A Colorado judge ordered a disgraced social worker to pay $3 million in damages to an Aurora city councilwoman in a defamation case based on a false child abuse report leveled against the city leader.
"This award is made, in part, 'to send a message that this kind of conduct cannot and should not be tolerated by anybody,'" Arapahoe County Judge Elizabeth Beebe Volz wrote in her order, which was obtained by Fox News Digital.
Former Arapahoe County social worker Robin Niceta was arrested in May of last year and charged with a felony count of suspicion of attempting to influence a public servant and a misdemeanor count of making a false report about child abuse. The report claimed that Aurora Councilwoman Danielle Jurinsky inappropriately touched her own toddler.
The tip was made on Jan. 28, one day after Jurinsky went on a radio show to speak out against then-Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson. She described the city’s top police officer as "trash" who needed to be ousted over allegedly throwing "police officers under the bus," overseeing the city facing mounting shootings, as well as police staffing shortages.
What Jurinsky did not know during the interview was that the police chief was dating Niceta at the time. Wilson was ultimately fired as Aurora’s police chief over unrelated matters to Niceta, and told Fox News Digital last year that the couple is no longer together, and she wants "nothing to do with [Niceta]."
An investigation was launched after Niceta allegedly filed the anonymous tip, which ultimately cleared Jurinsky of any wrongdoing, but left the councilwoman in a fearful limbo for two weeks that she might lose custody of her son.
Jurinsky added that "the most horrifying conversations I ever had to have in my life," included explaining the investigation to her child's doctor and teacher.
Niceta resigned from the Arapahoe County child protective services one day after she was questioned by authorities over the tip against Jurinsky.
The arrest affidavit stated the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Department found the tip against Jurinsky was made from Niceta’s personal cell phone. Niceta has since been charged with filing a false report and pleaded not guilty to criminal charges last month.... (Read more)
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