Union Co. DSS Fires Another Social Worker, Suspends Manager

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by Morgan Fogarty
Bio | Email | Follow: @morganfogarty

UNION CO., N.C. - It is a scathing indictment.  In a termination letter obtained by WCCB, the Union County DSS Division Director tells social work investigator Megan Long in part, "I do not feel that you understand the weight and severity of your poor decisions and lack of action..."  Rae Ann Alepa goes on to write, "You... have a duty to... assess reports of harm inflicted on children.  The total disregard you have shown in properly... investigating... is unacceptable."

Long, after less than two years on the job as a social worker, was fired January 23rd, 2014. 
 
WCCB has also learned that the Child Protective Services program manager has been suspended. Kevin Williams has worked for the county since 1988.  His manager title earns him nearly $62,000 a year.  On February 5th, 2014, he was placed on "Immediate Disciplinary Suspension."
 
At this point, there is no further information as to why.  We can tell you his signature is at the bottom of a letter to the Union County Sheriff's Office.  A deputy reported suspected neglect of the Harper-Larson children on December 21, 2012.  Three working days later, two of which included Christmas Eve and day, Williams (and another social worker) decided the suspected neglect would not be investigated.  The Harper-Larson children are those of Dorian Harper and his partner Wanda Sue Larson, a then-Union County Child Protective Services Supervisor. 
 
It stands to reason that Williams investigating Larson, someone in his department, might pose a conflict of interest.  We'll update you as soon as we get answers.  Both Larson and Harper remain in jail on charges of extreme child abuse. 
 
*This script corrects previous version that stated Long was employed for 11 months as a social worker.
 
UPDATE: Union Co. Human Services Executive Director Richard Matens sent WCCB this statement about the issue of Williams investigating Larson: "In terms of the December 2012 report …, it has been determined that [Union County Social Services staff] acted according to State procedures in reviewing that particular case."
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