- Associated Press - Thursday, November 5, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Gov. Kate Brown on Wednesday announced a leadership change and independent review of the Oregon Department of Human Services.

The Oregonian reported (https://goo.gl/IQCm9n ) the move came hours after a Willamette Week story saying agency officials knew about alleged problems with a Portland foster care provider but continued to place children there.

Brown’s statement also comes more than two weeks after the Oregon Department of Justice filed a lawsuit accusing Mary Ayala, owner of Give Us This Day, of misspending at least $2 million in state funds to the detriment of the children in her care.

Brown said she has serious concerns about information brought to light regarding foster care provider Give Us This Day.

“When it comes to ensuring the safety of children in the state’s care, we must be uncompromising,” she said in the statement.

Ayala told The Oregonian the allegations are “totally not true.”

Oregon’s chief operating officer, Clyde Saiki, will replace interim Human Services Department director Jerry Waybrant, who had previously been in charge of foster care programs for the state. He took the post this summer after the director for the previous 13 years, Erinn Kelley-Siel, stepped down, saying she wanted a job closer to her family in Portland.

Saiki will serve as interim director for the Department of Human Services while a national search for a director takes place.

Brown said the independent review will look at human services programs to determine what improvements are needed in order to ensure children are served and protected.

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Information from: The Oregonian, https://www.oregonlive.com

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