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Heavy-handed responses becoming habitual for Human Services dept.

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By Sherry Robinson

Lately the governor is ducking flak from the actions of two of her hires – Human Services Secretary Sidonie Squier and Regulation and Licensing Superintendent J. Dee Dennis.
Squier stormed out of a legislative committee hearing after the kitchen got too hot. Legislative committees can be brutal, and some of the more pompous lawmakers consider it their right to bluster, but Squier had some explaining to do after pulling the plug on 15 of the state’s behavioral health service providers.
To recap: Public Consulting Group accused the 15 of mismanagement and possible fraud based on its audit. PCG is paid on the basis of “findings” and misspent dollars. Without telling the nonprofits what they’re accused of, HSD halted payments, which could throw providers into bankruptcy.
Squier now intends to spend $17 million on Arizona contractors. That’s the best Plan B anybody could come up with?
Heavy-handed responses are nothing new to Squier and her department.


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