DPS Investigates 6,000 Deferred Child Abuse Complaints

November 22, 2013

Members of a legislative oversight panel and Gov. Jan Brewer are searching for answers Friday morning about how 6,000 child abuse complaints since 2009 were shelved without ever being investigated.

State law requires investigation of every complaint that appears to be child abuse, but it looks like a special team within CPS has been marking some cases not to be investigated before they get to a field office. Brewer calls that totally unacceptable,

“This is a nightmare, and we're not going to tolerate it,” Brewer said. “The people of Arizona ought not to tolerate it. And the bottom line is these children ought to be respected for who they are.”

Brewer says these kids need the state to protect them from abuse. Department of Economic Security Director Clarence Carter denies any involvement in approving the practice or instituting it, but he is sidestepping questions about who in the agency first authorized it.

“What I would ask is that you would allow me to complete my full review in order to be able to answer those questions specifically,” Carter said.

But Brewer is taking that out of Carter’s hands, ordering the Department of Public Safety to determine how and why what she calls this inexcusable failure occurred. It was Brewer who hired Carter to lead DES in 2011.