If the County Prosecutor has decided not to pursue termination of parental rights, then how is it that Livingston County CPS has the authority to take up the pursuit?
Let's being with the authority of CPS.
CPS is supposed to be considered as a fact finding entity which provides services. In this instance it has now transformed itself into a self-governing entity with usurpation powers.
Where is it written that CPS can, against the authority of the State, hire an external prosecutor?
To begin, I would like to know the legal authority on this because I am quite sure it does not exist.
With that being said, CPS would have to take its request, for budgetary and representative reasons, to a public body for approval.
If the County Prosecutor is under the authority of the Attorney General would that not mean that CPS would have to formally request some kind of grant of leave from the State in order for approval to budget and pay for an external prosecutor who would than be granted subpoena powers of the State, including powers to represent the State of Michigan in a court of law?
Was there any federal funding appropriation in the grants and cost reimbursements to allow for external prosecution outside the purview of the Attorney General?
Someone in the Burns camp needs to FOIA these concerns of representational and funding authority to the State.
I would even strongly encourage contacting the HHS OIG and DOJ as a whistleblower and request investigation into the issues of independent prosecution.
HOWELL, Mich. (WXYZ) - Prosecutors in Livingston County are now saying they won’t try to terminate the parental rights of a father who’s at the center of a case that involved a controversial child abuse conviction.
The Burns family has maintained from the start that they were being unfairly accused of child abuse. Now there’s a sudden shift in the mood in Livingston County, as the prosecutor is backing down on some aspects of this case.
Last week, a Livingston County Judge cited the growing community support for the Burns family when she went against state guidelines and only sentenced Josh Burns to one year in the county jail.
The 38-year-old Brighton father was convicted of second degree child abuse, a 10-year felony.
Josh Burns says that when his daughter Naomi was 2-months-old, she slipped off his lap, and he caught her by the face to keep her from hitting the floor.
Both Josh and his wife Brenda say it was an accident, and Josh passed a polygraph examination.
"It’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever been through in my life,” Burns told 7 Investigator Heather Catallo during an exclusive interview in January.
Later, doctors discovered bleeding between the baby’s skull and brain and they found retinal hemorrhages. Both parents and some medical experts say that Naomi’s injuries were largely caused by birth trauma and illness.
But prosecutors say it was abuse.
Last year, Brenda was cleared of all abuse allegations, and now has custody of Naomi.
But as the 7 Investigators have reported, she had to go into hiding recently when Child Protective Services started coming after her again – even bringing five Brighton cops into her home one night.
“I am in fear. I have nightmares at night,” said Brenda Burns during the January interview.
Earlier this month, both Livingston County Prosecutors and CPS filed a petition against Brenda Burns – demanding to see Naomi.
Now prosecutors have dropped that. They’re also dropping their bid to terminate the parental rights of Josh Burns.
Prosecutor Bill Vailliencourt tells the 7 Investigators that because Burns is locked up in jail – and then has to face 2 more years of probation – prosecutors no longer have concerns that he would have contact with the baby.
Now they say, the termination of his parental rights is “no longer a viable option.”
So far, CPS caseworkers are moving forward with both the termination hearing and with their petition against Brenda Burns. But they have to hire a new lawyer to do that; Livingston County prosecutors will not be on the case.
“I will pursue justice for families for the rest of my life,” said Josh Burns, shortly before his sentencing last week. “We plan to start a foundation to educate folks around the country about CPS abuses and prosecutorial misconduct.”
Legal experts tell the 7 Investigators, these moves by the prosecutor’s office could signal that this family could be reunified at some point.
That’s what the Burns want.
Now they just have to wait to see if CPS will agree with them, and allow that to happen.Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©