More details on Rep. Justin Harris' influence at Human Services | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, March 15, 2015

More details on Rep. Justin Harris' influence at Human Services

Posted By on Sun, Mar 15, 2015 at 7:34 AM

INFLUENTIAL: Rep. Justin Harris, vice chair of the committee that handles Children and Youth legislation, often of interest to the Department of Human Services.
  • INFLUENTIAL: Rep. Justin Harris, vice chair of the committee that handles Children and Youth legislation, often of interest to the Department of Human Services.
Our reporting on Rep. Justin Harris has made reference to the influence he has amassed as a legislator over the Department of Human Services and he used it to advance personal interests, including adoptions now the center of controversy.

Today, Spencer Willems of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette examined closely DHS e-mail records between Harris and Cecile Blucker, head of the Division of Children and Family Services, that point in very specific ways to Harris' wielding of that influence and of DHS' catering to his interests. Important context is Harris' recent defense of his actions in  turning over his two young  adopted children into the home of a sex abuser by painting DHS officials as resistant and threatening to him.

The article details Harris' effort on the floor of the legislature to block DHS bills when he was unhappy about responses to his efforts to meet with DHS officials about a hoped-for adoption.

The growing picture of Harris' intervention in DHS matters — he remains vice chair of a committee that handles children's issues — is of a powerful legislator who repeatedly used his influence to win special treatment from an immense state agency that hurried an adoption that went wrong.

Has DHS sufficiently reviewed the aftermath of that adoption? Does it meaningfully evaluate the spending practices and adherence to religion neutrality at Harris's state-financed pre-school, Growing God's Kingdom? Given the appearances of partiality as a result of Harris' influence-wielding, it is only fair to ask the questions. We will.

The Arkansas Times has the same file of DHS correspondence on which today's excellent Democrat-Gazette reporting was based and hope to provide it fully on-line. 

Tags: , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (20)

Showing 1-20 of 20

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-20 of 20

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Bipartisan deal to continue subsidies Trump ended. But ...

    Everyone's reporting that Sens. Patty Murray and Lamar Alexander have struck a bipartisan deal on to continue federal subsidies for health coverage that Donald Trump cut off.
    • Oct 17, 2017
  • Tuesday: Open line, news roundup

    The open line, plus the day's news roundup.
    • Oct 17, 2017
  • James Lee Witt corrects Trump on grade for Puerto Rico relief effort

    Donald Trump twice yesterday used James Lee Witt, Bill Clinton's widely hailed FEMA director and now in the private business of assisting in disasters, as a reference on the work he's done responding to hurricanes this year. Media, particularly on the conservative end, have echoed the Trump remarks.But hold on: Witt wasn't talking about Puerto Rico.
    • Oct 17, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Judge Griffen: Why black lives matter

    Another few words from Judge Wendell Griffen growing from the controversy over the sale of Black Lives Matter T-shirts at the state black history museum — removed by the administration and restored after protests from Griffen and others stirred by a story in the Arkansas Times:
    • Mar 13, 2016
  • A response to police arrests becomes a tutorial on race, class and policing in Little Rock

    John Walker, the 79-year-old civil rights lawyer, and his associate, Omavi Shukur, 29, a young lawyer devoted to criminal justice reform, talked to press this afternoon about their arrests Monday by Little Rock police for supposedly obstructing governmental operations in observing and attempting to film a routine police traffic stop. It was a tutorial on sharp views of race, class and governance in Little Rock.
    • Sep 29, 2016
  • More on how highways were used to wipe out "blight" of non-white neighborhoods

    Vox, a news website that concerns itself with energy and other issues, has a fine piece, including before and after images, on the history of the U.S. interstate system and why roads were built through the middle of cities (unless people of influence stopped them — see Manhattan, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.)
    • Mar 22, 2016

People who saved…

Most Shared

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Tuesday: Open line, news roundup

    • As I remember and I could be misremembering, that the ICE raids usually took place…

    • on October 17, 2017
  • Re: Tuesday: Open line, news roundup

    • OMG--could he be any more insensitive? Trump told soldier's widow 'he knew what he signed…

    • on October 17, 2017
  • Re: The Medicaid charade explained

    • How I Got My Desired Loan Amount From A Reliable Loan Company. My name is…

    • on October 17, 2017

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation