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Newsroom :: Waste Watch  - Maximus Hearing

Maximus Hearing

Tears flowed openly, tonight... as people told of their problems - with Maximus Child Support Services. That's the private company that the state of Tennessee contracts with... to handle child support cases, in Hamilton County.

   State Representative JoAnn Favors organized tonight's hearing... after getting complaint after complaint about Maximus.  It's a story that we first told you about, during an investigative report last month.

   As our investigation continues, I was there tonight, as everyone talked about trying to stay current with their child support payments.  But they all said, Maximus makes that, almost impossible.

   People of all ages, all colors, parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, ministers, even neighbors helping others take care of their own children, came to tell their problems dealing with Maximus Child Support Services.

   "Be accountable for your actions, Maximus," said one single parent.  "You are ruining a good county and making people not care."
   Perhaps no one told a story more eloquently, than LaJuan Stewart, who says he's been fighting with the company for more than 18 years.  He fought to have Maximus work with him to have his child support lowered while he was between jobs.. A fight he lost.  "This judge literally told me too my face, 'I don't care,' Stewart said, tears welling up in his eyes.  "He told me, 'all I want is your money, that's it."

   He also said the Maximus lawyer treated him like a second-class citizen.  "This attorney, drilling me," he recalled, "he's sitting there, telling me that I'm a nobody to my face, when I've done nothing but work to pay my child support."

   Stewart's testimony moved the group to tears, leaving State Representative Joanne Favors, who convened the forum, distraught and determined to take action.  "I'm tell you it would be very difficult not to pursue these cases," she told us.  "This will have to be a priority in my legislative activities."

   Representative Favors is compiling a report of this hearing, to take to the Tennessee Health Department Commissioner and Governor Bill Haslam, hopefully to change the laws that will help single parents support their kids..

   Meanwhile, Stewart was one of many of those single parents paying child support, who left the group with a battle cry.  "Keep fighting, folks," he told the group tearfully, "just keep fighting."

   "Maximus is doing us wrong."

    Representative Favors says the forum may have ended tonight... but the fight to change the way Maximus does business - is just beginning.  She says, there will be more forums concerning Maximus - in the near future.

    She says representatives from Maximus and the Department of Human Services were present at the meeting, but they chose to be anonymous, so NewsChannel 9 was not able to talk to them.

Maximus Hearing

Thursday, December 13 2012, 11:42 PM EST


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