"We sometimes tend to wait too long to make those tough calls," DCS Director James W. Payne said Thursday, in his first public comments about the specifics of TaJanay's case.
"I will defend my staff in their judgment, because it's our job then to figure out how we can improve that judgment," Payne said. "My review of this case does not cause me to conclude that there was either malfeasance or misfeasance, nor was there neglect."
Under Payne's tenure, the agency has been completely overhauled. One of the reforms he implemented was a team approach to handling these cases. What is apparent from today's Star report is there were completely opposing conclusions being reached by members of the team. The social workers on the ground who were able to observe first-hand the conditions in the home recommended Tajanay's removal. Even with the missing police report, the DCS workers had every reason to conclude Tajanay should be removed from the home. Instead, the DCS supervisors of the case opposed her removal. If Payne read the Bailey file and came to the conclusion that those DCS supervisors, who apparently overruled the social workers on the ground under his team approach, weren't guilty of "malfeasance or misfeasance" or "neglect", as he put it, then Gov. Daniels should immediately remove him from his position. His statements in light of Bailey's records are nothing short of shocking and outrageous.