Swain County commissioners, DSS board to meet

The Swain County Department of Social Services board has agreed to meet with the Swain County commissioners to discuss whether DSS employees and officials should be suspended due to an ongoing criminal investigation of the agency.

The two boards will meet at 5 p.m. Thursday, March 3, at the Swain County Administration Building.

A majority of the Swain County commissioners have asked the DSS board to suspend  with pay employees named in a State Bureau of Investigation probe until the investigation is concluded.

So far, only one of the employees named has been put on leave – Craig Smith, a social worker with the agency since 2006, who was directly involved in falsifying records following the death of a child, according to an SBI search warrant. However, Smith told investigators he was acting on orders from his boss. Smith also told investigators that the DSS director and program manager knew he had never followed up on whether the child saw a doctor, even though he had fabricated a report to the contrary.

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