Director of Muscogee DFCS resigns amid investigation

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The director of the Muscogee County Division of Family and Child Services (DFCS) is stepping down.

Jose Marrero cites personal reasons for his decision to leave, including a desire to spend more time with his family.

Last month, police arrested intake supervisor, Phyllis Mitchell, and former acting director, Deborah Cobb, for falsifying department records in order to comply with federal regulations.

Marrero insists that his departure has nothing to do with the investigation and it is purely a coincidence.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has not made any accusations against Marrero. The wrongdoing in question is alleged to have occurred before he took his position as director.

Marrero made the following statement regarding his resignation:

"This is strictly between my family and yours truly. After serving my country for decades, it's the least I can do for my family, who has sacrificed almost their entire life so I can do my work, to give them more of my quality time. This is our own decision. If you look at the facts, this is not all of the sudden. I gave in excess of five weeks advance notice to my chain of command. I announced this on September 21 that my last working day would be October 30. DFCS definitely has a very sacred function. I could not have a better chain of command, all the way to the Commissioner. They have been very supportive and they have been phenomenal. They continue to be committed first and foremost to the safety of our children and the well being of our families.

It is a very tough decision in regard to the quality of the people here. Many people I have met are practically like part of my family. I am not planning to disengage completely with any function associated with serving others. I'm seeking ways to serve people in ways just like I have served the entire nation for decades in the U.S. Army. I am aiming at a commitment that will allow me to continue to serve.

My departure is strictly connected with a decision made between my family and yours truly in order to devote more time to them. It is completely separated from the recent events. I don't know anything about the investigation. I know that there was a law enforcement event on September 5 and that is in the hands of the G.B.I. I don't know what happened, I don't know why it happened, I am focused on the future of DFCS and the community until my last day in this job. I want to finish the many initiatives I brought in, the many ideas, to make sure they are on the right path to flourish.

One of the many initiatives that I attempted and we continue to work on in the community is to work together with synergy, because we are all aiming at the same goal: the safety of our children and the well being of our families. There are many organizations out there that can do much for those goals. It is a matter of coming together as a community. Our children are future parents. This is an investment that we can make now. I am helping with the transition, so we can continue to provide for the safety of the children and the welfare of the families. In the time that I've been here, we have implemented a number of initiatives, mainly in regard to safety, identifying kids who have special medical needs. We have implemented services to those special requirements. It is a risk mitigating process that we have incorporated in order to enhance the process we are using to keep them safe. I continue to do that and I will be committed until the last day, just like the entire chain of command will continue to be committed."