Annie Cosby Jun. 20, 2014, 3:00pm

A woman is suing an investigator with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, claiming an allegedly false child abuse report ruined her daycare business.

Nicole Preston filed a lawsuit June 11 in the Cook County Circuit Court against Avril Riley.

According to the complaint, a child at Preston's since-closed business, ABC DayCare and Preschool on West North Avenue in Chicago, threw a tantrum on June 11, 2013, and the next day someone made a report to DCFS regarding minor markings on the child's arm.

Preston claims Riley, the investigator assigned to the case, falsely claimed evidence of child abuse, despite the fact the child was around many other children who could have made the marks, and engaged in a tumbling class.

The complaint alleges Preston filed for an expungement of the report, which was granted after Riley was supposedly found to be interfering with witnesses.

Preston contends the false accusations damaged her reputation as a daycare provider, causing enrollment to fall and her business to close by March 31. She accuses Riley of negligence and tortious interference with business expectancy.

Preston is seeking more than $50,000 in damages and is being represented in the case by Antonio M. Romanucci and Angela P. Kurtz of Romanucci & Blandin LLC in Chicago.

Cook County Circuit Court Case No. 2014L006204.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed in the Cook County Circuit Court. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it only represents one side of the story.

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