Saturday, October 25, 2008

FLDS saga takes new turn

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Lead attorney for CPS resigns abruptly, with no public explanation

Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle
Oct. 23, 2008, 10:19PM

The lead attorney at the center of the largest child removal case in U.S. history has turned in his resignation and neither he nor Texas Child Protective Services are saying why.

Charles Childress was hired by CPS on July 21 to take over the behemoth case involving 439 children taken and eventually returned to the West Texas ranch belonging to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a polygamist sect.

"It is with great regret that I hereby tender my resignation as a staff attorney for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services," Childress wrote in an Oct. 9 letter obtained by the Houston Chronicle on Thursday.

Childress said his resignation is effective Nov. 1 or at "whatever earlier date may be most convenient and least disruptive to the operations of the agency." He declined to say why he decided to leave.

State officials said they could not elaborate.

"Mr. Childress' decision to leave was his own," said Patrick Crimmins, DFPS spokesman.

Childress was helping the agency break out the individual children's cases and put into place a plan to provide evidence to the children's attorneys.

The case began with a call to a women's shelter in San Angelo last March. The caller claimed to be an abused teen wife of an FLDS member. The call is now believed to be a hoax, but the action prompted the initial removal of the children whom CPS believed to be abused because they were all exposed to the idea that teen marriage was acceptable.

The children were eventually returned and most have been released from court oversight. However, the state's investigation continues.

FLDS saga takes new turn with resignation Top stories - Houston Chronicle

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