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    Lee Wilson
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
This story is an original work of gay fiction. None of the people or events are real. While some of the town names used may be real, any other geographic references (school, events) are purely fictional. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is completely coincidental. This story depicts sexual situations between high school aged males. If reading this is illegal where you reside, or you are not at least 18 years of age, you are reading at your own risk. This work is the property of the author, Lee R Wilson, and shall not be reproduced and/or re-posted without his permission.

Rocked To The Core - 21. Judge Ridge's Ire and a Celebration

Wow. I'm still not getting past part of the topics for the next chapter. I promise, the new job will be in chapter 22.

Friday August 18

Judge Ridge told Dawn Prescott she'd be checking that Dawn shared a memo regarding the foster care system. Today's the day.

"Broward County Child Protective Services, this is Julia, how may I direct your call?"

"For the moment, Julia, I'm hoping you can help me yourself. This is Judge Ridge. Has Mrs. Prescott shared a memo regarding the recommending of the foster care system this week?"

"Not that I'm aware. I didn't get one, and she didn't dictate one to me."

"OK. Can you connect me with Leland Garrett then, please?"

"Um, Mr. Garrett is no longer with us."

"Oh? And when did that happen?"

"He was let go Monday afternoon."

"Do you know why?"

"I'm not sure I'm allowed to share that information."

"Mrs. Prescott and Mr. Garrett were in my courtroom Monday and I need to follow up on a directive I gave Mrs. Prescott. I'm a judge, so you can either tell me or I'll just write a court order that forces you to. I'm guessing Mrs. Prescott wouldn't like the latter choice and you may end up like Mr. Garrett."

"I understand he was let go because of rash insubordination."

"Thank you. Who is the most senior social worker there?"

"That would be Mrs. Jenny Perch. She's been here over twenty years."

"Can you connect me with her?"

"Yes. One moment. And I'm sorry I questioned your authority."

"That's OK. Not a lot of people recognize the size of the hammer I wield."

"Connecting you now."

"Broward County Child Protective Services, this is Jenny Perch. How can I help you?"

"Hello Mrs. Perch. This is Judge Sondra Ridge, Broward County Family Court. I need to ask you a few questions regarding your boss, Dawn Prescott."

"Yes, your honor, I can try to help you."

"We're not in court, Sondra is fine; Judge Ridge if you prefer. First question: Has Mrs. Prescott shared a memo regarding the recommending of the foster care system this week?"

"No. She hasn't."

"Do you know if there's a policy regarding the foster care system there?"

"Yes, there is Judge Ridge. I can get you the exact words. Would you need that?"

"Not at the moment, a summary will do."

"OK. Well, we're to recommend the foster care system in any case where no suitable relatives are available."

"Does it indicate what suitable means?"

"Yes. Basically, it's traditionally married couples with the financial means to care for a child. The couple must have a bedroom available for that child and that child only. And they must pass a background check."

"Two more questions. How extensive is that background check?"

"It's quite extensive, we use the same systems the police department uses."

"And finally, are there any unofficial definitions of a traditionally married couple?"

"Yes. A man and a woman."

"Thank you, Mrs. Perch. You've been very helpful."

"Can I ask you one question, Judge?"

"Of course."

"Do I need to be afraid for my job? Someone was let go earlier this week for basically just disagreeing with Dawn."

"I'm aware of that disagreement, and that Mr. Garrett has been relieved of his duties. I can say without a doubt, your job is not in jeopardy. If for some reason, Mrs. Prescott makes the same mistake she made with Mr. Garrett, I will ensure that you are reinstated. You may call my office directly if that happens."

"Thank you. Like most people, I couldn't really afford to lose this job, and to be perfectly frank, Dawn can be, excuse the language, a hard ass at times."

"I'm beginning to see that. Thank you again. Goodbye."

"Goodbye and have a nice weekend."

"I'm sure I will, you too."

The judge isn't through with her phone calls. Her hammer is about to get bigger.

"District Attorney's office, Rebecca speaking. How can I help you?"

"Is DA Spencer available?"

"May I ask who is calling?"

"Judge Sondra Ridge, Broward County Family Court."

"Yes, judge. He's on another call at the moment."

"I'll hold for a short while, if he isn't through with his call in five minutes, can you let me know and have him call me back?"

"Actually, he just disconnected, let me tell him you're calling. One moment please..."

"Sondra! To what do I owe this honor?"

"I need the services of your investigative team, John."

"Of course. What is the issue?"

"It's going to be sensitive. It's investigating some potentially illegal actions of Dawn Prescott, director of CPS."

"Yes. I can see how that would be sensitive. Can I ask exactly what actions?"

"Prejudicial and perhaps illegal activities regarding placement of children into the foster system."

"Oh, wow. It sounds like you need Patrick Astor. He's my best and fortunately, he just concluded another investigation."

"Can you have Rebecca connect me with him?"

"I'll do that myself, so I can tell him this is priority one. Any wrongdoings regarding children have to take priority."

"Thank you, John."

"Good morning, Judge Ridge. Patrick Astor speaking. How can I help solve your issue with CPS?"

"I need you to check into a few things. First, whether or not, in say the past two years, there have been any children placed in the foster system where there was a relative that should have been suitable, but the child was still placed in the foster system."

"OK. Got it."

"Second, are there any specific patterns in such cases?"

"OK. Do you believe there will be such cases?"

"Oh, yes. I'd be very surprised if there aren't."

"OK, anything else?"

"Have there been any major changes made in the foster care system recently. New procedures, perhaps any financial oddities. Actually, extend that financial check to include CPS as well."

"Any specific targets in CPS or foster care?"

"Start at the top and work down. I can't see any wrongdoings being initiated by the social workers on either side."

"Yes. Especially not anything systemic. I believe I have access to all the systems I need to in order to get some quick answers. I'll let you know the moment I have anything. Obviously, I have to share my findings with DA Spencer."

"I would expect nothing less. I want to pursue this to the full extent of his powers if there are any questionable activities."

"I'll get right on it, Judge Ridge. And let me say, this sounds like it will be a lot more enjoyable than most of my investigations. Dealing with someone messing around with kids, and their futures, well, apologies for the language, but that's fucked up."

"No argument here. And if you uncover any wrongdoings, I intend to 'fuck up' the culprits."

"Hehe. I'll talk to you soon."

"Thank you, Patrick. Goodbye."

"Goodbye judge."

It doesn't take Patrick very long to uncover some slimy activities. He calls the judge back just after lunch.

"Judge Ridge's office, Leslie Banks speaking. How may I help you?"

"Hello Leslie. This is Patrick Astor with the DA's office, is she available?"

"She's in court until roughly 4 PM. I can have her call you back as soon as she's out. She told me to expect your call, although she was expecting it sometime next week."

"I'll call back a 4:15, if she isn't back in her office by then, we can have her call back."

"I'll put that on her calendar right now."

"Thank you, Leslie. I'll probably talk to you later."

"You're welcome, Mr. Astor."

4:15 arrives and Astor repeats his call to the judge's office. The judge, expecting the call, answers herself.

"Mr. Astor. I wasn't expecting to hear from you so soon."

"Hello judge. Yes, it didn't take long to find something. Making a case will obviously take longer, but you were right about wrongdoings at the top."

"Oh? Do tell."

"First the bad news. This has been happening almost four years, not just two, ever since Paul Morris took over the foster care system. I've found twenty obvious cases with a broad-brush look. There may be more."

"Wow. One is too many. I was expecting a few, but eleven..."

"Yes. Shocking. Anyway, simultaneous with those placements there were two financial transfers from FCS to CPS. One was the same as every other placement. An inter-departmental finder's fee, essentially. Nothing bad about that. The second one is where the funny business starts. An extra $5000 accompanied the transfer for these twenty cases. Apparently, Dawn Prescott from CPS doesn't cover her tracks very well. Along with each of those $5000 transactions, there was a cash withdrawal of $5000. Dawn is the only person authorized to directly remove funds from the CPS account. There were withdrawals before with other directors, although none of the previous withdrawals were over $200 and in the previous ten years, there were only six. I didn't see the point in checking further back. Here's where we'll need a little more proof, but the reason is fairly obvious. I'll have to get subpoenas for bank records, but if that $5000 didn't show up in one or both of Dawn's and Paul's personal accounts, I'd be extremely surprised."

"Nice work, Patrick. Get me the details on those subpoenas and you'll have them within an hour."

"I have plans for the weekend, but that will be first on my agenda Monday morning."

"Excellent. It's a pleasant surprise that you were to find this so quickly, Monday is more than fine. Enjoy your weekend."

"Thank you. You too. Bye."

"Goodbye."

"Leslie, do you have to rush out?"

"No judge. What do you need?"

"Start the paperwork for two subpoenas, I'll have more details Monday, but I'll want them served ASAP. Both are for bank records. One for Dawn Prescott, Director of Broward County Child Protective Services, and the other for Paul Morris, Director of the Foster Care System. You can find his official title somewhere I suppose if that isn't it."

"I'll have templates ready before I go home, won't take more than a few minutes. Those are pretty standard requests."

"Thank you. Have a good weekend."

"You're welcome. See you Sunday."

"Sunday?"

"Yes. Derek invited my family and I to their celebration too."

"Those two men are amazing. See you Sunday."

Sunday August 20

We'll be back with Derek for the next section.

Al and Win both showed up at the condo just before noon. They came bearing gifts for Adam. We invited people stating no gifts were necessary, but Al and Win felt as if Adam was truly family. A nephew that neither of them had before. Jeremy and I let them off the hook, the presents weren't expensive, both bringing a few books appropriate for five-year-olds. Al brought six "How Do Dinosaurs..." books, which was perfect since Adam was crazy about dinosaurs, and Win brought a 5-book pack of "Pete the Cat" books. Adam immediately asked if we could get a cat after reading the first. We took the easy way out with the typical parental response, 'we'll see.' Thankfully, he didn't ask if we could have a T-Rex after reading the first dinosaur book. But I decided to have a little fun with that.

"You asked for a cat, but not a dinosaur. Why not a dinosaur too?"

"The dinosaurs are all dead. And if they weren't, if we got one, it would eat the cat. The books are Pete the cat, not eat the cat."

The four of us had to admit he was right. We also laughed at his joke. The dinosaur would probably eat all of us as well, but we didn't mention that. At twenty to two, we packed everybody into my Durango and headed out to the party. We needed to get there about ten minutes early to check that everything was set up properly. We didn't have any complaints.

Everybody arrived within ten minutes of the expected start time. We made introductions for everybody. When we said who the judge and Mrs. Perch were, they immediately got together. We found out later that they had spoken on the phone on Friday. Now I knew what Mrs. Perch did for a living. We joked what a coincidence it would have been if she was assigned Adam's case instead of Mr. Garrett. Jeremy and I were both angry when we found out he'd lost his job for indirectly disagreeing with his boss. The judge said she was working on something that could remedy that situation but couldn't share exactly what it was. That made us feel a little better. When the news came out and the dust settled, Jeremy and I were quite happy. I'll get to that later. Mrs. Linden was also quite civil with us. Not that we expected her to make a scene, but her attitude change did surprise us. She and Mr. Linden came up to us shortly after the introductions were complete.

"Congratulations on your wedding and winning your custody battle. I'm sorry I was such a bitch. Randall straightened me out, said I should live and let live. Not to mention blaming me for not having a thicker curtain on that door. I have to be honest with you Jeremy, I initially did that so I could make sure you weren't doing anything illegal up there, at least for the first few months you were there. I guess I just got used to occasionally spying on you. I guess in the end, I got what I deserved."

"It's OK, Mrs. Linden. Like Derek told Mr. Linden, we probably should have mentioned the depth of our relationship with you. But we were quiet about it with pretty much everybody. Especially since we knew you were, to put it bluntly, a little nosy."

"Jeremy. I was, well, still am, a lot nosy. But I'm trying to be less so. We want to rent the room again, and I don't want to stumble into another uncomfortable situation."

"I'm sorry to interrupt, but did I hear you mention you have a room you'd like to rent?"

"Yes. I'm sorry, I don't remember your name. It's hard getting old."

"Bradley. Don't say it Derek. Bradley Bailey. I'm working full time now and I'd like to get out from under my parents' noses. It's been a little uncomfortable always having one or more parents around whenever Brenda and I want to be alone. If I had a place of my own, maybe..."

"I understand. If Derek says you're OK, we'll let you come and take a look and talk about it."

"He's fine. Brenda's been like my best friend since first grade. She obviously trusts him, so I do too. I knew Brad all through high school. He won't get into any trouble. His dad works for my dad. Having a policeman's son renting a room might have some advantages. You can trust three-bees-ley."

"Still not very funny, Derek. If you weren't so much bigger than me, I would have kicked your butt for ever starting with that. You're lucky I like you."

"Sorry Brad. I couldn't resist. I promise to never say it again. I wouldn't want to miss Brenda's wedding because you hate me."

"Let's not get ahead of ourselves here. We've only been dating about three weeks."

We had a chuckle about that. Mr. Linden gave Brad their address and phone number and said to call any time, they were usually home. It seems our circle of friends is getting tighter. Everybody seemed to be having a good time. Even the three kids got along. Adam had brought his new books with him and was sitting with Kevin and Kelly, reading to them. Jeremy and I agreed with Leslie and her husband that we should let the kids play together at other times.

The party started breaking up around five o'clock. We had the room until six, but I arranged that just in case people wanted to visit longer. We drove back to the condo, where we said goodbye to Al. Win was flying out late the next morning, after spending the night with us.


Next Up - "The New Job and Adam's Difficulties Adjusting"

Copyright © 2023 Lee Wilson; All Rights Reserved.
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Feel free to drop me a line if you haven't already. I appreciate the comments, good or bad. 
If you liked this, check out my other stories on nifty. You'll need to search for my email address, some of those may violate GA guidelines (lee.666.wilson@gmail.com)
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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Chapter Comments

43 minutes ago, Thomas Haworth said:

Those $5000 payments worry me. Why so much, and what were they for?

I think the phrase 'lining their own pockets' fits the situation well. Not to spoil it any further, but more will be revealed in the next chapter.

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 This didn't happen of course But I though of something If Judge Ridge overheard any of what happened between Mrs Linden and Jeremy could she have done something?

I hope Jenny Perch or Mr.Garrett get a sudden promotion at CPS. I'm sure Prescott heard about the phone calls(Although I can picture her co-workers "forgetting" to mention that to her)

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17 minutes ago, Anton_Cloche said:

Love that 5-year old Adam volunteers to read to other children. Not only is Adam smart, but also empathetic despite the horrible event of seeing his deranged father murder his family and shoot him in the chest. 😭 

Glad to see Judge Ridge is bringing her heavy gavel down on corrupt FPS Head Paul Morris and even more (morally and financially) corrupt CPS Head Dawn Prescott. 

Soon both of them will be viewing dawn's early light :whistle: through barred windows. Hopefully for a long time and a (not big enough fine).

