BOSTON (AP) — Attorney General Martha Coakley is defending Gov. Deval Patrick’s decision not to fire the head of the state’s embattled Department of Children and Families, following the disappearance of a little boy now feared dead.

The Democratic candidate for governor said Tuesday that Patrick is doing what he needs to do by first asking for an independent audit.

The department has been under scrutiny since social workers lost track of 5-year-old Jeremiah Oliver.

Republican candidate for governor Charlie Baker called Monday for the resignation of department Commissioner Olga Roche, saying it’s time for someone with a fresh set of eyes who can do a top-to-bottom review.

Coakley said the review should be done first.

She said unless there’s someone who’s ready to come in and turn the agency around immediately, she’s not sure firing Roche is the solution.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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