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  • Writer's pictureArizona Senate Republicans

Forced Resignation of Hobbs' Newly Appointed DCS Director Affirms Need for Thorough Vetting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, February 22, 2023


Forced Resignation of Hobbs' Newly Appointed DCS Director Affirms Need for Thorough Vetting of Nominees by Senate Republicans


PHOENIX, ARIZONA—Chairman Jake Hoffman issues the following statement:


Over the past several weeks, members of the Senate Committee on Director Nominations have set the tone on how to properly examine nominees for critical Director positions within state agencies. We're now learning that Katie Hobbs' newly appointed Director for the Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS) has been asked to provide a resignation letter by this Friday.


Back in December, Hobbs appointed Matthew Stewart to the position and touted her efforts in "building an inclusive government that reflects diversity" by naming Mr. Stewart as "the first Black leader of DCS." Unfortunately, while serving as a DCS Training Operations Supervisor in 2020, Stewart received a letter of reprimand for "insubordination and unauthorized absence." He then resigned from his position immediately before an intended suspension could be issued to him.


Within the first several weeks of serving as the newly appointed DCS Director, some very troubling events have come to light. Those issues include four high-level employees of DCS separating from the agency. Mr. Stewart has also made some questionable moves on consulting contracts. Most recently, Mr. Stewart fired non-appointed, openly gay employees of DCS, who have now filed complaints against him, which prompted the forced resignation.


It's disgraceful that Katie Hobbs either did not conduct a thorough review of Mr. Stewart prior to offering him the position as DCS Director, or she thought she could sweep his history under the rug. This agency is tasked with protecting vulnerable children. While Katie Hobbs openly touted skin-color as her seemingly only priority in the search for the next potential DCS Director, it might have also been a good idea to look at experience and qualifications too.


This unfortunate series of events proves precisely why the Senate Confirmation process is so vitally important for the people of Arizona. The Senate’s confirmation hearings exist to ensure Director nominees are qualified for the job, and that they will faithfully execute the laws of the state of Arizona. Sadly, it seems clear that Hobbs' is not conducting her own vetting process, so my colleagues and I will continue to serve as the necessary and constitutional check and balance on the Executive Branch that the citizens of our great state need and deserve.


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For more information, contact:

Kim Quintero Director of Communications | Arizona State Senate Republican Caucus kquintero@azleg.gov

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