Apr 23, 2014 11:36 PM by Kristi Tedesco & Edgar Ybarra
PHOENIX - The director of Arizona's new child welfare agency tells Kristi's Kids, five CPS supervisors have been fired for making their own rules when it came to classifying hotline calls.
These are the same five who were suspended, late last year, when it was revealed that nearly 6,600 calls to the CPS hotline, alleging child abuse and/or neglect, were improperly labeled as "non-investigative" or "NI."
Charles Flanagan headed up the so-called CARE team, which was created by Governor Jan Brewer to evaluate our state's child welfare system. He is also the director of a newly-created Division of Child Safety and Family Services.
Flanagan tells Kristi's Kids that the fired Supervisors are all from the Phoenix area. He also says, they ignored the law, and protocol, by creating their own system of evaluating calls. At times, Flanagan says, this destroyed/deleted valuable information that could have been useful later.
Flanagan tells Kristi's Kids the damage was done between 2011 and 2013 and, he says, the proper practices were reimplemented months ago. The problem, he says, has been fixed.
Flanagan is still waiting for a special legislative session to be called, so lawmakers can fully fund the new Division of Child Safety and Family Services. Full funding was NOT included in the most recent state budget.
Also fired over the NI hotline debacle was the Deputy Director of the Department of Economic Security, Sharon Sergent. In the past, CPS has fallen under the DES umbrella. Sergent was implicated in the hotline investigation.
DES Director Clarence Carter was not fired and continues to run the Department of Economic Security. Some think he should have been let go, including State Representative, Victoria Steele. Steele tells Kristi's Kids, Carter was at the helm and should be held accountable for everything that happened in his agency.
To read Governor Jan Brewer's reaction to the firing of five CPS supervisors, click here.