Saturday, July 30, 2011

Former DSS chief defends Gail Perry's record

In the blog “Robinson fired as head of DSS: something stinks”, the Rev-elution reported that Gail Perry was terminated after 37 years of employment at DSS. According to Dan Hudgins, former director at DSS, Perry retired from DSS after 31 with full benefits. “When I retired in 2004 I contacted Gail and encouraged her to apply for the DSS position,” Hudgins says.

“I don’t know of anyone that I know is any better qualified to run that department,” he went on to say. “Gail is passionate about has her work and has always been fair and ethical in her work with clients, staff, and community partners.”

Hudgins says he supervised Perry 5 or 6 year. See was an Assistant Director responsible for 70% of DSS’s programs and staff. “At least three times during my tenure, I asked Gail to take on additional responsibility to help improve the performance of sections that were struggling to meet standards,” he says. “In each case Gail agreed to take on the additional role and she provided the leadership and energy needed to assure that those programs met and exceeded standards.”

Confusion regarding Perry’s exit from DSS emerged after she was made interim director on Wednesday. Past and current employees at DSS have circulated mixed messages related to the reason for Perry’s retirement. The consistent message is that she took early retirement due to misappropriation of funds. Bowser made mention of the issue leading to speculation that Perry was forced to resign.

Since retiring from DSS Perry has served as Social Worker at Lakeview School. Hudgins noted the difficult task of working with youth in the alternative school established for youth pushed out of other schools.

“I am angry that Gail's excellent career at DSS is being misrepresented to indicate that she was fired, terminated, or forced to retire, none of which is true,” Hudgins says. I hope you will choose to set the record straight. Gail deserves no less.”

The endorsement of Hudgins forces a new spin on why Perry was chosen to replace Robinson on an interim basis. From his accounts Perry would serve well on a permanent basis, and would have been a better fit for the position over Robinson.

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