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Federal Investigators May Have Their Eyes On Cherokee County’s Document Shredding

Picture of the Cherokee County courthouse
Frank Taylor
Carolina Public Press
The Cherokee County Courthouse in Murphy, where in 2018 Judge Tessa Sellers ruled that the seizure of children without judicial approval was unconstitutional. A state criminal probe and federal civil suit are underway.

For more than a decade, Cherokee County Department of Social Services (DSS) workers took children from their parents with no judicial oversight, using a fraudulent document called a Custody and Visitation Agreement, or CVA.

Lawyers think there could be more than 100 cases where children were incorrectly taken from their parents. North Carolina law enforcement agencies have been investigating the actions of the DSS for over a year. Now reporting from Carolina Public Press reveals that the DSS may be capturing the attention of the U.S. Attorney’s office. Host Frank Stasio talks to CPP lead investigative reporter Kate Martin about her reporting on increased document shredding in the Cherokee County DSS office and what evidence points to a possible federal investigation.

Amanda Magnus grew up in Maryland and went to high school in Baltimore. She became interested in radio after an elective course in the NYU journalism department. She got her start at Sirius XM Satellite Radio, but she knew public radio was for her when she interned at WNYC. She later moved to Madison, where she worked at Wisconsin Public Radio for six years. In her time there, she helped create an afternoon drive news magazine show, called Central Time. She also produced several series, including one on Native American life in Wisconsin. She spends her free time running, hiking, and roller skating. She also loves scary movies.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.