DCS Commissioner Resigns
One day before DCS Commissioner Kathryn O’Day was scheduled to testify in a Senate committee, the governor has announced her resignation.
“Kate has informed me that she felt the time was right to step down,” said Gov. Bill Haslam in a release announcing the resignation. “She was concerned that she had become more of a focus than the children the department serves.”
O’Day’s resignation comes after months of controversy within the Department of Children’s Services over deaths of several children that were either in the state’s care or were the subject of an investigation. The department has also struggled to give information about the child deaths, blaming the state’s costly computer system, called TFACTS.
As I mentioned above, O’Day was supposed to answer questions about all of this tomorrow in a Senate Committee. It was likely not going to be a pretty hearing, because many lawmakers are not happy with the recent developments in DCS.
I can’t say I’m surprised with these developments. Last week, the governor was asked whether O’Day had his full support at an availability, and his answer was not exactly a ringing endorsement.
“Commissioner O’Day is like everybody else in our administration. At the end of the day we have a job to do, and she knows that and understands that. We know that we will do better in making sure we will protect the interests of children all over Tennessee.”
DIDD Commissioner Jim Henry will be the interim DCS commissioner for the time being.