Southwest Key reportedly under investigation by federal government

Dec 26, 2018, 1:15 PM | Updated: Dec 27, 2018, 9:57 am

(AP Photo/Eric Gay)...

(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

PHOENIX — The nonprofit organization that is operating shelters for migrant children, including some in Arizona, is reportedly facing a federal investigation.

The Justice Department is investigating whether or not Southwest Key misused federal funds, according to The New York Times. The U.S. attorney’s office for the Western District of Texas and the FBI also are reportedly involved in the investigation.

Southwest Key is based in Austin. It operates nearly two dozen shelters in Texas, Arizona and California for migrant children who came to the U.S. without a parent or guardian or who were separated from their families at the border.

“We have not yet been contacted by the U.S. Attorney’s office or the FBI, so it’s a bit difficult to comment at this point,” Jeff Eller, a spokesman for Southwest Key, said in a statement to KTAR News 92.3 FM.

“We have a policy of working with any and all investigations and we will do so in this case if it happens,” he added.

The federal investigation comes several weeks after The New York Times raised questions about possible misuse of federal grants by Southwest Key.

It also comes several months after the Arizona Department of Health Services forced two of the 13 Southwest Key facilities operating in Arizona to close due to abuse allegations. The rest were forced to stop accepting new minors after missing a deadline for employee background checks.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Mugshot of Steven Ray Gault III, who was booked into jail for manslaughter after a fatal shooting i...

Woman dead, man jailed after night of drinking and gunplay in west Phoenix

A night of drinking and gunplay in west Phoenix this week ended with a woman dead and man behind bars, authorities said.

25 minutes ago

FILE - Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor poses for a photo in 1982. O'Connor who ...

Arizona politicians react to death of former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor

Arizona politicians past and present offered tributes to the late Sandra Day O'Connor after news of her passing came to light on Friday.

1 hour ago

Phoenix patrol vehicle with caution tape nearby....

Teenager arrested in connection with fatal triple-shooting in west Phoenix

A teenage boy was arrested Thursday for a triple-shooting in Phoenix that left one person dead a day earlier.

2 hours ago

Azteca Bridal, a Phoenix wedding and quinceañera dress store, closed after 60 years....

Alyssa Bickle /Cronkite News

Azteca Bridal closes doors in Phoenix after 60 years of family-operated business

Azteca Bridal closed its doors for the last time after selling quinceañera and bridal dresses for 60 years.

2 hours ago

Left webcam shows part of Valley with sign warning drivers to slow down. Right webcam shows snow on...

SuElen Rivera

Nearly every Valley city gets rains in overnight storm, parts of northern Arizona sees snow

Rain swept across metro Phoenix overnight and into the morning, while snow fell on parts of northern Arizona.

4 hours ago

Retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, and Arizona resident and the first woman on the U.S. Supreme C...

Sandra Day O’Connor, who blazed a trail from Arizona to US Supreme Court, dies at 93

Sandra Day O'Connor, who blazed a trail from Arizona to become the first woman to serve as a U.S. Supreme Court justice, died Friday in Phoenix.

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Desert Institute for Spine Care

Desert Institute for Spine Care (DISC) wants to help Valley residents address back, neck issues through awake spine surgery

As the weather begins to change, those with back issues can no longer rely on the dry heat to aid their backs. That's where DISC comes in.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University: innovating Arizona health care education

Midwestern University’s Glendale Campus near Loop 101 and 59th Avenue is an established leader in health care education and one of Arizona’s largest and most valuable health care resources.



Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.

Southwest Key reportedly under investigation by federal government