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

Readers also liked…

  • Al Gore remembers Dale Bumpers

    Former Vice President Al Gore, a former U.S. Senate colleague of Dale Bumpers, sent a statement on Bumpers' death Friday:
    • Jan 3, 2016
  • The inspiring Hillary Clinton

    Hillary Clinton's campaign for president illustrates again the double standard applied to women. Some writers get it. They even find the supposedly unlikable Clinton inspiring.
    • Oct 16, 2016
  • Jason Rapert vs. Wikipedia

    Sen. Jason Rapert against the world: Wikipedia edition.
    • Jan 23, 2016

People who saved…

Most Shared

  • Take yourself there: Mavis Staples coming to LR for Central High performance

    Gospel and R&B singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, who has been inspiring fans with gospel-inflected freedom songs like "I'll Take You There" and "March Up Freedom's Highway" and the poignant "Oh What a Feeling" will come to Little Rock for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

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