FYI - Charges for 'Public Corruption' and 'Embezzlement' by government employees in Florida: Florida Statute 838.016, 838.22 and others – are 2nd degree felonies, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
  Lets Go Dance GIF by tarninabarn

I like having intelligent children in my stories. Yes, the hammer is falling hard. If my research is correct, because the amount embezzled is over $100k, it's actually a first-degree felony. The fine doesn't change, but the sentence does. I initially had fewer instances but bumped the number up to hit that threshold.

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7 minutes ago, weinerdog said:

 This didn't happen of course But I though of something If Judge Ridge overheard any of what happened between Mrs Linden and Jeremy could she have done something?

I hope Jenny Perch or Mr.Garrett get a sudden promotion at CPS. I'm sure Prescott heard about the phone calls(Although I can picture her co-workers "forgetting" to mention that to her)

Even if she did, it was water under the bridge for Jeremy. With the windfall from his father, being booted wasn't a terrible thing. Once Adam was in the picture, it was inevitable.

Geez, now you're at least two chapters ahead with your predictions. And yeah, if the co-workers did hear about it, as you could tell from her telephone conversation with Mrs. Perch, Dawn wasn't very well liked. That just gave me an idea for an addition to chapter 22.

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Adam is not only precocious but a budding star!!! Loved the following...

 Adam immediately asked if we could get a cat after reading the first. We took the easy way out with the typical parental response, 'we'll see.' Thankfully, he didn't ask if we could have a T-Rex after reading the first dinosaur book. But I decided to have a little fun with that.

"You asked for a cat, but not a dinosaur. Why not a dinosaur too?"

"The dinosaurs are all dead. And if they weren't, if we got one, it would eat the cat. The books are Pete the cat, not eat the cat."

Good Morning Yes GIF by Jurassic World

And Mrs. Prescott is going to find out the world of hurt she is in, will seem like a bottomless pit...

Judy Sheindlin GIF by Judge Judy

.

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3 minutes ago, drsawzall said:

And Mrs. Prescott is going to find out the world of hurt she is in, will seem like a bottomless pit...

Judy Sheindlin GIF by Judge Judy

 

You ain't just whistling Dixie.

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Hell hath no fury like a Judge scorned.  I would not give two cents for the morons involved in this scheme.

So glad the guys had a great party, and books are always a delightful gift.  

Hope a cat is to appear soon.

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Judge Ridge to check legal rule on Dawn,

A rotten fish lives in Prescott’s pond.

Garrett spoke, beheaded for his smirch,

Fish eyes see, as we hear from Jen Perch.

The rotten fish is Dawn it does seem,

DA to cast wide net, crooks to ream.

Kickbacks, prejudice, the pawns are kids,

Subpoenas, dollars, will blow their lids.

House warming and Adam’s custody,

Young new friends, hear books of ABCs.

Reading is fun, cat out of the bag,

Hope tragedy no longer too sad.

Future has questions, but what?, “we’ll see,”

Changes happen, Lindens, Bailey B.
 

Edited by Philippe
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17 minutes ago, Philippe said:

Judge Ridge to check legal rule on Dawn,

A rotten fish lives in Prescott’s pond.

Garrett spoke, beheaded for his smirch,

Fish eyes see, as we hear from Jen Perch.

The rotten fish is Dawn it does seem,

DA to cast wide net, crooks to ream.

Kickbacks, prejudice, the pawns are kids,

Subpoenas, dollars, will blow their lids.

House warming and Adam’s custody,

Young new friends, hear books of ABCs.

Reading is fun, cat out of the bag,

Hope tragedy no longer too sad.

Future has questions, but what?, “we’ll see,”

Changes happen, Lindens, Bailey B.
 

AWESOME!!!!!

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18 hours ago, centexhairysub said:

Hell hath no fury like a Judge scorned.  I would not give two cents for the morons involved in this scheme.

So glad the guys had a great party, and books are always a delightful gift.  

Hope a cat is to appear soon.

Do the morons get what they deserve? We'll see.

I love books. I have 5 bookshelves full of them in my home office.

We'll see about the cat. I have 8, so it's definitely possible.

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