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Updated Apr 24, 2014 - 4:42 pm

Lawmaker: CPS problems began before Clarence Carter

In this Monday, Dec. 2, 2013 photo, Department of Economic Security Director Clarence Carter, center, leaves a news conference where it was announced that Charles Flanagan, was named Director of Division of Child Safety and Family Services. On Wednesday, April 23, 2014, Flanagan announced firings of five high-level Child Protective Services supervisors and an additional senior manager that oversaw CPS, but DES Director Clarence Carter remains in his job, and Flanagan said he saw no evidence that he knew of the actions of his employees. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX -- An Arizona lawmaker said she is not surprised the head of the department that oversaw Arizona's scandal-ridden child welfare agency has kept his job after a four-month investigation.

"When we looked at some of the uninvestigated cases, they were before [Clarence Carter] started," said state Sen. Leah Landrum Taylor. "So again, this is something that's been going on systemically for a very long time, years, decades. It was even before his watch started."

While Carter's ability and competency to manage a state agency the size of the Department of Economic Security has been questioned, Landrum Taylor seems confident he'll succeed now that the former Child Protective Services has been dissolved.

"The solution actually came when the governor separated CPS from DES because it's huge," she said. "Now it's its own department. DES was just too huge, that's not going to be the case and Director Carter is moving forward."

Landrum Taylor, who was appointed to the CARE Team to help the investigation, said none of what DPS uncovered in the months-long investigation came as a shock.

"Bottom line, there has been a systemic issue and the culture in general within CPS has to change," she said.

Six people were fired from the agency prior to DPS releasing the extensive report.

Landrum Taylor said she is still reading through the massive report that detailed the breakdown within CPS, which ultimately led to the lives of thousands of children lives being put at risk because allegations of abuse or neglect went uninvestigated.

About the Author

Sandra moved from the small border city of Yuma, Arizona to study Broadcast Journalism at Arizona State University in the late 90s. Since graduating, she's worked at several local TV stations including Univision, Fox 10 and 3TV.

Working at KTAR, has allowed her the opportunity to cover major national news events, including Presidential visits, the Tucson Tragedy and the Wallow fire.

When Sandra isn't covering breaking news or behind a microphone in the studio, she's probably at home with her best friend Mark and her two dogs, Lily and Lola.

Sandra enjoys cooking and admits to enjoying "really bad" reality T.V. She also enjoys spending quiet time at home with people she loves, playing a little poker and traveling.


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