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July 28, 2011

Comments

deekedeek

Something about all of this is very fishy: Gail Perry coming onto a board where one of her first actions is to fire the director the board oversees and at the same meeting to be appointed as the deposed director's replacement? The questions raised by all the changes on the DSS board itself during Robinson's tenure? Joe Bowser's sudden prominence? The same Joe Bowser who a year or so ago was railing against both the DSS director and the entire Board over the Pebbles Lucas contract termination? Speaking out of both sides of his mouth on issues that led to Robinson's firing: in the N&O he reports she did not pursue family reunification while in the H-S the problem was placing Mangum's kids with their biological father rather than continuing a foster placement. And then there's his glossing of the issues around Perry's departure from DSS? As I recall, the issue was more than "a few flowers"--it was thousands of dollars of inappropriate spending--of which Becky Heron was very critical (and there's no love lost between Bowser and Heron). This all smells of putting the fox in charge of the henhouse to me. I don't "have a dog in the fight" about whether or not Robinson is a good fit. But from the outside looking in, all the recent changes on the DSS Board and their actions & decisions this week raise some questions.

PHd

It appears that DSS has had many problems over the last 2 years and from reading the most recent Herald Sun articles about how DSS supported handing over kids to a father who owes the state of NC more than 34,000.00,has had no physical relationship with minor kids in over 9 years,didn't have a job,doesn't have his own place to live,and DSS never issued a warrant for arrest for failure to pay child support and this is just one of many complaints about how DSS operates.History has shown that when an organization starts to have problems the responsibility fall on the head of the agency. In the future when Directors fail to direct properly be prepared to be fired. UNC should be your shining example.

anonymous

Can we get Marsh Basloe back to lead Durham's Partnership for Children? Yes, these are related items.

deekedeek

@PhD I hope DSS doesn't take The UNC route. A $2 million plus payoff when someone is fired is not great oversight or fiscal management from where I sit.

John Davis

Durham is just one big welfare county (less RTP and Bahama).

Wesley Hyatt

Good job following up on this important story. I expect we'll be getting a follow-up on it soon, and the details will not be pleasant. And so it goes with the DSS as always ...

Doug Roach

Really enlightening comment by John Davis. I suspect that if he even lives in Durham County, he has made zero contribution to our community except this inane statement.

Amy Henderson

What does everyone think about the Judge Doretta Walker, who I hear has ordered a Durham Mother to jil if she doesn't give the child back to the abusive father???

DSS , finally after 3 years of complaints from Medical doctors, several Duke ER visits for injuries, top therapist, Social Workers and of course the Mother, has "susspended all visitation and ordered the Mother to not allow contact with Father."
Judge Walker is dismissing DSS's actions and knows about the horrible and dangerous environment and drug activity but knows especially of the physical abuse and is hell-bent on the child being put back in an abusive and dangerous situation! Someone do something?? The Mother is supposed to be in "Family" court on August 9th at 9:30 to face Contempt Charges and jail--We need some Judges in this town that will protect our children not enable the abusers!!

anonymous

Joe Bowser needs to keep his nose out of day-to-day personnel matters and agency operations. Remember the last time he was this involved in a personnel matter: the Mike Ruffin firing? That went really well, didn't it.

anonymous

I'm not in the loop about why she was fired. But HOW she was fired and HOW Gail Perry was named acting director is very suspicious and at the very least raises questions about ethics and conflict of interest. Joe Bowser's history of involvement in personnel matters is less than illustrious. And could we talk about client confidentiality and Bowser speaking on the record to reporters about child custody cases--complete with names? This is a pretty poor example for someone on the DSS board to set--and doesn't inspire confidence about promises of confidentiality to either clients or people who are supposed to report child abuse. I certainly hope there's follow up on this whole situation--and that it includes the DSS Board, BOCC knowledge or involvement in the decision to fire Robinson, advice that may or may not have been sought from HR or county attorneys, and any personal connections or animosities that may exist between Bowser and Robinson or Gail Perry. This whole situation has been buried in silence since this story appeared--I hope someone is working on it.

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We've noticed a seeming uptick in closed-door DSS board meetings of late, which can be an indication of personnel intrigue

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gum's kids with their biological father rather than continuing a foster placement. And then there's his glossing of the issues around Perry's departure from DSS? As I recall, the issue was more than "a few flowers"--it was thousands of dollars of inappropriate spending--of whi

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