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Indiana Department Of Child Services Director Resigns

Department of Child Services Director James Payne resigned Monday over ethics allegations.

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Photo: Jasont82 (Wikimedia)

Governor Mitch Daniels accepted James Payne's resignation.

Department of Child Services Director James Payne resigned from his post Monday in the wake of allegations of impropriety regarding the DCS and a case involving his own family. DCS Chief of Staff John Ryan is stepping in as director of the department effective immediately.

Payne’s resignation comes after allegations that he interfered with a child neglect investigation involving his grandchildren. Payne’s son was involved in a bitter divorce from his wife and Payne is alleged to have worked to discredit DCS caseworkers on behalf of his son.

Governor Daniels, who accepted Payne’s resignation, issued a statement praising Payne’s service as head of DCS, saying thousands of Hoosier children are better off because of Payne’s leadership. News of the resignation came just minutes before a legislative study committee meeting looking into DCS practices.

Democratic members of the committee had called for a state investigation into the allegations surrounding Payne, and Evansville Representative Gail Riecken says his resignation does not change that.

“We’re just now hearing about [the issues], and we don’t know how far down they go into the department and I think we need to know that,” she says.

Indianapolis Republican Representative Cindy Noe, the study committee’s co-chair, says those investigations are outside the legislature’s purview.

“You have the commission on ethics as well as the inspector general,” she says. “In this instance, those entities will not be used because this issue has been resolved within the executive branch of government.”

Noe says the allegations should not erase the good that Payne has done for the state.

Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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  • Our Children Come First

    What if,
    what if he was doing the right thing to protecting his grandchildren? He did
    whatever it took to making sure those kids were safe.

    We don’t have all the facts and my first intuition was just that; he saw his own people
    at child services not protecting his grandchildren and only going by some
    guidelines, at most. It sounds like Mr. Payne has seen first-hand how his
    people at CPS are truly not looking out for the best interest of the children.
    He then had no choice but to intervene in search of protecting those children. This
    was my first thought.

    My question is – why was CPS involved at all?

    If Payne’s son was involved in a bitter divorce from his wife than that means they have
    lawyers and were fighting in divorce court. At this time CPS is almost never
    involved as everything must go through divorce court.

    As you will read in my book “Our Children Come First” you will see in my case in Indiana that no matter what happens, from abuse or neglect to a child, or any domestic
    violence, everything must go through divorce court. I even witness police upset
    to the point they do nothing because they know the situation has to go back to
    divorce court and what they do doesn’t matter. Their hands are tied because the
    divorce papers are so vague and not specific they are limited in helping or
    protecting to serve. I had found bruises on my daughter after picking her up
    from her mother’s, and I was bounced around between two counties with both police
    and CPS as either department didn’t want to get involved. Or the restraining
    orders had said the protective order will be in effect until the next court
    date, which didn’t happened, so as far as the police were concern the
    restraining order was not valid.

    Personally I would want to sit down and talk with this man, James Payne, to see what he has learned from his son’s case after resigning. With his many years of experiences being a director of the department, maybe he has seen another light of what the true problems are within the system. I would like to pick his brain to see if
    maybe I could be helping in another way which I haven’t seen yet.

  • melissa mckean

    i don’t blame him here is my story:notice of child abuse and or neglect assessment outcome and right to administrative review. assessment number10000359924

    unresponsive from on call maintenance that i called the cops to back me up that there in deed was and still is a huge 5×5 spot outside my apartment. i had reported it. nothing was done, i let it go. this complex is not maintained well so i let it be. “Flies” were in the whole hallway and eventually invaded my apartment to the point of they were dodging at our dinner breakfast lunch it was tramatic everytime i smashed one there was blood. i have alll the proof of the flies on fly tape i bought and they would bite my son and myself while we slept. finally much to my dismay i called the cops because we had no peace. over two hours there was another call for the cops before i called and my psychiatrist had prescribed me a new adhd medicine i made report to her i couldnt sleep for many reasons. my house was immaculate it says that in the report. i was not under the influence of anything illegal and in the report and cps was called because i had my son outside my door and not the cops i called came into the hallway as soon as that door shut, the only reason it shut was becasuse i had my bag and all my school work in it. ironically i was attending ivytech and studyiing to achieve my associates in science and human relations. the medics looked e over i was drug tested by cps i was drilled by 8 cops and only 4 cops were listed on the report. the worst thing is that i was ok’d by the medics and then when the cps lady who had her boyfriend with her made me take a drug test. then the cop said to me we are taking your son and putting you in the basement at howard regional they carted me in a cop car which gave e such anxiety that i cant describe in less than 300 words. the papers say that i was assumed to be on meth the apartment was clean and safe only papers in the corner. i was in the basement until they medicated me to a zombie. they treated me terrible. and they promised me since i was not on anything illegal i would get my son back right away. it was atleast 6 weeks wothout him and since i was sedated beyond normal function that i couldnt get to school i could barely drive. i have made the decision to revolt against these charges because i have cared for my healthy over privalaged only child that there should be an end to this hell the cps and “vocab rehab” lady criticized counted my pills and forced me to take “random” drug tests ever thursday or friday. please help me i have all the proof and i am willing to fight this charge at any charge. i barely make rent being more of an independent worker, like taking care of my grandparents 5 acres of yard and woods. thank you for reading this. pass it on to anyone you might know that could give me advice. my phone number is 7654806204 or 7654376029 thank you! and haters can kiss this fighting mothers’ rights….kokomo picks on the ones who actually dont abuse the system or drugs!

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