Five ex-Child Protective Services employees in Phoenix, Arizona recently filed a lawsuit against the state claiming they were wrongfully terminated amid a tumultuous time for the agency. The former child welfare workers claim that they were in fact scapegoats, as the agency’s operations underwent severe scrutiny that began in 2013, to cover for then-governor Jan Brewer and the former director of Arizona’s Department of Economic Security.
The suit comes a year after a devastating blow suffered by Child Protective Services’, as the agency apparently neglected to investigate thousands of hotline calls. Eventually the scandal, which became news in November of 2013, lead to the creation of the Department of Child Safety, which was ultimately formed to remedy CPS’ crippling debacle. After the Department of Public safety conducted a thorough investigation into the matter, the five female employees were terminated as of April 2014 by Charles Flanagan, director of the newly formed DCS. Flanagan claims the terminations were justified after it was found that these five women were in large part responsible overseeing case closings and policy formation that was, according to Flanagan, in violation of state law. Furthermore, Flanagan alleges that these women knew they were breaching protocols and took measures to cover up their actions.
The five terminated workers defended themselves in claiming their supervisors were comprised of their actions the entire time while they were tasked with coming up with a way to decrease enormous caseloads. They claim they were following instructions the whole time, and as of October 2014, have filed a $10.5 million dollar wrongful termination claim and now seek unspecified damages. The suit expounds further, “in truth, plaintiffs were fired as part of a pre-ordained scheme to provide cover to the then-governor and her hand-picked director of the DES, Clarence Carter.” It should be noted that Carter has since left his position as Director of DES, and has since been replaced by Doug Ducey.
The attorney representing the five women, Terry Woods, aims to prove this allegation and is confident he has enough evidence to support these claims. Although there is no glaring piece of evidence to build a case around, Woods is confident he will have a hard backbone of evidence to prove his clients were wrongfully terminated by the state to cover up detrimental flaws that lead to the demise of CPS.
Via: ABC 15