Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Professional Standards Bureau
- Administrative Investigation Division
Investigative Operations Bureau
- Child Protection Division
Child Protection Investigator Supervisor Jayne Johnson
Date of Hire: 09/27/1999
Termination Effective: 12/15/2017
Tina Burgess (Friend of Johnson)
Yohotoshi Rumph (Biological father)
Amber Rumph (Father’s wife)
Cortney Warren (Biological mother)
James Chaniel (Mother’s boyfriend)
A child protection investigator supervisor was terminated for conducting unauthorized family evaluations, making improper recommendations to family court and failing to report suspected child abuse.
The incidents occurred between July 12, 2017 and July 18, 2017.
Incidents occurred in Pinellas County.
Child Protection Investigator Supervisor Jayne Johnson was terminated on December 15, 2017, following an investigation that revealed Johnson violated agency policy for using her position as a CPI supervisor to conduct unauthorized psychosocial evaluations, make improper recommendations to a circuit court judge and failed to report suspected child abuse or neglect.
According to investigators, Johnson agreed to assist a personal friend identified as Tina Burgess. Burgess’s granddaughter Amber Rumph and her husband 27-year-old Yohotoshi Rumph were in a pending child custody dispute with Rumph’s ex-girlfriend 26- year-old Cortney Warren, over their three children. Yohotoshi and Warren were scheduled for a custody hearing on July 18, 2017, with Circuit Court Judge Jack Helinger.
Investigators say Burgess was concerned about her grandchildren’s behavior and she believed the children’s behavior was result of living with Warren and her boyfriend 36-year-old James Chaniel. To support this opinion Burgess wanted Johnson to conduct an evaluation that would help to ensure child custody was given to Amber and Yohotoshi.
On July 12, 2017, Johnson being a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and friend of Burgess’ agreed and brought the three children to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Child Protection Investigation facility. While this was not a Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office matter or investigation, Johnson who was in uniform utilized the Sheriff’s Office facility and Sheriff’s Office resources to conduct psychosocial evaluations on each child.
During these interviews with the children, Johnson learned of allegations regarding potential physical abuse and drug abuse by Warren and her boyfriend Chaniel. Johnson then prepared a written report that she sent to Circuit Court Judge Jack Helinger prior to the custody hearing recommending the judge give custody to Amber and Yohotoshi.
Investigators say Judge Helinger learned that Johnson had improperly used her position as a child protection investigator supervisor to conduct an invalid investigation and he immediately notified the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Administrative Investigation Division conducted an investigation into the allegations and an Administrative Review Board determined that Johnson did in fact violate agency policy.
The investigation revealed that Johnson misused her position as a child protection investigator supervisor to conduct psychosocial evaluations on the children and she made recommendations to a circuit court judge to influence the outcome of a child custody dispute.
The investigation also revealed that 27-year veteran Child Protection Investigator Johnson violated state law and committed a felony by failing to report suspected child abuse, abandonment or neglect of a child. Under state law, a child protection investigator supervisor is considered a mandatory reporter of child abuse and Johnson failed to report such abuse so a proper investigation could be conducted to ensure the children’s safety.
As a result of these violations, Sheriff Gualtieri terminated Johnson’s employment with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office as of December 15, 2017.
The Sheriff’s Office is conducting a criminal investigation into Johnson’s failure to report suspected child abuse, abandonment or neglect.
The investigation continues.
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