A meeting on child welfare issues Tuesday had just about completed its morning session when a state senator had one more question.
“I think everybody in this room is fully aware of The Kansas City Star article coming out on transparency,” said Sen. Laura Kelly, a Topeka Democrat. “And one of the issues that came up in there was the shredding of notes from meetings in DCF (the Department for Children and Families).
“Is there anybody here from DCF who can respond to that allegation?”
The crowded hearing room in the state Capitol was silent. At one point, an official who was speaking for the department looked behind him, appearing to seek input from other DCF staff.
“Is that a no comment?” Kelly asked.
“Yeah,” the official said. Approached seconds after the hearing broke for lunch, he again said he had no comment.
During the break, Kelly said that although DCF Secretary Phyllis Gilmore wasn’t at the hearing, she did expect someone from the agency to answer the question.
“I just wanted them to have the opportunity to go on record and clearly I think they reinforced what The Kansas City Star article said, and that’s that there is no transparency in this agency.”