City Hall

Seattle Times: Aging Services Director Resigns One Day Before Release of Investigator's Report

By Erica C. Barnett July 21, 2011

The Seattle Times reports that Pam Piering, director of the city's division of Aging and Disability Services, has resigned one day in advance of the release of a report detailing the findings of an independent investigation into her department. ADS director Pam Piering---followed by, as PubliCola reported, two other high-ranking members of her division---was put on leave in May pending an investigation into allegations that she failed to take seriously whistleblower complaints alleging fraud at a city-funded nonprofit agency, Senior Services.

The report, which the mayor's office will release tomorrow, is expected to show significant financial problems at the agency, a division of the city's Human Services Department, which Mayor Mike McGinn told PubliCola "has seen some fairly significant financial questions arise as to whether the contracted money that we have with providers is being spent appropriately."

HSD director Dannette Smith's decision to put Piering on administrative leave infuriated many advocates for senior services, who argued that Piering was the subject of a witch hunt; that Smith was guilty of age discrimination (all the ADS employees who've been laid off since Smith came on board are reportedly over 50); and that Smith is systematically dismantling the division.

PubliCola is getting a copy of the investigator's findings, and will report back as soon as we have them.

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