Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive

Wednesday, November 22, 2000


Agreed Contempt Judgment Signed Against Sheila Radford

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn and the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services today secured a contempt of court judgment against Sheila Radford of Dallas County for ignoring an agreed permanent injunction. Pursuant to the injunction, Radford was prohibited by the court from operating a child care facility anywhere in Texas after her license was revoked last year for chronic, repeated health and safety violations at her child care business.

The Attorney General filed the motion for contempt earlier this year after the DPRS documented that Radford was still in operation, in violation of the injunction. Radford has been ordered by the district court to an overnight jail stay on Dec. 8, as well as a $1,750 fine. The Attorney General's Office has also secured a suspended seven-day jail term in the event Radford commits additional violations of the injunction or violates the contempt judgment.

"Endangering children by wantonly ignoring even the minimum health and safety standards as set by law is an affront not only to the parents who entrust their children to these care givers, but to all Texans," said Attorney General Cornyn. "We must strive to make examples of these violators."

Judy Lutz, director of Child Care Licensing for the DPRS, agreed, saying, "The agency is primarily concerned with the health, safety and well-being of Texas children. That's why we enforce minimum standards for child care. With this judgment, the state has sent a clear message that in Texas you can't operate a child care business without a license."

Today's judgment enhances an agreed permanent injunction that was entered against Radford last February, following investigations by the DPRS that documented a failure to meet minimum standards for such facilities, including unsanitary and unsafe conditions at one of her Mesquite residences.

Despite DPRS revocation of her license last year, Radford continued to operate and advertise for child-care business, which resulted in the permanent injunction. Radford also denied DPRS inspectors entry to the residences for routine inspections to determine if she continued to operate the business illegally after the injunction had been in place.

Radford has since insisted that she operates only a taxi/shuttle service for children, picking them up at school and taking them to one of her residences. Today's contempt order, however, includes instructions to cease operating the shuttles as well.

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Contact Mark Heckmann, Heather Browne, or Tom Kelley at (512) 463-2050
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