The state Cabinet for Health and Family Services has selected the acting commissioner of the Department for Community Based Services to assume the duties on a fulltime basis. Teresa James has been serving as the acting commissioner since December. James takes over a department that has been under intense scrutiny over its handling of child abuse cases. Both the Lexington Herald-Leader and The Courier-Journal successfully sued the Cabinet last year for access to the records on children who died from abuse and neglect.
Among the cases generating the scrutiny was that of 9-year old Amy Dye, the Todd County girl who was beaten to death by her adopted brother in February 2011. The girl's records indicated the Cabinet had been contacted several times by school officials in Todd County about suspicious injuries to Amy Dye. James was named interim commissioner after former commissioner Pat Wilson resigned.