Nashville woman sues Human Services officials

Friday, March 23, 2012, Vol. 36, No. 12

NASHVILLE (AP) - A Nashville woman is suing six state Human Services officials, claiming they encouraged prosecutors to bring fraud charges against her.

Patricia Leggs was accused in 2009 of falsifying rosters to steal $25,000 from a federal program that provides food to poor children.

The charges were eventually dropped, according to her suit.

Leggs' attorney, Terry Clayton, told The Tennessean that the bad publicity turned parents away from Leggs' day-care center, and she still is struggling to recover financially.

According to the lawsuit, Leggs was forced to post bond and hire an attorney, and she suffered embarrassment, public humiliation and $300,000 in lost income. Leggs is seeking $400,000 in damages.

Human Services spokeswoman Valisa Thompson said by email that the department does not comment on pending litigation.