000 bail.
"The falsification of records, and the potential risks that any kind of falsification could pose for children, will not be tolerated," said Dennis Miles, managing director of the Department of Children and Families.
Local 10's Baron James also stopped by a Miramar home of a child listed among the Marti cases, and was told by a grandmother, "No comment."
While the adults at a Fort Lauderdale house of yet another child placed within the welfare checks of Marti didn't want to speak, they assured to Local 10 that all was picture perfect inside the home.
"Oh yeah, everybody is fine here," said one man. "All my nieces, my nephews, they're good."
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