Republican Lawmakers Block Townsend Amendments To Protect Parents From Dishonest DCS Workers

On Monday, House Republicans beat back an effort by Rep. Kelly Townsend to protect Arizona’s parents’ constitutional rights by amending SB1003. Townsend’s amendments would have prohibited Department of Child Safety caseworkers from lying to the court or withholding exculpatory evidence.

SB1003, sponsored by Sen. Nancy Barto “establishes the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on the Department of Child Safety (Committee) and outlines Committee membership and meeting requirements.” However, an amendment offered by Rep. John Allen would effectively codify the Department’s practice of denying parents their due process rights.


Townsend asked her fellow lawmakers how they could oppose the amendments as they appeared to be preoccupied with their laptops and cellphones.

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Although Republican lawmakers claimed later that they blocked Townsend’s amendments out of respect for the bill’s sponsor, moments later they later killed a sewer bill sponsored by fellow Republican Sen. David Farnsworth.

Farnsworth’s bill would have “prohibited a municipality from charging a wastewater fee for vacant land that does not have a wastewater connection or wastewater service.” Republicans said they opposed the bill on principle, but offered no explanation as to just what principle was at issue.

The principles behind Townsend’s amendments were clear; parents have a right to due process and social workers cannot lie to parents.

Townsend read from the Constitution as she pleaded with her fellow lawmakers to consider the rights of parents.

Townsend’s amendments:

Prohibits a DCS worker from knowingly influencing the outcome of a matter before a juvenile court or DCS by:

a. Lying about a matter

b. Withholding material information;

c. Fabricating evidence; or

d. Failing to disclose known exculpatory evidence

Classifies a violation as a Class 1m misdemeanor

Prohibits DCS from using covert or overt computer voice-stress analysis when investigating if abuse or neglect exists.

Specifies that overt or covert computer voice-stress analysis test results are not admissible in court.

Prohibits DCS from maintaining computer voice-stress analysis documentation in their case files.

Prohibits a peace officer, child welfare investigator or child safety worker from removing a child from their home or school unless one of the following apply:

a. A warrant is obtained;

b. Exigent circumstances exist;

c. A court order is obtained pursuant to statute; or

d. A child’s parent or guardian provides consent.

Permits the juvenile court to issue a warrant authorizing the removal of a child from their home or school if it appears to the court that there is probable cause to believe that a child meets statutorily prescribed conditions (A.R.S. § 8-821[B]).

Defines exigent circumstances.

Requires DCS to submit a quarterly report to the legislature regarding the number of court orders obtained prior to the removal of a child pursuant to statute.

After Townsend’s amendments passed with the help of a handful of Republicans and all Democrats, Rep. Regina Cobb offered a motion to once again retain the bill on the calendar. Cobb’s motion saved the bill for another day while making moot Townsend’s victory.

Last week, Allen faced tough questions about the bill. After Rep. Jesus Rubacalva asked Allen if he was aware how many warrants or court orders the Department had obtained before taking children this year, Allen abruptly ended the debate and the bill was retained on the calendar.

10 Comments on "Republican Lawmakers Block Townsend Amendments To Protect Parents From Dishonest DCS Workers"

  1. The Oracle of Tucson | April 18, 2017 at 12:12 am | Reply

    Corruption and partisan politics at its finest. Nothing appears as it seems, and the powers that be are just fine with that.

    TOoT

  2. I am so sick of the corruption of the parties in this state especially the Republican party. It’s time for a new political party for those who are conservative since the two established parter are two sides of the same coin.

    • Howard, I share with you the frustration of watching my Republican Party continually back leftist positions and candidates. A strong conservative party for folks like you and me seems the logical thing to back. This was my position after I witnessed the corruption and back stabbing going in in the ranks. But then I realized that a new party would quickly become infiltrated with those same con artists who have destroyed the Rep party. Neocons have taken over; they are former Democrat types in the Woodrow Wilson mold who pull the strings now. And as soon as a viable alternative party got under way, they would seamlessly move into positions of influence and begin running it. So, easy as it may seem, a new party would not work. I think what is really needed is that responsible, conservatives bring up the level of understanding on the part of voters. If Republic really knew what was going on and who’s in charge, they’d stand up to it and elect statesmen to office. Until we increase the pathetic level of awareness of keys issues, we will never get to first base. I guess I’m saying we need to work, work within the GOP, not desert it.

