Former Child Protective Services staffers claim they weren’t the only ones who knew of un-investigated reports but claim they were fired while the agency’s ex-director, Clarence Carter, stays put.
At least five former Child Protective Services staffers said in a report that Carter knew cases were not actively being investigated and that he had knowledge of the agency’s attempt to cover up the problem years before the investigation of the agency broke out.
However, Clarence Carter told the Department of Public Safety, after the discovery that over 6,000 reports of child abuse and neglect had gone un-investigated, that he had no knowledge of cases not being assigned or handled until November 2013.
The former CPS employees, on the other hand, are saying that discussions between Carter and at least five others about the neglected reports took place starting in 2011, according to the Arizona Republic.
Governor Jan Brewer is currently reworking CPS (learn more about Gov. Brewer’s changes to CPS here) by giving it a new name, the Division of Child Safety and Family Services, and changing the infrastructure of the agency altogether. She appointed Charles Flanagan to replace Carter as director of the agency, but Carter remains involved in the division.
Both Flanagan and Carter have since fired five former staffers and the deputy director of programs at Department of Economic Security, Sharon Sergent, who was involved in the development of an informal policy that designated unassigned child abuse and child neglect reports as “Not Investigated”.
Thousands of cases were unworthy of investigation “NI” under this policy so that when unassigned reports were looked up, they at least had the appearance of a legitimate classification, the Arizona Republic reports.
While Sergent and others such as, Tracey Everitt who was one of the five fired employees involved in the NI process, claim that Carter was informed of the policy all along, yet Carter has not been linked to the issue and is no where near being terminated like Sergent or Everitt.
While some support Carter, like Rep. Steve Smith R-Maricopa and Flanagan, Carter’s role as the former leader of CPS is enough fuel for many others to believe that he should be fired from the agency altogether, disregarding whether or not he knew of the NI policy.
“To me, it’s a problem if he knew, and it’s a problem if he didn’t know,” Rep. Debbie McCune Davis, D-Phoenix, told The Arizona Republic.
“As leader of the organization, he should have known about that, and if he didn’t, why didn’t he? Was he not checking with the supervisors?”
Despite contrasting opinions from state officials, speculation and reports from multiple former CPS employees, Carter remains in position, and the Governor’s Office has made no motions indicating that will change.