DHS worker charged, job restricted

Friday, February 22nd 2008, 3:25 pm
By: News 9

Associated Press and News9.com

A Department of Human Services worker, accused of failing to report the alleged sexual abuse of a 14-year-old foster child, is no longer working with children at the department, said authorities. 

Bernadette Wanjugu Mwangi was charged Thursday with a misdemeanor count of failing to report child abuse.

Mwangi, 31, allegedly saw foster father Daniel Leeper McFarland inappropriately kiss a 14-year-old girl during a home visit in May or June, but did not report the incident, according to court papers. 

Someone in Bethany saw McFarland, 58, kissing and fondling the girl on New Year's Eve and alerted police, authorities said. 

The resulting police investigation unearthed the allegation against Mwangi. McFarland was charged Feb. 11 with a felony count of sexual abuse of a child.

He has not been arrested.

DHS spokesman George Johnson said Mwangi no longer has any contact with the agency's clients. Mwangi will remain in that role until her criminal case is resolved, he said.

A conviction will not cause Mwangi to lose her job, Johnson said, because state law only mandates termination for employees convicted of felonies.