Head of DES speaks out about Mesa elder abuse

Posted at 5:46 PM, Mar 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-01 22:00:21-05

The former DES worker, now at the center of an investigation into horrible elder neglect in Mesa, had a series of work-related problems, newly released documents show.

Director Tim Jeffries from the Arizona Department of Economic Security says his agency has been busy, rooting out liars, bullies and bad actors.

New documents show, former employee Carol Brown, had a questionable work ethic at best.

"Did we fire them? No. They fired themselves. You don't perform, you fire yourself," said Jeffries.

Jeffries spoke in general of the more than 250 DES workers that have been left go since he took over in March 2015.

He couldn't get into specifics of Brown's personnel background, but ABC15 filed a public information request and found stunning details.

Brown was a long time employee, with the agency for 25 years.

The records request revealed 14 pages of documented reprimands related to Brown's work.

The problems date back several years, and included problems such as "interviews with clients lasting almost four hours."

One documented case showed Brown was falling asleep on the job.

Documents show Brown would tell clients to come back when it was getting close to the end of her work day.

Paperwork showed she even yelled "my husband satisfies me" within earshot of her colleagues and bosses at work.

She even told one client "that she was probably going to be fired."

Complaints from the public poured in, highlighting rude and hostile behavior.

The final straw came during an ABC15 investigation surrounding deplorable conditions inside Brown's Mesa home where her mother-in-law lived in filth and in her own waste, according to deputies

Brown was "no longer welcomed" as an employee less than 24 hours after the story aired on Friday.

Jeffries sent the story to all 7,500 employees at DES and says work under his leadership is a privilege, not an entitlement.

ABC15 tried, repeatedly, to contact Brown at her home and her listed phone numbers, but there were no responses.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's office says they are still investigating the neglect at Brown's home.

No arrests have been made or charges filed.