Monday, January 14, 2008

Lawmakers subpoena personnel records from CPS

Published: 01.11.2008

Lawmakers subpoena personnel records from CPS
By Josh Brodesky
ARIZONA DAILY STAR
State lawmakers issued subpoenas Thursday afternoon for the personnel records of two former Child Protective Services workers and another employee still with the agency.
The action comes days before lawmakers begin discussing wide-ranging issues involving the agency, including making state personnel records public in the same way municipalities and county governments do.
House Speaker Jim Weirs subpoenaed the records of former employees Amy Gile and Armando Acuna. Records for Theodore Zachos, who is still with the agency, were also requested.
All three worked or work for the agency's Pima County district.
Acuna voluntarily resigned from the agency in 2003 after Tucson police began investigating his relationship with a teenage girl in his care.
Gile's last day with the agency was June 12, following widespread media attention about her sexual relationship with a man she met while handling his child-abuse case in 2000.
Gile not only may have helped the father keep his children despite abuse charges, records show, but she also was aware of a substantiated incident of abuse that occurred during her relationship.
Gile's relationship prompted a policy review, and CPS now prohibits romantic and sexual relationships with current and former clients.
Why Zachos' records were requested is unclear. He declined comment late Thursday.
Zachos was the unit supervisor for sex-abuse investigations until this fall. He is currently an investigator with the CPS nights and weekends unit.
Meanwhile, the House Government Committee will dedicate its first meeting of the new legislative session Tuesday to CPS issues, said state Rep. Jonathan Paton, R-Tucson.
CPS has come under intense public scrutiny since the death and presumed death of a Tucson sister and brother and the death of another Tucson boy last year — allegedly at the hands of their parents. All three children were under the agency's watch.
In addition to reviewing the personnel records, lawmakers will be discussing a number of bills that affect the agency.
Some of the bills would make public such things as dependency hearings, state employee disciplinary actions and records of children under CPS care who have either been killed or in imminent danger, Paton said.
There are also discussions about bills that would allow the agency to put out notices for kids who have gone missing and may be in danger and for referring cases to law enforcement.
● Contact reporter Josh Brodesky at 807-7789 or jbrodesky@azstarnet.com.


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