Brewer Weighing Split Of CPS From DES

By Dennis Lambert
Published: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 10:34am

Gov. Jan Brewer is considering whether to split Child Protective Services off from the Department of Economic Security, and name an agency head who reports directly to her.

The idea was suggested by former Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley, a decade ago, but is getting new attention in the wake of the findings of thousands of uninvestigated child abuse cases over four years.

The chair of a special oversight panel added her voice to the call this week and the governor’s press aide, Andrew Wilder, says his boss is weighing it because of the agency’s continuing problems.

“It underscores what we've known, that there has to be serious fundamental changes at the agency,” Wilder said. “Separating it may be one.”

There have also been calls for the governor to fire DES Director Clarence Carter, but Wilder says nothing will happen on that until investigations by the Department of Public Safety and a special panel appointed by Brewer are completed. Both are believed to be at least weeks away.