Press release from the Tennessee House Democratic Caucus; May 21, 2013:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – House Democrats are applauding the move by Governor Haslam to appoint Interim Commissioner Jim Henry as the permanent Commissioner of the Department of Children’s Services.
“Jim Henry is a great public servant who is unquestionably the best choice to move DCS forward,” said House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh. “His qualifications, knowledge and professionalism will be a stark contrast and welcome respite from the mismanagement and scandal we have seen from so many other Commissioners in this administration.”
Commissioner Henry assumed control of the Department of Children’s Services in February when then Commissioner Kate O’Day resigned. Since then he has taken positive steps towards fixing an agency that was mired in allegations of secrecy and poor handling of cases.
“We would also like to congratulate Debra Payne for being selected to fill Commissioner Henry’s role as Commissioner of DIDDS,” said Leader Fitzhugh. “This is an extremely important agency and I am confident that Deputy Commissioner Payne will be up to the task of leading this department with the same level of professionalism that Commissioner Henry did.”