PHOENIX, Ariz. - An employee within the Department of Child Safety told the 12 News I-Team that the department does not check the state's sex offender database before placing a foster child in a home.
"Did you check the sex offender database before placing children?" asked 12 News I-Team reporter Bianca Buono.
"No we never - we never do that," said Evelyne Bankuwabo.
"Bankuwabo is the case manager who placed the child and should have done a more thorough investigation," said attorney Robert Pastor.
Bankuwabo is one of five people named in a notice of claim alleging DCS placed a 6-year-old foster child in a home where a registered, level three sex offender was living. Just months after moving into the home, the young girl was molested by that sex offender.
"Someone didn't do their job," Pastor said.
Darren DaRonco, the public information officer for the Department of Child Safety, responded to Bankuwabo's comments with the following statement:
"We run a state and federal background check on every adult who lives in the home before we approve a placement. If a person has committed a crime that would place them on the registry, it would appear on this fingerprint background check if the crime has been entered into the criminal database."
Three other DCS employees are coming under fire for their role in the incident. Angela Tappo is a DCS investigator, according to Pastor. He said Arthur Davis is a supervisor in charge of investigations.
"DCS is required to do a home study to make sure that home is safe. It should include a home visit to figure out, 'Hey, who is living here?'" Pastor said.
DCS Director Gregory McKay is also named in the notice of claim.
"He is the one responsible for making sure the DCS workers do their job, that they do it well, and they do it in a way that actually does protect Arizona's children," said Pastor.
The impending $22 million lawsuit is against the state of Arizona, so Attorney General Mark Brnovich is the fifth name listed in the document.