Woman found living in filth, DES worker fired

Posted at 6:55 PM, Feb 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-29 20:55:50-05

The Arizona Department of Economic Security has fired one employee and put another on leave after an ABC15 investigation surrounding an elderly woman living in horrific conditions.

DES confirms Carol Brown, a program services evaluator since 1993, was let go after ABC15 revealed Brown's mother-in-law was found padlocked in Brown's Mesa home, living in her own waste.

DES director Tim Jeffries says his agency wasted no time in getting to the bottom of what was happening.

"The employee who owns the home, with her husband, is no longer welcomed in this agency," said Jeffries.

Adult Protective Services, which is overseen by DES, launched an investigation on Feb. 18 after receiving a report of what was going on in Brown's home.

"Although the system worked, it is unacceptable that I learned about this from [the ABC15] report," added Jeffries.

The director adds, not only was Brown let go, the person who was serving as the point of the investigation into Brown's mother-in-law's care, is now also on administrative leave.

The director didn't give specifics as to why. Mean time, DES says immediate changes have been made.

The director will be notified of all adult protective services cases involving law enforcement.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office did not respond to inquires Monday about the case. However, a spokesperson told ABC15 last week the case is still being looked at by detectives and the agency could not rule out future criminal charges.