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Fayette County will be looking for a new Health Department administrator, and three board members, following the resignations of all of those officers last Thursday night, April 1.
According to Jenny Waggoner, Fayette County Board chairman the following people submitted their resignations: Melissa Storck, administrator; board president Dr. Dawn McDaid, as well as board members Kris Luster and Sandra Albright, submitted their resignations that night.
Storck addressed the board and tendered her resignation prior to an executive session held that evening. In her statement, provided to the Leader-Union on Monday, dated for Friday, March 26, Storck explained the actions through which, she may have “ruffled some feathers,” as well as stating she did what, in her opinion needed to be done.
While continuing to address the board, her statement, provided to this newspaper, questioned why an investigation conducted a year ago, dealing with allegations of a “hostile work environment”, “threats and demeaning comments” and others, was just now being addressed, as well as she herself not being included as part of that investigation.
After the meeting was reopened, the board approved to strike a potential vote of “no confidence.” The remainder of the resignations came after the executive session.
Waggoner told the Leader-Union on Monday morning that an addendum has been added onto the Thursday night, April 8 county board agenda to accept those resignations.
Waggoner explained that the county board appoints members to the Fayette County Health Department board, who in turn, oversees that department.
“This was not planned, so we really haven’t had any feelers out there to name replacements. I have had two people contact who were interested, but that’s where we are at now,” Waggoner said.
She said that it will more than likely take a several month process to name successor, and that process will begin this week. It is anticipated that an interim director will be named.
“The people of Fayette County will not see any changes in services. Our department heads are highly qualified and are dialed in to the needs of county residents,” Waggoner said. “Fayette County will remain the gold standard of Illinois Health Departments.”
Waggoner said that she is hoping to develop a human relations department for the county to serve all facets, which will oversee employee concerns. This issue was also covered in Storck’s address as well.
“We need to have open communication and from this day forward, through all departments. This will be huge,” Waggoner said.
Storck alluded to communication difficulties in her statement as well.
She said, in her resignation letter, that the county board had offered her a “”fair and appropriate Mutual Separation Agreement” in return for her resignation.
In a letter written by McDaid, address to Chairwoman Waggoner, released to the Leader-Union by Storck, the lack of communication issue was addressed, as well as the lack of presentation of findings to the health department board of the investigation. McDaid went on to chastise the county board in the letter, dated for Friday, March 26, of its perceived tone during the investigation towards Storck and the Fayette County Health Department board.
Waggoner said that “No one has any ill-will towards anyone who resigned.”
Vice-President of the Health Department Board Dr. Brad Dunn, the former vice-president, now assumes the interim role of president of the health department board, according to Waggoner. Dr. Dunn said would be in the county this week to start setting up meetings for the interim., according to Waggoner.