DSS Director still on job despite call for ‘immediate corrective action’

Posted at 12:35 AM, May 15, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-15 07:55:00-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--Last Thursday Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones reacted quickly to a critical city audit report.

He was reacting to what he called “specific failures in leadership” at the Department of Social Services, and reacting to evidence that showed the city’s child welfare agency was badly mismanaged and leaving abused children in dangerous homes.

Just hours after the audit's release, Jones said he had taken “immediate corrective action” by taking the resignation of the DSS Deputy Director and the retirement of DSS Director Doris Moseley.

"I am announcing today that I've taken the action of accepting the retirement of the Director of Social Services," said Jones during an interview with CBS 6 Thursday.

But after several sources told CBS 6 Moseley was still on the job, we waited for her at her car Tuesday evening in the DSS parking lot.  When she came out of the building and saw our cameras, she very quickly darted back inside. It appeared a coworker, who saw us first, was attempting to warn her we were there.

The mayor's office later confirmed by email that Moseley is still working as director, that while she announced retirement Thursday, an exact departure date hasn't been set yet.

This is news that's not sitting well with the council president.

"If you say somebody is retired that means they're retired, if there is a lag period that needs to be made clear," said Charles Samuels.

Government watchdog Paul Goldman says the scathing audit proved what the city already knew, that children were in danger. He believes the reaction way is too little and way too late.

"If you had outrage over how children are treated in seven months’ time you could have solved this," said Goldman.

CBS 6 has also heard reports from city employees that Deputy Director Gayle Turner is also still on the job. The Mayor’s office reports that she “officially separated” last Friday and is no longer working. They also report that they are working on an orderly and expeditious transition for Moseley.

Councilman Chris Hilbert, learning of the job status of Moseley, says that plan isn’t expeditious enough and finds this situation deeply troubling.

“How much more does it take before we fix this situation completely for the kids,” said Hilbert.

For the complete list of CBS 6 Investigative reports on the Department of Social Services, click here: Department of Social Services Investigations.