PHOENIX — A special committee in the state legislature is scheduled to meet Thursday to discuss the Department of Child Safety and, in particular, the North Star Independent Living Services group home at the center of a murder investigation.
Earlier this month, Phoenix police said a teenage resident brought a gun into the home for foster teens and shot and killed another resident.
The Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on DCS is scheduled to meet the same week that a former North Star employee learned his complaint is being investigated by another agency.
“I've been saying something for a long time," said Kent Miller, a former North Star employee.
Kent Miller has been raising red flags about the safety of North Star's foster homes for months. He provided 12News with emails to management and DCS dating back to the start of the year.
This week, a complaint was acknowledged for the first time.
He had reached out to the governor's office after the fatal incident, and in response, he was told the DCS Ombudsman's Office has been asked to review his complaint. The office is tasked with reviewing citizen complaints.
“It's gotten worse and worse and worse, and the management does nothing there to help educate the boys on what to do and what not to do," Miller said.
In his complaint, Miller recalled a list of disturbing incidents he witnessed while working for North Star, including "smoking drugs on campus," "residents who overdosed," and "guns and ammo on the property."
Miller also stated the group home on Mountain View Road has routinely been short-staffed.
North Star's owners and CEO have not commented, but a North Star spokesperson told 12News the company is compliant with all state laws and rules.
Miller believes the facility needs to be shut down.
“I mean, they've closed places down for sexual abuse of a minor," Miller said. "But they're not going to close a place down for someone who dies?"
Learn more about other 12News investigations by subscribing to the 12News YouTube channel and watching our I-Team playlist.