Judge secretly subpoeaned DCF workers in Barahona custody battle
A Miami-Dade Circuit Court judge, apparently angry that details of a controversial — and closed — child custody hearing had been disclosed to a reporter, required dozens of state child welfare workers to appear before her to sign statements swearing that did not leak to the newspaper.
The appearances — like the hearing itself — were kept secret from the public.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Maria Sampedro-Iglesia, one of five judges who preside over child welfare cases at the county’s Children’s Courthouse, required 33 investigators, caseworkers and supervisors to appear before her privately to sign sworn statements declaring they did not leak confidential information to The Miami Herald, sources have told the newspaper. The appearances were not part of a formal hearing, and no notice was given publicly that the meetings were to occur. An attorney for court administrators told The Herald Sampedro-Iglesia has not issued any subpoenas in the case since Aug. 1 — meaning the workers could not have been subpoenaed. More here.