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Tue, Oct. 22

State substantiates allegations against Kiddie Depot; county declines to file charges

Prescott Valley - Deputy Yavapai County Attorney Bill Hughes says the county attorney's office will not file charges in the Kiddie Depot investigation.

However, Arizona Department of Health Services spokeswoman Laura Oxley told The Daily Courier today, April 17, that her department - which also was investigating Kiddie Depot - has substantiated the allegations in its investigation of the childcare center.

Oxley said she would release details of her department's investigation later today.

At the time Kiddie Depot closed, DES Communications Director Liz Barker-Alvarez said DES pulled its contract because the Prescott Valley Police Department and the Arizona Department of Health Services - which licenses childcare businesses - were investigating "allegations of harm to the children" there.

Barker-Alvarez is taking a furlough day today, her office said, and could not be reached for comment.

Hughes said that after reviewing the Prescott Valley police reports in the case, the county has "declined to file charges on the grounds that there appears to be insufficient evidence that any crime was committed."

The daycare center, 2821 N. Mountain Depot, closed its doors April 8 after the Arizona Department of Economic Security pulled its contract with the business. DES paid for 20 children to attend Kiddie Depot, which was operated by the First United Pentecostal Church of Prescott Valley.

DES contracts with childcare businesses so that parents receiving state childcare subsidies can send their children there.

Pastor Richard Evans at First United Pentecostal did not return phone calls seeking comment.

The day after Kiddie Depot closed, its sign was painted over, and today The Daily Courier, in an attempt to contact officials there, learned that its telephone number has been disconnected.

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