by Sam Hieb
The Rhino’s Scott Yost writes-up Guilford County’s Department of Social Services debacle is a must read. It’s lengthy but a must-read—Yost lays it out the whole sordid affair pretty well.
Bottom line is former director Robert Williams either a) had absolutely no idea how food applications were backlogged; b) knew exactly how many applications were backlogged and was trying cover his arse in front of county commissioners and DSS board; or —last but not least —a combination of both:
When asked why, in February, he had reported that there were just a handful of remaining backlogged applications after a concerted effort to address delinquency, he pointed out that those numbers he gave the commissioners were from the state. Of course, as the state makes clear, the numbers in that state report were provided by the Guilford County DSS.
..When Williams was asked what day he found out the number was actually 8,100, he said, “I don’t remember exactly, but by Monday [March 24].”
Before that moment, sometime last week, Williams said, he believed it was 3,100 in Guilford County, and, he added, the county was still attempting to address that backlog on its own.
“Being real honest, we didn’t think is was 8,100,” he said. “We thought it was more like 3,000. At 3,000, we could have handled it. I was telling the board 3,000, we can handle this.”
Commissioner Ray Trapp –who also serves on the DSS board –said “that now he feels embarrassed that he praised DSS.” Politicians don’t like being sold out by staff; just ask former Greensboro city attorney Mujeeb Shah-Khan. Trapp has taken on this issue; he should diligently pursue answers to the many questions surrounding this mess.