A Broward sheriff’s employee entrusted to help shield kids from harm didn’t even bother to meet five children she needed to watch over, possibly compromising their safety, authorities say.
Sheriff’s child investigative specialist Sandra Marti has been arrested, accused of falsifying reports that stated she had met with the children, according to a sheriff’s report. Instead, Marti simply arranged for parents to send her cellphone photos of the children, the report said.
Marti was jailed Wednesday on multiple counts of falsifying reports, records show.
“The falsification of official records, and the potential risks that any kind of falsification could pose for children, will not be tolerated,” said Dennis Miles, the regional managing director for the state’s Department of Children and Families’ Southeast Region.
Marti submitted the falsified records involving the five children between Dec. 1, 2011, and June 30 this year, the Sheriff’s Office said. Detectives found that those children are doing well, sheriff’s spokeswoman Keyla Concepcion said.
“We have gone back and made sure that all of those kids were safe, and the original allegations had been addressed,” she said.
An investigation into Marti’s actions began in June when a child’s mother phoned the Broward Sheriff’s Office. The mother said she planned to send Marti a photo of her son, but couldn’t because she had lost Marti’s phone number, an arrest report said.
That was a red flag for Marti’s supervisor, Concepcion said.