By Louie Graves
By letter to a board member last week, Howard County Children’s Center administrator Tim Freel resigned effective May 1. The announcement was delayed until Monday, board member Donny Woods explained, so that all board members could be notified.
Woods and HCCC administrative assistant Rose Ray spoke to the news media Monday afternoon at Woods’ office.
Freel had been on paid administrative leave since April 10. A week later the board hired a labor lawyer to interview employees at the center. Freel had been administrator for 14 years, and had served on the board of directors for more than four years before becoming administrator.
Monday, Woods praised Freel for his accomplishments and the growth of the number of clients and client services at the center for developmentally disabled children and adults.
The HCCC board met at noon Tuesday and promoted Ray to administrator. She has been with the center for eight years.
Woods said that it was likely that the center would also hire a human resources manager.
He said that this was a sensitive issue because of concern for the center’s clients, and for fairness for the employees and Freel. The labor lawyer met with 16 employees, and a board member was present at all times, Woods explained.
Woods pointed out the accomplishments of Freel’s tenure at the center — recycling, housing, jobs for clients, and a new daycare and physical therapy unit.