Mecklenburg County HR Director Resigns Amidst Controversy

According to county authorities, Mecklenburg County’s human resources director Kiesha Young has resigned after only a year on the job. This comes at a time when the county health department is under fire for allegedly engaging in dubious HR practices and the case of a former employee is a hot topic.

Reports have surfaced this week indicating that the county commissioners were notified of Young’s retirement over email. Until a qualified successor is found, Deputy County Manager Michael Bryant will fill in as the temporary director of human resources.

The scandal began in October 2022, when WBTV Investigates published a lengthy story about purported HR practice violations involving Emanuel Stanley, a former employee of the county health department. Stanley suspected that allegations of wrongdoing in the workplace were made up when he brought attention to an increase in syphilis cases and another safety issue at work.

Kenneth Smart, a former county employee and Stanley’s illness intervention expert, was subject to several weeks of intense judicial proceedings in October 2022 on charges of incest and sexual slavery of a juvenile victim. The prosecution against Smart is still ongoing, and he has pled not guilty.

On October 17, Stanley and McCray tried to notify their bosses about Smart’s suspected illegal behavior. Nothing was done, and Smart was not fired, even though he had been warned. Nevertheless, Smart was essentially coerced into a “voluntary resignation” when the human resources department of Mecklenburg County handed him a notice of job abandonment while he was in jail for not responding to emails and voicemails about his absence from work.

Just across the street from the county prison is the Mecklenburg HR Department, so keep that in mind. An email sent by an HR staffer of the county to Angela Lee—the assistant director of health—and Matt Jenkins—the head of the STD division—unveiled the contentious plot to get Smart to leave.

Notable staff changes occurred within the county in 2023, including Young’s resignation and Angela Lee’s retirement as assistant health director of Mecklenburg County.

Human resources concerns and the necessity for open and ethical management methods are highlighted by recent events in Mecklenburg County. After a former health department staffer was embroiled in controversy, the county will have to recruit a new head of human resources while dealing with the fallout. To guarantee a healthy workplace for all employees, the case highlights the significance of strong HR procedures, responsibility, and responsiveness.

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