Details are emerging after media has reported that Arkansas Rep. Justin Harris (R-West Fork) sent his two adopted daughters to live with another family, where one of them was later raped.
According to Harris, he rehomed the child because he said he would have faced abandonment charges by the state.
So how much did this abandonment cost the taxpayers?
According to DHS records, Harris has received more than $4 million in public funds from DHS programs through his preschool since 2010.
Arkansas Matters reports:
State Representative Justin Harris, R-West Fork, rehomed his children with another NWA family after claiming behavior issues made it unsafe for his other children to live with the girls. One of the girls was later molested by Eric Cameron Francis, the man Harris sent the girls to live with. Francis was convicted in late 2014. Harris claimed that DHS had threatened him with child abandonment charges and was not supportive in his efforts to deal with the girls’ behavior issues.
However, Multiple sources close to the family are reporting that the Harris family thought the little girls were possessed by demons, keeping them isolated in rooms monitored only by video camera and performing exorcisms.
This small government republican loves him some big government:
According to DHS, Harris has received more than $4,195,651 from public program funds for his Growing God’s Kingdom preschool since 2010.
The department’s data show the following money has been distributed since 2010:
$547,619 from the USDA for free or reduced lunches for young children
$2.7 million from the Arkansas Better Chance state-funded pre-K
$945,580 from the Child Care Development Fund that helps pay for childcare for qualifying families.
That’s a whole lotta money for a failed exorcism, don’t you think?
Wait for it.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson explained at a press conference Wednesday that, golly, what with tax revenue the way it is, there’s just no money to really find out what the heck might have happened:
“I don’t think anyone at this table knows all the facts. I don’t think anyone in this audience knows all the facts. And I can assure you as Governor I do not know all the facts,” said Hutchinson. “So it seems premature to start making judgments when all the facts are not on the table.”
Hutchinson said he would like to have a Solicitor General in his administration with subpoena powers to investigate the matter, but a lack of resources prevent it.
“I would like to have as a management tool for the Governor more investigative capability. Now, I’m not proposing legislation in that regard. This is something I see as a need in the state,” he said.
(my bold, because damn)
Naturally, ‘pro-life’ Republicans are rallying behind Harris.
The Daily Beast reports:
State Rep. David Meeks wrote on his personal Facebook page:
“I know this might anger some people, but I don’t throw someone I consider a friend under the bus. Yes, I am speaking of Rep Harris. He is someone I have gotten to know and has built up credibility with me. The tabloid that is doing most of the reporting on this has no credibility with me whatsoever. The experience that I have had with this tabloid is that they are out to destroy Conservatives, Christians and are willing to spin, lie, or make up stuff to do it.”
If by liberal media, he means individuals who know the girls and had served as foster parents who discount Harris’s claims, then by God, let’s stop hearing from witnesses. They’re obviously all plants.
That includes two foster families who cared for the girls prior to the Harris adoption, the girls’ biological mother, a former DHS employee familiar with the proceedings and a former babysitter at the Harrises’ home.
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