A former Child Protective Services investigator will now spend the next two years on probation after pleading guilty to forging records in a child death investigation, according to Sullivan County Assistant District Attorney Julie Canter.
During Cathy Agnew’s sentencing hearing in Sullivan County today she received some support from a former Tennessee Department of Children’s Services colleague.
According to court records, one of DCS’ assistant general counsels wrote a letter of support praising Agnew’s past service; a document her attorney referenced today in court.
“Her presence with DCS both as a person and exemplary investigator is and will be missed,” Aaron Guinn wrote.
In the letter, Guinn referenced a child death case previously assigned to Agnew.
“She worked diligently for months gathering evidence and working closely with myself and law enforcement to ensure that the parents did not escape justice, and more importantly that the surviving sibling was safe, protected and cared for,” he wrote. “This case made its way to the Court of Appeals as a case of first impression, and the Court found that a finding of severe child abuse could be proven as to a deceased child and thus parental rights could be terminated to a living sibling who had no injuries. This shift in the law could not have happened were it not for Ms. Agnew’s determination, dedication, and hard work.”
Investigators charged Agnew after they said she was looking into the death of a child last January and falsely recorded she met face-to-face with the deceased child’s biological father; a man who actually died a month prior.
Authorities said the former DCS employee told them she was under too much pressure to close cases and lied to make her closure rate look good.
According to Canter, if Agnew completes the requirements of her probation over the next two years the crime will be expunged from her record.
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