Monday, September 24, 2012

Payne Calls Star Report Despicable

DCS Director James Payne is responding to an investigative story in Sunday's Indianapolis Star detailing his direct involvement in a child custody and child neglect case involving his grandchildren that some believed crossed ethical boundaries. In an e-mail to Fox 59 News, Payne called the report "despicable" and denies that he did not doing any improper. Payne also contradicted claims by Governor Daniels' office that it did not know of his involvement in the case.

"It was difficult to see our children and grandchildren go through this matter, and it is nothing short of despicable for The Indianapolis Star to profit from their difficulties," Judge James Payne wrote in an e-mail in response to Fox 59's questions. "We have not seen our grandchildren since Christmas due to a custody case. So, to even imply that I had any professional influence on this case is preposterous." . . .
Meanwhile, when asked by Fox 59 whether the governor's office was informed of the case, Payne said "[t]he governor's staff knew my grandchildren had been placed with my wife and me, but CHINS (child in need of services) cases are confidential -- even for my grandchildren."
I'm not sure why Daniels' office is claiming that it knew nothing about the case. It simply defies credulity to believe that it knew nothing about a case that has been ongoing for the past two years. Meanwhile, Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Gregg seized on the Star report to call for Payne's resignation.
“Let me be clear. Judge Payne needs to be removed from his position today,” said Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Gregg. “The well-being of our children cannot wait until a new administration takes over in January. I am calling on Governor (Mitch) Daniels to ask for Judge Payne’s immediate resignation.”
“In February of this year, I wrote a letter to the editor saying that the department needed to be fixed, and that started with removing Judge Payne as Director. In July of this year, I released my plan for fixing DCS by creating the Office of the Child Advocate, re-instituting preventative mental health care and promoting adoption throughout the state. Again, I called for Judge Payne’s removal.”
A spokesman for Mike Pence's campaign told the Star that he was deferring comment to the governor.

1 comment:

CircleCityScribe said...

-The only thing despicable is the unethical conduct that James Payne was reported to have engaged in.