DCF employee suspended pending investigation of baby's death

Supervisor's role in falsified reports investigated


MIAMI – A veteran employee of the Florida Department of Children and Families has been suspended, the latest fallout in the case of a south Florida woman charged in the death of her baby.

Supervisor Duray Smith is accused of misconduct and has been placed on administrative leave with pay as the department investigates his role in allegedly falsified reports.

Smith, 46, supervised and signed off on the work of Child Protective Investigator Shani Smith, no relation, who was fired last week.

The department accused Shani Smith of lying on a case report last November, claiming she referred a DUI suspect named Catalina Bruno for substance-abuse testing, who now, six months later, is a charged in the death of her baby son she left in a sweltering car.

DCF and its contracted service provider that would have made the visits and assessments both tell Local10 they find no evidence or records Smith ever made the call for services.

Supervisor Duray Smith signed off on that report.

Duray Smith and Shani Smith are both respected department veterans. Duray joined the department in 2002 and was promoted to supervisor two years ago.

He was also listed as a supervisor in the case of Nubia Barahona, a case that would blow the cover off caseworkers at DCF fudging their jobs, with horrific results.

Shani Smith's attorney told Local 10 that DCF is using her as a scapegoat, and insists she did exactly what she said she did.

Duray Smith has, so far, said nothing publicly.