DCS Fires Employees, Legislators Call for Hearing

(Nashville)  Two people are off the job at the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services. 

The firings come as the agency is under intense scrutiny related to children who died in its care.

The department won’t say much about the firings, let alone connect them to the ongoing investigation by dozens of media outlets, including WREG, into child fatalities.

The employees let go Tuesday were Debbie Miller, who was the Executive Director of Family and Child Well Being, and Alan Hall who served as the department’s Executive Director of Performance and Quality Improvement. 

Both were members of DCS’ Child Fatality Review Team.

According to a spokesperson, Miller had been with DCS since April 2011, and Hall had been with the agency since April 2012.

Spokesperson Molly Sudderth only confirmed the “departures” of the two.

She said Miller’s position was eliminated due to restructuring, and Hall’s position was simply cut.

The firings came the same day DCS was in court with a coalition of media outlets who are asking for access to certain public records.

The On Your Side Investigators have been looking into child fatalities in Shelby County, and the department refused our request to review related cases.

Several legislators sent a letter to Governor Haslam today requesting a hearing on the matter.

“If the commissioner does not provide information to members of the General Assembly, there is something extremely wrong,” said Rep. Sherry Jones, (D) Nashville, by phone.  Jones also told WREG she’d worked with Miller in the past and considered her an advocate for children.  She said she wasn’t aware of any reprimands in the personnel files of Miller or Hall.

Jones had also previously requested files from DCS regarding fatalities and near fatalities and been denied.

There’s no word if and when a hearing might take place.

As far as the court case, the judge said she planned to review the matter immediately.

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