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Criticized Health Director fires back

READ MORE: Criticized Health Director fires back

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- Much of the 13 pages of Pender County Health Director Jack Griffith's response was concealed to protect personnel. In it he calls the independent review of the Pender County Health Department biased and unsubstantiated.

Monday, Wanda Sandele presented the findings from her independent review of the health department to the Board of Health. Sandele found the health department provided good public service but is experiencing difficult times because the administration did not properly handle conflict within the department.

"The only thing that I'm interested in is protecting my primary care programs and my dental program and the people who are really doing this kind of work," said Griffith.

In a response to the report Griffith said, "Ms. Sandele makes some critical judgments... that are not supported by the facts."

Griffith criticizes Sandele for interviewing only 15 employees and says "this obvious exclusion of any staff person with a perspective not supported by the complaining group leads to the inescapable conclusion that the report was very biased[...]"

Griffith goes on to say that the assessment has turned into a "witch hunt," but after being interviewed by the board Monday night, Griffith did not share the same critiques.

"There's a lot of stuff going on and they've got some valid points," he said.

In the report, Sandele made several recommendations including a "drastic change" in the administration. But Griffith says in light of the recent events there is no longer a "chain of command" within the department.

The Pender County Health Department will face two more reviews. The first will be conducted by a conflict resolution consultant from the North Carolina School of Governments. The seconded will be a more in depth study by the Gilliings School of Global Health at UNC Chapel Hill. Both reviews are expected to be finished within the next week.

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