DSS board to interview candidates for department director

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LaVaughn Nesmith retired as social services director for New Hanover County in April after being placed on administrative leave. File photo.
LaVaughn Nesmith retired as social services director for New Hanover County in April after being placed on administrative leave. File photo.

New Hanover County Department of Social Services officials are moving forward with the selection of a new director.

This month, the board of social services will hold two special meetings–in addition to their regular monthly meeting on June 16–to interview candidates for the position left vacant since April, when LaVaughn Nesmith retired.

Nesmith announced his retirement in March after being placed on administrative leave a month earlier.

Following a February closed session meeting of the DSS Board of Directors, the board decided unanimously to place Nesmith on 30 days of paid leave, board chairman Jonathan Barfield said in an earlier interview. Board members also named Michelle Winstead, assistant director of economic services, as interim director.

The first of two closed session meetings to interview applicants for the permanent job will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 23. A second is set for 2 to 4 p.m. June 25 in conference Room 500 of the Government Center, 230 Government Center Drive.

Nesmith was hired as DSS Director in March 2003. He earned a salary of $126,319.