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Fired Arizona child welfare workers to appeal dismissal of lawsuit

PHOENIX — Five former Arizona child welfare workers who were fired last
year amid an agency scandal planned to appeal a judge’s dismissal of their wrongful
termination lawsuit.

Phoenix attorney Terry Woods said Monday he believed Maricopa County Superior
Court Judge Robert Oberbillig made an incorrect legal decision when he approved
a request from the state to throw out their lawsuit.

The state’s child welfare agency was rocked by the November 2013 discovery that
thousands of hotline calls were labeled as not worthy of being investigated.

The former Child Protective Services employees argued they were fired in April 2014
to provide political cover to then-Gov. Jan Brewer and Clarence Carter, who
headed the Department of Economic Security.

The state argued that they were at-will employees and could be fired at any
time.