Union Co. Commissioners Dissolve Human Services Board

Monroe, N.C. – Less than one year after it was established, the Union County’s Human Services Board was dissolved Monday night after a unanimous vote by county commissioners.

Commissioners adopted a resolution to instead create an 11 member Human Services Advisory Committee.

In a news release to WCCB, Public Information Officer Brett Vines says, “On February 18, 2013, the Board of Commissioners formed a consolidated Human Services Agency to carry out the functions performed by the Union County Department of Social Services and Health Department, a Consolidated Human Services Board and the position of Human Services director to be appointed and supervised by the county manager. At the time, the two departments reported to independent, separate appointed boards in with the county had limted oversight other than fiduciary.

According to (Monday’s) resolution, the Board of Commissioners believe it is in the best interest of the citizens of Union County for the Board of Commisisoners to become more closely engaged with the activities of the Consolidated Human Services Agency through the Board of Commissioners’ assumption of all powers, reponsibilites and duties of the Human Services Board.”

The move comes after now-fired Union Co. DSS Supervisor Wanda Sue Larson and her long-time partner, now-fired CMC nurse Dorian Harper, were arrested in November and charged with felony child abuse. Five children in their care were removed from the couple’s Monroe home. The case is currently under investigation and Larson and Harper remain behind bars in the Union Co. jail.

Critics of the decision to dissolve the board call it a knee-jerk reaction by politicians who are trying to give the appearance of action and assuage the public’s distrust.