PHOENIX - Gov. Jan Brewer has rejected calls by some Democrats for a special legislative session to give more cash to the beleaguered Child Protective Services.
Press aide Andrew Wilder said Brewer has given her approval to use any and all necessary overtime to clear out the backlog of the 6,000 reports of abuse over the last four years that were ignored. He said the agency has the resources it needs, at least for the time being.
Wilder said it may ultimately prove that CPS needs more staff to meet the legal requirement that every complaint of child abuse be investigated. In fact, Clarence Carter, director of the state Department of Economic Security, already has asked for an extra 350 employees.
“It’s premature to call for a special session when there isn’t a plan,” he said. And Wilder said Brewer also wants to wait until the Department of Public Safety completes its investigation of what went wrong at CPS.
“You need to know what the problem was, how it happened, who did it,” he said.
Wilder also said Brewer has no intention of honoring calls by some, including Children’s Action Alliance, to fire Carter. He said any such decision would not be made until that DPS inquiry is complete.
Carter disclosed the practice of marking some complaints not for investigation on Thursday. But Carter has so far rebuffed questions of how the practice started and who authorized it, suggesting these were decisions made at some lower level.