County upholds decision to fire DSS Director - | WBTV Charlotte

County upholds decision to fire DSS Director


Mecklenburg County Manager Harry Jones, Sr. upheld the termination of the Department of Social Services Director.

Mary Wilson appealed her September termination. The matter was taken before an employee review board and given to County Manager Jones for a decision.

Below is the letter written by County Manager Harry Jones, Sr. to Mary Wilson today:

This is the notice of final decision upholding the recommended termination of your employment with Mecklenburg County as social services department director. 

On September 4, 2012, you were recommended for termination from Mecklenburg County employment by General Manager Michelle Lancaster for your failure to meet performance and conduct expectations.

After an appeal by you and a hearing by an employee review panel that was conducted consistent with County policy and procedures, the panel concluded unanimously that you engaged in serious misconduct in violation of County policy as follows:

  • Your failure to be honest, tell the truth and not withhold information
  • Your failure to be impartial in the delivery of services and performance of duties
  • Your failure to show respect and courtesy for others
  • Your failure to cooperate and work well with others

The panel also had serious concerns about your inability to improve your leadership competences over three review periods. 

Your management decisions and management style failed to conform to directives, resulting in numerous formal and informal complaints and an atmosphere in DSS of distrust, fear, suspicion, intimidation, and uncertainty.

Additionally, under your leadership, the effectiveness of DSS, particularly Youth & Family Services (YFS), has declined and there is an associated negative impact on the public perception of DSS and Mecklenburg County.  You did not follow direction provided by General Manager Michelle Lancaster in her repeated attempts to assist you in improving your performance. You also lied about the organizational management and leadership of YFS and defied directives from Ms. Lancaster about this management.

Considering all the facts presented at the hearing, I am convinced that it is not possible for you to be successful as a Mecklenburg County employee, and that your termination is best for Mecklenburg County and the community it serves.

Therefore, it is my decision to uphold your termination recommendation, effective September 4, 2012. 

Read more about an investigation into allegations that tax money is being misused at DSS here.

Mary Wilson spoke exclusively to WBTV after she was fired. Read more about that interview here.

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