Lawmakers, Activists Call on Agency Head to Resign Over 6,000 Ignored Child-Abuse Claims

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Randy Robertson via Flickr

Several activists and Democratic lawmakers are demanding that Arizona Department of Economic Security Director Clarence Carter resign amid the revelation that 6,000 allegations of child abuse weren't investigated.

Carter revealed Thursday that investigators for Child Protective Services (a division of the Department of Economic Security) that the allegations -- many of them made in the past year -- were called in on a CPS hotline and the cases ended up coded in such a way that no investigator would ever even see it.

See also:
-Child Protective Services Failed to Investigate Thousands of Allegations

Clarence Carter
Many questions haven't been answered, such as why that code, "Not Investigated," or "NI," even existed. Neither Carter nor Office of Child Welfare Investigations Chief Detective Gregory McKay knows who did it, or why they did it, they explained before a CPS Oversight Committee at the state capitol yesterday.

A few Democratic lawmakers have since called for Carter's resignation.

House Minority Leader Chad Campbell said in a statement:
"The magnitude of the failure of CPS, under Director Carter's leadership, is shocking and inexcusable. It is time for him to resign. Reports that about 6,000 complaints of child abuse have not been investigated since 2009 indicate a pattern of negligence that is unacceptable. This needs to be corrected immediately. The Legislature should go into special session now so we can ensure that there is accountability built into CPS processes and that the agency gets the leadership and resources needed to protect Arizona children."
Democratic Representative Ruben Gallego also noted on Twitter that Carter "needs to resign."

"Children are at risk because of his mismanagement," he said.

Activists from Citizens for a Better Arizona (of Russell Pearce recall fame) also marched to Governor Brewer's office today, demanding she call a special legislative session to address the issue, and planned to then take a trip to DES, to demand Carter's resignation.

From CBA President Randy Parraz:
"Instead of relieving Mr. Carter of his duty as Director of the Department of Economic Security, Governor Brewer has chosen to reward Mr. Carter with a second chance to clean up a problem he helped create. If Governor Brewer truly cared about children she would have fired Mr. Carter and called a special session to take swift and immediate action to address this crisis now - even if it means allocating additional funding."
Coincidentally, last year, Governor Jan Brewer patted herself on the back in a press release for signing three CPS-related bills, which were supposed to "revamp the current outdated standards and processes pertaining to child protective services in the State, strengthen the statutory protections and safeguards for Arizona children and, ultimately, work to improve the safety of children under State care or supervision."

The aforementioned Office of Child Welfare Investigations was created with one of those bills, which cost $2.3 million out of the 2013 budget, which was supposed to lead to CPS hiring 28 child-welfare investigators to take on high-priority cases.

Carter said yesterday that he'll have a plan on Monday for how the agency's going to remedy the 6,000 ignored cases.

For more information on where the cases got lost, go to page two.

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I have known Clarence Carter for 20 years. He's a fine man and a dedicated public servant. He has done more to better the lives of poor children in Virginia and Washington, DC over those 20 years than probably any one person. This coding problem in Arizona is significant but Clarence inherited it. Yes, it should have been corrected before now and he will fix it. Firing him would certainly make some people feel better, but he would just be a sacrificial lamb for a problem he didn't cause. Leave him in place and let him fix it.

MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Oh boy, here we go again.

Clarence Carter just gave Arizona yet another black eye that wasn't necessary.

Do I think he should be fired? Yes.

I also want the cases worked and justice sought.

And I also want the governor's opinion on this issue. What's her position on Carter? What does she think about his agency's colossal failure? What (if anything) is she going to do to resolve this situation?


Law Makers didn't call for Sheriff Arpaio's Resignation when he ignored over four hundred, and fifty cases of Child Abuse including Child Rapes!

By allowing Arpaio "Amnesty" for his Neglect DUTY to our Children  "Lawmakers set presidence!

Arizona Coddles Child Molesters, and Child Abusers PERIOD!

Look at Bill Montgomery's Child Molesting Minute Man Pal Chris Simcox!

Montgomery gave his Border Dating Buddy "Amnesty through a Plea Deal" for putting his fingers in his own Childs Vagina?!!!!!

Arizona needs a whole lot of worthless Government Assholes in Jail along with the Child Abusers including Jan Brewer who allowed it all to happen for YEARS!

To: Justice?!


Didn't Clarence Carter have that hit song, "Strokin'?"  He sure seems to be strokin' the system.


This I have got to see how DES will handle the 6,000 ignored cases.  Brewer and Carter need to be prosecuted for their ignorance, stupidity and blatant lying to the children of Arizona.  This is child abuse you two idiots.

danzigsdaddy topcommenter

maybe I am not seeing all the news reports on this, or maybe nobody is talking about it, but i hear all kinds of talk about people wanting answers or resignations, but why isnt anybody screaming about getting those cases looked into also? while everyone is trying to use this colossal fuck up to politically platform, those cases could still be getting looked into. sure i want to hear this will never happen again, but i also want to hear that those cases are also getting the attention they were never given the first time around. look at the the cases we are always bringing up about MCSO............they kept getting put off until most of those people moved on or were lost in the system. i dont want that happening again either. if Jan and Randy and everyone else soap boxing off of this issue really cared about those kids more than just as a chance to platform, they would be screaming just as loud to have those cases handled NOW. yes we want to prevent further victims, but lets try to address the ones who already are victims too.  

eric.nelson745 topcommenter

I know you will never see this: A plaque on GED Jan's desk that says, "The Buck Stops Here."


Brewer, Biggs and the buffoon Franks all love babies---until they are born, then, they say, "drop dead!" Please let Brewer resign over this. She is responsible. Check that. That would make Birther Broomstick Bennett, governor.

yourproductsucks2 topcommenter

if parraz was really interested in talking to the governor, why didn't he head over to Scottsdale where she was at instead of grandstanding in front of the admin staff? Randy parraz is a joke. someone should take the$60 in pennies and dump them on his front lawn. speaking of money, what did he and his wife do with all that money they raised under the auspices of an arpaio recall?


When all you elect are ideologues, idiots and theocrats, what do you expect?

Cozz topcommenter

Business as usual for Arizona I see, protect them in the womb and let them be abused after they're born.

yourproductsucks2 topcommenter

Randy parraz has proven to be as camera hungry as arpaio. neither one of them care how stupid they look as long as it's in front of a camera.

WhoKnows topcommenter


"Love the Fetus, hate the baby".  That seems to be the way that CAP in particular functions...

Cozz topcommenter

@WhoKnows @Cozz

When you get right down to it, it's Brewers fault this happen in the first place.

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