According to the newspaper, the mid-September incidents took place at the Hacienda Del Sol in Youngtown, involving three children and a large workforce.
Maricopa County sheriff's office initially told CNN that it was investigating the allegations and stating that the lawsuits had not been prosecuted.
But the bureau changed its mind and said in an updated statement released on Sunday: "Based on the evidence gathered during this in-depth investigation, the MCSO executive committee has decided to close the case to Maricopa County Attorney's Office to Submit Proposed Investigation of Prosecution. "
Videos Show Employees Push Children and Pull
Southwest Key closed the Hacienda Del Sol facility in late October after negotiating with state health authorities that were considering withdrawing licenses from 1
The videos were blurred and edited by the State Ministry of Health, which licenses migrant housing.
A clip released by the Arizona Republic shows a male employee dragging a young child into the room and pressing it against the wall. There seems to be a confrontation between the two before the male employee leaves the room.
Another video shows a co-worker pulling a child around the room trying to enter another room.
The child lies on the floor and the employee pulls the child through the door while another employee pulls another child into the conference room and pulls this child into the next room.
Two employees dismissed, source says
Southwest Key declined to comment on the case's referral.
Spokesman Jeff Eller told CNN that the company had self-reported to the US Department of Health Human Services, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) and the local police at the time of the incident.
. Following an internal investigation, two employees were dismissed and further disciplinary action was taken against other staff, with direct knowledge of how the incidents were dealt with in the videos.
Arizona's US Department of Health confirmed to CNN that it had received a report on the incident in mid-September and had an on-site investigation and inspection.
"During an informal comparison conference, both parties agreed to the terms of a settlement agreement, including the handing over of two licenses and other provisions to ensure the health and safety of children under SWK care," the agency said in a statement Monday. "The facility where these videos were taken is no longer operational due to the transfer of the license."
In October, Eller Southwest Key explained. "He fully welcomed the decision of the Office of Refugee Resettlement to suspend its activities at Hacienda Del Sol, and we are working to thoroughly retrain our staff while engaging the Child Welfare Consulting Partnership to conduct an independent, top-down review to conduct our processes, procedures, attitudes, and training in our Arizona accommodations. "
A HHS spokesperson said the agency is focused on the safety and well-being of every child.
"These are vulnerable children in difficult situations, and the ORR exercises its due diligence on every child with the utmost care," the spokesman said. "If allegations of abuse or neglect are made, they are taken seriously, investigated and acted quickly."