Los Angeles County will reinstate a social worker that reportedly negligently approved the closure of a child abuse case after a judge denied a motion to stay the order of Civil Service Commission.
At a hearing on the reinstatement of Supervising Social Worker Greg Merritt, a judge denied a motion by the County of Los Angeles to stay the order of the Civil Service Commission, thereby forcing the Department of Children and Family Services to reinstate Merritt to County service.
“The lack of oversight by the supervising social worker cost a young boy’s innocent life,” said Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich. “The action by the judge to further block Merritt’s termination indicates complete unawareness for the gravity of these mistakes and it further compromises the County’s efforts to protect our most vulnerable children.”
Merritt, in his capacity as a supervisor, negligently approved the closure of Gabriel Fernandez’s case, even with repeated reports of abuse and obvious signs documented in his case file. Following Gabriel’s tragic death, four employees of the Department of Children and Family Services, including Merritt, were discharged. Merritt is the only employee who fought his termination with the Civil Service Commission.
Supervisor Antonovich has also asked Los Angeles County Counsel to provide a status update on the case and additional options the County can pursue to fight the questionable ruling by the judge and the Civil Service Commission. Merritt is being directed to work from home until further notice.
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