MONROE, N.C. – Department of Social Services supervisor Wanda Sue Larson was arrested a week ago and charged with child abuse. Union County Sheriff’s Deputies say an 11-year-old boy was handcuffed to her front porch with a dead chicken tied to his neck. Larson’s been behind bars since then, still collecting her $54,000 salary. Until Friday. Her boss Richard Matens had a termination letter delivered to her in jail.
The official cause of termination: “unacceptable personal conduct and gross inefficient job performance.” The two page document all but convicts the 57-year-old of wrong doing, reading in part, “The conditions uncovered in your own home, for your adoptive children and the child for whom you had guardianship are appalling.”
Deputies say Larson’s Monroe home contained trash, holes in the wall, and feces. The boy handcuffed to the porch and four other children inside the home were removed. They are together in out-of-county care. Investigators interviewed the kids, ranging in age from eight to fourteen, for the first time Thursday.
Matens goes on to tell Larson in the letter, “You would have had a duty to initiate a report and investigation had you observed children in such conditions in another home.” Another charge Larson faces is willful failure to discharge her duty as a public official. Matens continues, “Your actions represent a blatant disregard for the ethical conduct and sound judgment vital to your position.”
Larson has ten working days to appeal the termination. Her longtime boyfriend, 57-year-old Dorian Harper, is also behind bars. The CMC nurse remains on administrative leave. The hospital declined to tell us if Harper continues to get paid.