CPS Loses Lawsuit Over Girl Who Died in Hot Van; Dad Who Fought System in Custody Battle for Surviving Kids

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gray haley.jpg
John Gray has fought for years to hold the state's Child Protective Agency accountable for the 2005 death of his young daughter and honor the girl's memory.

The Ahwatukee man became an activist after his 4-year-old daughter, Haley (pictured), became locked accidently in a sweltering minivan and died while her drunk mother was passed out in an apartment.

Because of Gray's efforts, state legislators passed Haley's Law, which requires CPS workers to check out records from other states where parents under investigation might have lived.

And just last week, Gray won a lawsuit against CPS that requires the agency to pay $446,000.

Ironically, though, Gray lost custody of his two surviving sons, aged 8 and 10, just three weeks before the trial started. He says he was screwed over by the state Attorney General Terry Goddard's office, which represented CPS and used his sons as "sacrificial lambs" in a failed attempt to win the case.

The AG's office denies that charge.

Just prior to the start of the trial, Gray says, the judge in the case ruled that a psychological report on Gray could not be admitted as evidence. Gray says the state paid an expert psychology witness $100,000 to help with the trial and evaluate Gray. She found that Gray has a "personality disorder" and was exaggerating the effects of his grief over Haley's death. Worse, her report concluded Gray -- who once served prison time in Florida -- had the potential to hurt his children.

Gray claims the state violated his right to privacy when prosecutor Daniel O'Connor faxed the report to his ex-wife, Celene.

"It was done with malicious intent," Gray says.

[UPDATE 4 p.m. -- The AG's office tells New Times that O'Connor, a private attorney hired to prosecute the case, did nothing unethical. A spokesman e-mailed a court record showing that Gray pressed the judge to sanction O'Connor in the incident. The judge disagreed with Gray's theory and denied the sanctions].

Celene, who lives in Scottsdale, used the faxed report to convince another judge to grant her temporary custody of the two boys.

That's the same Celene, of course, who was too drunk to realize her daughter was dying, and who had been busted a few months prior to the tragedy for crashing her car, while drunk, moments after picking up the kids from daycare.

John Gray says his wife's boyfriend, is taking care of the boys because Celene can only see them during CPS-supervised visits.

A hearing is scheduled for May 5 to return the boys to John Gray's custody, he says.

"I'm going to have a doctor testify to say I'm not a danger to my kids, and hopefully I'll get my kids back," Gray says.

Assuming that goes okay, Gray says he'll continue his activism. After paying his legal fees, the jury award will put about $100,000 into his bank account, he says.

He's found a writer to tell his life story in a book, which he'll use as a platform at speaking engagements. He hopes to empower people with his tale of overcoming tragedy and fighting the system.

Gray says he's also found investors for a project called Haley's House, which will be a home for displaced families.

For a girl who died so young, Haley has made quite a difference in the world.

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8 comments
the212animalcrew
the212animalcrew

BULLSHIT !!!  Jon (or John) and Celene MURDERED THEIR KID !!! period...  I know the the real people involved in this SCAM.  sad sick fucks, the both of them.  THANK GOD< MURDER HAS NO STATUDE OF LIMITATION...  The people of AZ will get their money back... these scam FLORIDA fucks.  fuck them both.  Joseph Robert Flynn  727-366-6848  


Nishkec
Nishkec

so....the AG's Office denies the allegations, and that's it? no internal investigation? no public outrage? no responsibiity for ANY of their failures in this case and many more simliar cases as well?I suggest that all the departments involved with CPS and still standing by their evil, corrupt, and greedy business of severing children from their natural parents, take a step back and allow for exposure of the reality that CPS destroys the very core of our future. Including the fact that CPS seems to have an aversion to investigating cases of actual sexual and physical abuse incidents until sadly it is to late.

Instead they choose to focus on predominately white working poor families who are proud to be American, protective of their rights, socially shunned due to minor substance use issues, past criminal history, (generally alcohol related), mental illness, periods of homelessness, and a attitude that demands respect overall. These folks have no credit, no degrees, and no employment records with social security, because they always worked for cash.

These families are traumatized by CPS from the moment a case is open: and the result is placement of their children in a world of strangers, which leaves them vulnerable to nearly 5 times the likelihood of being beaten, starved, sexual assaulted, and murdered, and the outcome of adulthood inside institutions of all types, and the streets and then back again.

I encourage the AG's office, the Juvenile Court system, DES, ACCCHS, Department of Education, Department of Behavioral Health, AZ Department of Health Services, Hospitals in Maricopa County, Terros, TASC,  along with all those who provide parent aide services, psyche evalations, and "expert witness testimony" to step away from CPS before their own entities are spoiled by the rotten center that has spread throughout this useless and blood sucking business that slithers behind all of you, using you as a shield to hide their dirty deeds.

They have tainted your reputations already, back away during their demise, they have no problem destroying you too...

I call for all advocates to come to bat and play, you are nessecary in this battle...the juvenile courts and cps have been undefeated, and natural parents scoreless.

No amount of money can heal the pain of a child taken awayNothing can replace the eternal emptiness that cripples one's spirit for a lifetimeand there is no reason to awaken and breathe again 

jordans father
jordans father

my son jordan was killed in az his mother told cps she would kill him and how his name is jordan iacovetta google this can you call me 720-364-8908 i feel its verry inportant i talk with u.

Qualitylandscaping23
Qualitylandscaping23

my name is woody iacovetta my son jordan was killed in a az hotel by his mother can i talk to u 720-364-8908 and i am in a lawsuit with cps over jordans death she told them she would kill him please call me thank u soo much

woody
woody

sir my name is woody iacovetta my son jordan was killed in az by his mother this is the only case that she told them a child would die this has never happend in any of these cases. but mine cps said in medeation last week that parents say they will kill thier kids all the time. NO WAY WOULD I EVER SAY THIS NOR WOULD ANY ONE I KNOW. BUT THAT WAS THIER DEFENCE. THEY ALSO SAY THEY HAD NOTHING TO DUE WITH THIS BUT WE HAVE THIER RECORDS AND IT SAYS SHE WANTS TO KILL MY SON WITH DRUGS THEY NEW SHE COULD GET.GOOGLE MY NAME WOODY IACOVETTA OR JORDAN IACOVETTA OR THE HORRIBLE MOTHER JENNIEFER JANSMA THIS IS THE WORST CASE IN THE HISTORY OF AZ CPS THE ONLY TIME THEY WHERE FLAT OUT TOLD HE WOULD DIE. PLEASE HELP ME THANK YOU SOOO MUCH WOODY IACOVETTA

woody
woody

my name is woody my son jordan was killed in a az hotel by his mother, she told az cps she would kill him and how!!!!they never called me and she killed him they violated my court orders from colorado. this story needs to told cps is fuckin me in my law suit and iam a modle father with too kids at home. cps is a killing machine. look up jordan iacovette az. this fight has just begun please contact me back.

wood
wood

shut the fuck up bitch get off the feed.

Qualitylanscaping23@yahoo.com
Qualitylanscaping23@yahoo.com

my name is woody drummond and my son was a vic as well i have a case agaist cps for hayles law these people just kill kids and dont care!!!! a 100 grand for a child wtf is this world thinking!!!!! my case my make landmark for haleys law!!!!! see you in court cps!!! joradan was killed by his mother in a tuscon hotel she told cps she wanted to kill him yet they never called dad in colorado or check her records here ether. she flat out told them how she would kill him its in thier records. i have to say i hate cps and all thier crooked lawyers.

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