DCS chief James Payne fought his own agency over family matter

Sep 22, 2012 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: The Indianapolis Star

Department of Child Services Director James W. Payne waged a behind-the-scenes fight to discredit and derail his agency's recommendations in a child neglect case that involved his grandchildren.

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SBSBS

Decatur, IN

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#1
Sep 24, 2012
 

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"Preponderance of the evidence is 51 percent,'Do you believe that this occurred?'" said Judge James W. Payne, director of DCS. "That is, do you tend to believe one thing happened one way just a little bit more than another?"

"Does Judge Payne have anything to say about the allegation that he struck one of his grandchildren, or about the DCS investigation that cleared him of that allegation?"


"It never happened, never would ..." said Judge James W. Payne, director of DCS.

Well I think that the perponderance of evidence leads me to believe, at least 51%, that he smacked his grandchild and misused his postition to aid his son.
SBSBS

Decatur, IN

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#2
Sep 24, 2012
 

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I am happy that now he has an idea how those he and his department accused and refused to listen too.
Really

Chicago, IL

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#3
Sep 24, 2012
 

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Really....? That department is damned if they do and damned if they don't. You're nothing more than another "damned if they do" critic.
Really Really

Decatur, IN

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#4
Sep 24, 2012
 
AAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWW. Maybe even a victim that find his being in that same situation ironic. He's the one that claimed lack of evidence was perponderance. Besides, now that he's gone you don't have to fear your leader anymore.
Stu

Wessington Springs, SD

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#5
Sep 24, 2012
 

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Really wrote:
Really....? That department is damned if they do and damned if they don't. You're nothing more than another "damned if they do" critic.
Oh it's the same drug addict out of MO posting.

Maybe if you would have gotten clean, you wouldn't lose your kids!!!
Stu

Wessington Springs, SD

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#6
Sep 24, 2012
 

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SBSBS wrote:
I am happy that now he has an idea how those he and his department accused and refused to listen too.
You get your kids back deadbeat???
SBSBS

Decatur, IN

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#7
Sep 24, 2012
 
Oh yes.
SBSBS

Decatur, IN

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#8
Sep 24, 2012
 
Because they were so so wrong.
smarter

Camby, IN

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#10
Sep 25, 2012
 
sadly, its almost sport in custody cases to see who can make up the most over the top allegations, know someone who called anonymously on a neighbor they didnt like. just like here dont id yourself and talk away
SBSBS

Decatur, IN

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#11
Sep 25, 2012
 
only wrote:
<quoted text>
Tell me something. How is it that I have raised 2 kids and never once was on the DCS radar???
And you get your kids taken away through 'error'
Right.
Evidence IS the issue. After saying 51% is the standard he goes on to say, ""That is, do YOU TEND to believe one thing happened one way just a LITTLE BIT more than another?"

A litle bit is all he requires to procede. Also his own criticism of DCS, if the draft is true, says that DCS does not follow the evidence. Another interesting point is that from what I read so far the children themselves accused him of striking a child. No ananymous caller here.

Yes I don't believe all I read in papers but...I TEND to think, just a little bit...that he's guilty. And he finds this perposterous.
CeliaFoote

Indianapolis, IN

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#12
Sep 25, 2012
 

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smarter wrote:
sadly, its almost sport in custody cases to see who can make up the most over the top allegations, know someone who called anonymously on a neighbor they didnt like. just like here dont id yourself and talk away
Usually there is good reason to make that telephone call. Better safe than sorry.
wasnt

Indianapolis, IN

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#13
Sep 25, 2012
 

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Wasn't there a nasty pig named Aaron Ingle that lost his kids because his house was a filthy pig sty? People get what they deserve. Said he was remodeling the house. For 5 years??? Damn. People will give any excuse for being a dirtbag.
ima hoosier

Greenfield, IN

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#15
Sep 25, 2012
 

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say what you wish, but i remember the good that judge payne did for the throwaway children in indianapolis. many were helped because of his work. i am so sad to see him leave his post. i am sure that others will miss him too. he was a true advocate.
TRUTH

Indianapolis, IN

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#16
Sep 25, 2012
 

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ima hoosier wrote:
say what you wish, but i remember the good that judge payne did for the throwaway children in indianapolis. many were helped because of his work. i am so sad to see him leave his post. i am sure that others will miss him too. he was a true advocate.
Very true this was a good man. Dedicated his life to keeping children safe. He will be missed.
SBSBS

Decatur, IN

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#17
Sep 25, 2012
 
Still the legislature called for his resignation. And for no reason? How could that happen to him if he did nothing wrong? That would be like saying a good parent was accused wrongfully. We know that that could NEVER HAPPEN. Perhaps he should not have stuck his grandchild. Perhaps he should have taken a leave of absence while he became involved with his son's fight with DCS?

