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Questioning the Pender County Board of Health

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Pender County, NC (WWAY)- Pender County Health Department employees say administrators ignored notices that some employees were using drugs, violating confidentiality and not properly training workers. After hearing the complaints, commissioners asked for an investigation. But now there are some questions about the board appointed to monitor the health department and Dr. Jack Griffith.

Doctor Naseem Nasrallah is a physician on the Board of Health. But Dr. Nasrallah is also the Medical Director at the Health Department and makes 4 to 5-thousand dollars per month.

Pender County commissioners appoint people to the Board of Health. We caught up with Commissioner George Brown who was on his way out of town, but gave us this statement:
"It would appear to me that in Dr. Nasrallah's case there is a clear conflict of interest. I don't know if he was the Medical Director when he was appointed, to the Board of Health, but if that were the case, I would not have appointed him."

We also contacted the Board of Health about Dr. Nasrallah. Chairwoman Roberta Bost said, "Doctor Nasrallah's main job is not within the Health Department. We do not feel there is a conflict of interest at all."

But Dr. Nasrallah is not alone. Judy blanchard is also on the Board of Health. She is the wife of County Commissioner Norwood Blanchard, who has openly supported Doctor Griffith throughout the investigation.

According to the Pender County manager's office, commissioners set a policy limiting a person's time on the board to a maximum of ten years. But both Judy Blanchard and chair Roberta Bost have served for more than 10 years.

However, according to the Health Department that is acceptable if there is no one else to fill the position. We will be following up to see what type of search was conducted to bring new members to the board.

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