BOONE COUNTY, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) — West Virginia State Police said a woman contracted to work for Child Protective Services has been arrested and charged with bribery.
Kelley Michelle Justice, 44, of Danese is facing the felony charge after being arrested following a sting operation on Wednesday.
Two people contacted state troopers in Madison in reference to a bribery complaint on Tuesday. The victims said Justice, an employee of Better Tomorrows Family Services, a company that conducts in home parenting plans and consultations and contracted through the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, had contacted them and said a new case was opened on them.
Justice allegedly told the victims that she could "take care" of the new complaint for $1,200.
"Further conversation between the accused and the victims transpired over who had filed the complaint and lowering the fee to $700," Cpl. Kevin Harper wrote in the criminal complaint.
A phone call between Justice and the victims was recorded, according to troopers, and the money exchange was set for Wednesday.
The victims met with troopers in Madison and were given money and surveillance equipment to record the transaction. They met at the Magic Mart in Danville where the money was exchanged, troopers said. They then pulled Justice over during a traffic stop and the money was recovered.
Dreama Richards, owner of Better Tomorrows Family Services, said in a statement Wednesday that Justice's actions do not reflect the values or work ethic of the company.
"We are deeply affected by the recent events and would like to sincerely apologize to those that were impacted. Better Tomorrows staff and management had no prior knowledge of such wrong doing; as it would not have been tolerated in any way. Complete vetting of any potential worker is done to state standards. There was no indication of past criminal history on Ms. Justice," Richards said in an email.
Justice was arraigned in Boone County Magistrate Court and bond was set at $50,000 full surety.