Reports: Union Co. DSS suspends, fires 5 employees since Dec.

by: Kathryn Burcham Updated:

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UNION COUNTY, N.C. - Union County Department of Social Services officials said it's cleaning house after a scandal rocked the agency.

In November, deputies arrested and charged former DSS Supervisor Wanda Larson after a young boy was found handcuffed to a porch with a dead chicken around his neck.

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Since Dec. 1, five employees at the agency have been fired or suspended.

Sources inside the county said it's all to avoid another situation like the one with Larson.

Another social worker, Megan Long, who worked in the investigation unit, received a scathing dismissal notice over how she handled a recent case.

The division director wrote, “I do not feel that you understand the weight and severity of your poor decisions and lack of action,” and  “the total disregard you have shown in properly and thoroughly investigating this case is unacceptable.”

It's not clear which case the division director was talking about in the letter.

Channel 9 requested documents from Union County to find out why those five people are off the job.

The paperwork shows two employees were let go because their temporary assignments ended.

One social work program manager, who's been with DSS for 25 years, was put on immediate suspension but a reason wasn't given.

Two other employees were fired.

Income Maintenance Administrator Cynthia Dumas was let go Jan. 23.
                               
A dismissal report stated her relationship with fellow staff members had declined and she couldn't communicate in a constructive manner.

It went on to state, “You are not fully supportive of the mandated changes taking place in our agency.”

Sources told Channel 9 all the moves are part of a “culture change” in the wake of the Larson scandal.