Indiana Department of Child Services Director James Payne violated code of conduct, report says
Report: James Payne violated code of conduct
Last Updated: 239 days ago
INDIANAPOLIS - The director of the Indiana Department of Child Services may have violated his agency's code of conduct with his involvement in a child neglect case involving his own grandchildren.
In 2010, the children of Director James Payne's son were taken from their mother by DCS after she left them alone while involved in a divorce and custody battle with Payne's son, according to a report in The Indianapolis Star.
The newspaper reported that Payne waged a behind-the-scenes fight to discredit and derail his agency's recommendations in the case when, nine months later, DCS pushed to end the neglect case and permanently reunite the children with their mother.
The agency's code of conduct forbids agency staff from personal and private interests such as a case involving relatives.
According to information released by DCS, Payne's involvement in the case was "strictly limited to being a grandparent of the children."
"So to assert that Judge Payne influenced this situation with his professional position is absolutely false," DCS Chief of Staff John Ryan said in a statement provided to The Star.
But Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Gregg said in a statement Sunday that Gov. Mitch Daniels should request Payne's resignation.
“Let me be clear. Judge Payne needs to be removed from his position today," Gregg said. "The wellbeing of our children cannot wait until a new administration takes over in January. I am calling on Gov. Daniels to ask for Judge Payne’s immediate resignation.”
A spokeswoman for Daniels had no immediate comment on Gregg's request.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.