  3. David Wright | April 19, 2017 at 6:52 am | Reply

    Why would anybody oppose a rule expressly forbidding lying about evidence?

  4. There are a lot of vacancy in the new Building that where build just for the purpose of housing 14 aday children taken away without a warrant. Ho wait DCS can get more money if we put them in (hell) foster care. Or contract agency to screen adoptions. Incorrect information given to judges that get paid by the DCS is lawful, and not perjury!

  5. Lorraine Patterson | April 20, 2017 at 8:46 pm | Reply

    A child must be detained at the first hearing iin order to receive federal funding. The judges rubber stamp it even when there is no evidence attached to CPS’ report to fhe court. CPS workers withhold their petition used to remive your child from you …Many Parents do not know the allegations against them like myself so I did not know why I was there and felt stupid and knew nothing about the process….you are threatened with false charges if you complain and in my case threatened my lifelong teaching licenses with false charges while supreessing the exculpatory evidence …you are denied notice ,impartial tribune and any chance to get your exculpatory evidence on record. The judges refuse it so they can get the federal fhnds. They make up paperwork like listing at a meeting when you never even heard about it but is required by federal law. They make up lies about you based on fantasy and not facts or evidence . When we complain about our children being abused , we are gagged ordered or threatened with jail. The Retaliation is also seizing your other children or grandchildren . The court appointed attorneys always lose but the AZ Bar and judges refuse to discipline anyone and no one notices although it is statistically impossible one would think. Out of 1,600 terminations of parental rights in six months only one was overturned . It is your worse nightmare and no one will help us here… ot even the ACLU, FBI , etc…Some of us are suing or have sued for damages and change in federal for violations of our civil rights based on federal law for the loss of our familial association etc. …. but so far we never win ..oddly …google Pellerin v. Wagner…they hired the best attorney in the country. MONEY ! MONEY…Each child brings in 80,000 a year to the state …judges, attorneys, CASA, FCRB, druggists , foster and adoptive parents, prosceutors, counselors, group homes, foster and adoptive parents …et al. get the money …a troubled teen adopted out brings in 10,000 dollars to the county …it is a cash for Kids scheme here and has nothing to so with abuse and neglect… The Missing Buckeye Boy, Jesse was adopted out …where is the ten year boy missing since 2016? That adopitve parent had five adopted kids. They were tied fo fhe bed and always straving…nice work AZ! Makes me sick every day!

  6. Lorraine Patterson | April 20, 2017 at 8:55 pm | Reply

    Sorry about the spelling…the typing was small on my tablet . I investigated it and parents with stolen children are uniting here and we will not give up until they stop usong our children fo bring in cash and then harming and destroying them when in foster care . I have collected over thirty stories and vewied much evidence . One woman filed an appeal and it disppeared shockingly… . We went to court hearings of other parents and sheriffs were there making us leave or parents are locked in or out of court with armed guards at the door … one parent was locked out of her own hearing. See Melissa Diegel on FB..as well as Leanna Smith…Karla Johnson …Lawrence Espinosa etd….This is good? This is child welfare ? More like the mafia to any reasonable person.

    • The Oracle of Tucson | April 20, 2017 at 11:30 pm | Reply

      No worries, outside of the TROLL Jim, no one gives a rats ass over your spelling, well except for Jim…..

  7. Me and my husband lost our son Phoenix November fourth of last year we found out our rights were terminated the day we had our visit with him I lost four kids to cps in Idaho for b.s. reasons and Arizona used that as a reason to remove my son that and because they claimed I had a severe mental illness and because of things that were the hospital’s fault he was removed from the hospital at five days old for no reason

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