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CPS documents dumped; case worker left files behind after moving

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) -

Thousands of cases of child abuse -- neglected by Child Protective Services.

On Monday, the agency was front and center in front of officials at the state capitol, answering questions about what it's doing to fix the problem.

CPS says it's working to investigate all 6,500 cases and more than 1,400 have been already been assigned for investigation.

One of the topics at Monday's hearing involved thousands of pages of classified documents that were dumped in a Phoenix alley

We sat down with the head of CPS to find out how those documents ended up out in the open.

What was Department of Economic Security Director Clarence Carter's reaction when he heard about that, and did he see the information that was in those documents?

"Well, we of course were very concerned that there were confidential records that were not secured," he replied.

Carter says the files belong to a case worker who worked for CPS from 2008 to 2009.  She took them home to work on them -- something that is not uncommon, he says.  But when she moved to California, she left the files in a shed.

The new homeowners then threw the box out next to the trash, where the FOX 10 viewer found them.

Carter calls it an "isolated incident" and that it is not connected to the thousands of uninvestigated cases.

"There are very, very robust rules that every DES employee is trained on every single year on how to protect confidential records."

As for the case worker herself, Carter says she cooperated in the investigation and the agency will not be seeking criminal charges against her.

"They helped us understand what happened here.. and we are not pursuing any other action against the individual," said Carter.

FOX 10 turned those documents over to CPS after receiving them.  CPS says they were destroyed.

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