Maybe he should have notified his superiors. Where ethics are ivolved he knew full well that he needed to avoid the APPEARENCE of wrong doing. But he thought he was untouchable.

There are children that face unspeakable abuse and neglect. We should protect them. But ignoring EVIDENCE to the contrary, maintaining substantiations that are prooven to be without merit, and hurting innocent families is still wrong.

51% perponderance is his standard. Now he can live with that. And if he is so great, why did Dr. Antoinette Laskey resign as head of the Child Fatality Review Team and name him as part of the problem? Why was his responce simply to say, maybe it's just time for her to go and not consider her contributions to his department or at least thank her for her services.

Oh, poor POOR Judge Payne!
Ft Wayne Journal Gazette

Decatur, IN

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#18
Sep 26, 2012
 
In a publication he wrote last year for the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the director of Indiana’s Department of Child Services offered 20 pages of advice to top-level child protection leaders.
“One good rule of thumb:“If it is to be done, let it be done quickly!” wrote James Payne.“One other rule of thumb: Improve them or remove them!”
Fortunately, the director has followed his own advice, resigning Monday after an Indianapolis Star investigation revealed Payne’s egregious ethical violations in intervening in a child neglect case involving his own family. A statement from Gov. Mitch Daniels sought to label the disclosure as politically motivated while ignoring the blatant conflict of interest Payne created within his own department.
Ft Wayne Journal Gazette

Decatur, IN

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#19
Sep 26, 2012
 
But DCS’ operation has increasingly been compromised by ill-advised and unresponsive decision-making at the highest levels. With details of the Star’s investigation, including the fact that Payne himself was at one point accused of child abuse, it becomes clear that the drama involving the director couldn’t help but distract DCS from its vital responsibilities.
Regardless of any spin the governor’s office chooses to place on Payne’s resignation, there is no question that the former Marion County juvenile court judge violated the code of conduct that he himself instituted for DCS employees and top officials, prohibiting “personal and private interests” such as intervening in a case involving a family member.
South Bend Tribune

Decatur, IN

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#20
Sep 26, 2012
 
It might have been tempting for the governor, in the final months of his administration, to ignore the drama playing out. But it was incumbent on him to do what he could to ensure the agency has an ethical leader.
If Payne, in fact, breached standards, he had to leave. Even a shadow of a doubt would have been unacceptable.
This should give the Indiana General Assembly’s interim study committee on the DCS impetus to look closely at other policies Payne fostered.
More than anything, the director should want to keep distractions over his involvement in the case of his grandchildren from derailing the DCS from its work. Payne was right to resign.
Times Northwest Indiana

Decatur, IN

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#21
Sep 26, 2012
 
James Payne offered the necessary next reform for the Indiana Department of Child Services — by resigning from the agency he founded.
Payne’s resignation Monday came the day after The Indianapolis Star reported on Payne’s involvement in a child neglect case involving his grandchildren. That appears to have violated the agency’s code of conduct, which of course forbids agency staff from getting involved in cases involving relatives.
Even if The Indianapolis Star had not reported on that case, though, it was time for Payne to leave the agency.
Payne prided himself on returning millions of unspent DCS dollars to the state Treasury, even as some children failed to receive the level of care they needed.
Children who might fare better in a group home were given less intensive — less expensive — care. Some parents were being told to abandon their children so the state could provide help to these children whose health or circumstances make them especially vulnerable.
The DCS agreed this month to fund care for children in this condition, in the wake of Times investigative reporter Marisa Kwiatkowski’s yearlong Children in Peril series. What took so long?
Lafayette Journal Courier

Decatur, IN

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#22
Sep 26, 2012
 
The fact that Payne came to the defense of his son and what he believed to be best for his grandchildren was not a problem. But in his position, he needed to separate himself from his role as the top DCS officer and let the governor in on what was going on while he did it. The questions of undue influence were just too great. As a former judge — not to mention someone who has seen thousands of DCS cases come through the state’s courts since he was hired to help clean up the system — he should have understood that.
Because he didn’t, his job was compromised. On Monday, Payne resigned, refusing “to allow this personal, family tragedy to be misused to distort the positive performance of all DCS employees, which has been recognized across the nation as one of the biggest turnaround stories.”

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