Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Facing child abuse charges, day care operator keeps taking in kids

TAMPA — A week after authorities revoked the license of Just For Kids Day Care, its operator continues to accept children, avoiding regulation by asserting she charges no fees.

Now, three agencies are teaming up to take another shot at keeping Dorothy Ann Sampson-Monroe away from children.

The Department of Children and Families, the Hills­borough County Child Care Licensing Program and the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office are exploring whether they can obtain an injunction to stop Sampson-Monroe's child care activity, said DCF regional director Nick Cox.

Sampson-Monroe was arrested last week on four counts of abuse against children in her care.

Shortly after, DCF sent her a letter ordering her to cease direct contact with children in licensed child care facilities, pending the outcome of the criminal investigation.

But, by Monday, Sampson-Monroe was out on bond and back at the day care, accepting children.

When authorities questioned her, she told them she wasn't charging parents for the service and therefore doesn't meet the county's definition of a "child care" facility that would be regulated by county and state authorities.

Up to nine children have attended the center this week, and each day county inspectors have asked parents to sign affidavits verifying that they are getting the child care for free, said Linda Stoller, who manages the county's Child Care Licensing Program.

Cox said DCF attorneys are looking for a remedy.

"This might be the first time this has happened, when someone's thumbed their nose and done whatever they wanted," he said.

Sampson-Monroe has been arrested 16 times, including a 1991 felony drug conviction that resulted in a two-year prison sentence.

Though Florida law bans people with serious criminal convictions from becoming licensed day care providers, DCF granted Sampson-Monroe an exemption in 2005 after she successfully showed them her life had changed.

Shortly after she was granted the exemption, Sampson-Monroe was arrested on an aggravated battery charge involving a child. The mother of an infant in her home care told police that when she picked up her son, he was unresponsive and lethargic.

Prosecutors later dropped the charges against Sampson-Monroe, saying the time frame of the injury made it impossible to say she caused the boy's brain to bruise.

Without a conviction, Sampson-Monroe was free to go back to running a day care.

Just For Kids became licensed in January. And though Sampson-Monroe told police last week that she was the owner, her application to Stoller's office listed someone else.

Upon learning the application was false, Hillsborough County Child Care Licensing Program revoked the center's license and ordered it to cease operation.

Cox said he hopes attorneys with the Sheriff's Office, the county and DCF arrive at a legal remedy within 24 to 48 hours.

He said the issue, ultimately, is the safety of the children. Sampson-Monroe's actions, he said, show "continuous disregard for anybody. She keeps doing what she pleases."

Staff writer Rebecca Catalanello can be reached at rcatalanello@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3383.

Facing child abuse charges, day care operator keeps taking in kids 06/25/09 [Last modified: Friday, June 26, 2009 9:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. No. 12 FSU, freshman QB James Blackman struggle in 27-21 loss to N.C. State

    College

    TALLAHASSEE — Whatever was left of No. 12 Florida State's College Football Playoff hopes suffered a massive, likely fatal, blow Saturday at Doak Campbell Stadium.

    Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Nyqwan Murray (8) carries during the first quarter of the Florida State Seminoles game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack on September 23, 2017, at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla.  At the half, North Carolina State Wolfpack 17, Florida State Seminoles 10.
  2. Trump tells Warriors star Stephen Curry that White House visit is off

    Nba

    SOMERSET, N.J. — Stephen Curry and President Donald Trump agree on one thing: The Golden State star is not going to the White House anytime soon.

    Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry poses for photos during NBA basketball team media day Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. [Associated Press]
  3. For starters: Rays at Orioles, facing another old friend in Jeremy Hellickson

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 3:29: Here is the Rays lineup, with Duda at 1B and Morrison the DH:

  4. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  5. Charles Bradley, acclaimed Florida soul singer, dies at 68

    Blogs

    Acclaimed Florida R&B powerhouse Charles Bradley, whose raw, pained voice earned him the nickname the Screaming Eagle of Soul, has died of cancer at 68, his representatives announced Saturday.

    Charles Bradley performed at the 2016 Gasparilla Music Festival.