County commissioners question effectiveness of local health department

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Earlier this week, it was discovered that more than 300 swimming pools across Mecklenburg County have yet to be inspected by the health department.

Critics say this incident is another issue that questions the effectiveness of the local health department.

It was revealed earlier in 2017, around 200 patients didn't get their pap test results in a timely fashion, and on top of that, clients' confidential medical information ended up in the wrong hands.

RELATED: Meck Co manager holds press conference on handling of pap smear results

Commissioner Matthew Ridenhour calls the issue of pool inspections the tipping point. "This is yet another example of ongoing problem within the department," Ridenhour said.

Ridenhour and other commissioners are challenging Dr. Marcus Plescia's, the health director of Mecklenburg County, ability to lead the department.

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"It really starts to call into question the activities and the processes and the leadership within the health department," Ridenhour said. "I'm disappointed and I've reached my limit for what's acceptable for public health"

Ridenhour said he had a leadership concern with Plescia, but would not say whether he's fit to lead the department.

Commissioner Jim Puckett says change is needed. "Someone has to say we are not gonna tolerate this type of lack enforcement, because we're seeing it over and over again," Puckett said.

Several studies and reports are underway that analyze operations at the health department, but Ridenhour worries about future issues. "I am waiting for the next shoe to d rop," Ridenhour said.

WBTV tried to reach out to Plescia Friday afternoon, but a county spokesperson said he was out of town.

WBTV also tried to reach Mecklenburg County Manager Deena Dioro and was told she was gone for the day, but we've learned she may be addressing commissioners at their next meeting Tuesday night.

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