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Mon, Oct. 14

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

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 Friday that her department - which was conducting its own investigation into allegations of improper conduct at the business - has substantiated the allegations in its investigation.

At the time Kiddie Depot closed, Department of Economic Security Communications Director Liz Barker-Alvarez said DES pulled its contract with Kiddie Depot 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 was not available for comment Friday.

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 at 2821 N. Mountain Depot closed its doors April 8 after DES 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 on Friday, the Daily Courier, in an attempt to contact officials there, learned that its telephone number had been disconnected.

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