City Councilmember Charged With Failure to Report Suspected Child Abuse

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    Cynthia Stamps-JonesA Riverdale City Councilmember who was just sworn in for a repeat term on Monday has been charged with a misdemeanor. Authorities have charged Councilwoman Cynthia Stamps-Jones, who also works as a counselor at King Elementary in College Park, with letting child abuse go unreported.

    Police say Stamps-Jones had been made aware of the suspected abuse of a 5-year-old boy, but did not report the abuse to the Division of Family and Children Services or report it to the principal or police. By law, it is mandatory for school counselor is to report suspected child abuse. Not reporting suspected abuse is a misdemeanor.

    Stamps-Jones, who is a returning member of the Riverdale City Council, denied the charges.

    Her attorney, Keith Martin, said that she did report the suspected abuse. Martin said Stamps-Jones followed up with several phone calls and emails to DFCS even when the school was closed because of problems associated with freezing weather. Martin said that Stamps-Jones was later charged by the school district police department after she reported a second case of child abuse to them when school was back in session.

    “Next thing she knew, the sheriff is calling her and telling her to turn herself in,” Martin said.

    Riverdale’s mayor said that since the charge is a misdemeanor, Stamps-Jones is allowed to hold her City Council seat.

    “It’s very difficult when we have to hold ourselves and our staff responsible or accountable for these things, but we’ve got to do it,” said Vicki Gavalas of Clayton County Schools.

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