PARKERSBURG - When Wood County Community Corrections Day Report Center Director Jeff Williams' retirement becomes effective at the end of this month and county officials will begin the hunt for a replacement.
Williams, who has served as the center's director for the past 3 1/2 years informed the county commissioners several months ago of his intention to retire at the end of this year. During Williams' recent medical leave and while he's taking off remaining vacation days, three individuals at the center were appointed to interim positions to cover the duties in his absence until a new director is selected.
"There are three components to community corrections. Clinical is where we have counseling and case management and they have a certain level of oversight that must be provided. Hernando Escandon has been handling that aspect for the center. The drug lab operates under a high level of supervision, and Jana Singer-Dowler (medical lab technician and drug lab coordinator) has been handling that. Then there are the office functions, accounts receivable and payable and other day-to-day functions, that's being handled by Suzette Hall (pre-trial program coordinator)," said county commission President Blair Couch, who serves on the DRC board as the county commission's liaison.
Jeff Williams is retiring as director of the Wood County Community Corrections Day Report Center effective the end of this month.
The center's board will meet this week and is expected to advertise the post.
"As per past county procedure, the job will be offered first to existing county employees, then after review, we will potentially open it up and advertise publicly. Jeff will be missed and will be difficult to replace," Couch said, noting the program has grown during Williams' tenure from about 22 to more than 135 clients.
"During his time in office, the DRC went through a lot of turmoil in a short period of time, with a move of the office and a couple of different directors. Jeff was able to come in and immediately expand the program into adjoining counties, which had basically been demanded for some time by the state supreme court, but had not been done yet. He made that happen and provided oversight to the multiple offices," Couch said.
"It will be hard to replace someone who was the face of the day report center. The program is in a lot better shape then he found it in. It has gone through a lot to be where we are and Wood County can be very proud of the program. It's a testimony to Jeff's hard work and energy and he will be missed," Couch said.
Williams, 61, has more than 28 years in public service, including 25 years at the Parkersburg Police Department as juvenile diversion specialist.
"I'm a great believer in community corrections, and I feel like I've come full circle in my community corrections work. I've always believed you should leave things better than when you found them and that's what I've tried to do," Williams told The Parkersburg News and Sentinel in an earlier interview. Williams said he's looking forward to spending more time with his family.