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Cumberland DSS chief resigns

Posted October 11, 2010

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— The chairman of the board of Cumberland County's social services department has resigned, days after the board expressed its support for embattled director, Brenda Reid Jackson, county commissioner Kenneth Edge said Monday.

Jackson has come under fire for actions during the 2009 investigation into the disappearance and death of Shaniya Davis.

The 5-year-old girl was reported missing from her Fayetteville home on Nov. 10, and her body was found six days later in a kudzu-covered field near the Lee-Harnett county line.

DSS board chairman Chet Oehme, whose resignation was effective Monday, said in a letter to Board of Commissioners Chairman Billy King that he was leaving because of his inability to lead the present board, Edge said.

In the resignation letter, he also cited the lack of fairness of reporting by local media covering the DSS.

Cumberland County District Attorney Ed Grannis last week criticized DSS' actions during the police investigation of the case. He said the agency "dropped the ball" and appeared to be more interested in protecting its image than in protecting children.

Referring to a State Bureau of Investigation report on DSS' actions, Grannis said the agency waited three days for a judge's order before turning over records regarding Shaniya's mother, Antoinette Davis, to police.

Relatives have said that DSS had worked previously with Shaniya's family regarding her older brother, and the case was closed without action.

Grannis said the move delayed police in finding Mario Andrette McNeill, an acquaintance of Davis' who has been charged in Shaniya's death.

Following a three-hour, closed-door meeting Friday, Oehme said the agency provided records to investigators in a timely manner.

"We have concluded that the agency worked diligently with the Fayetteville Police Department to provide all information relevant to this child fatality in a timely manner," Oehme said.

McNeill, 29, has been charged with kidnapping, raping and killing the girl. Arrest warrants state that Davis, 25, prostituted Shaniya, and an autopsy report noted that investigators believe she was used to pay off a drug debt.


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  • UPTOP Oct 12, 2010

    why was the case involving the son dropped without notice ? Why did it take 3 days to get a court order ? The mother has the support of her family which tells me they had no problem with what she did !!

  • LuvMyLife Oct 12, 2010

    The whole lot of them should resign, fired and hung. The lack of DSS doing their job in this case as in so many others is the problem. Somebody needs to come in and clean DSS up.

  • peppersjohnson3 Oct 12, 2010

    If you think you can handle the job apply for it...

  • Wade Land Oct 12, 2010

    I think some of y'all didn't read the article correctly. The Chairman of the Board resigned, not the director of DSS.

  • batkins586 Oct 12, 2010

    I want that job so I can clean up DSS!

  • Karmageddon Oct 12, 2010

    Fire them all and then BEV can appoint some more of her friends

  • dare107 Oct 12, 2010

    And none to soon!! She should be charged with Obstruction of Justice!!!

  • Sherlock Oct 12, 2010

    That is why she resigned, now the County has a great chance to correct a major problem, but I do not believe they will.

  • Whatever Geez Oct 12, 2010

    it is hard to find people who actually care....people just work because they want a paycheck. DSS in general needs to be looked at. My brother's ex girlfriend admitted she did meth every now and then...he called to get custody of his child and they said as long as she didn't do it in front of the child there was nothing he could do...really?

  • awheywego Oct 12, 2010

    She will find another government job - perhaps managing our health care.