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Updated Nov 29, 2013 - 3:43 pm

Brewer in spotlight after child abuse failures

PHOENIX -- Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is being bruised by revelations that her administration ignored thousands of child abuse and neglect reports, leading to calls for her to replace her hand-picked leader of the state's social services agency.

While Brewer has made reforming Child Protective Services one of her top priorities in the past several years, critics of the Republican governor say the failures show her administration continues to shortchange kids.

Brewer is so far rejecting calls to replace the agency's leader, and supporters say the governor ensured the botched cases were made public and has called for accountability.

Clarence Carter, director of the Department of Economic Security, which oversees CPS, revealed last week that more than 6,000 reports generated by the state's child abuse hotline hadn't been investigated since 2009, most in the past 20 months. The CPS plan to clear those reports was released early this week has been widely panned as inadequate and short on specifics.

Carter promises every case meriting a full investigation will be handled by the end of January. He's assigned more than 200 CPS supervisors and program managers to the job, employees who don't currently handle a caseload.

Carter has declined to comment through a spokeswoman since Monday.

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