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Albemarle nonprofit to replace Open Door

Mecklenburg County’s Department of Social Services has recommended Monarch, an Albemarle-based nonprofit, to take over some of the services that had been offered by Mecklenburg Open Door, a county contractor that has come under scrutiny for unauthorized expenses.

County General Manager Michelle Lancaster-Sandlin announced DSS’ decision at Tuesday night’s meeting of the Board of County Commissioners.

“We are excited, delighted and honored to be chosen to walk into this mess,” said Monarch CEO Peggy Terhune, “because we know it’s a mess, and we’ve done this before.”

Terhune said Monarch is “extremely honest and ethical” and that the agency has always had clean audits over the past 25 years.

Terhune said she intends to keep all the employees of Open Door.

“They didn’t ask for this. They didn’t ask for this change. We want them to feel important and vested, and the people that you serve are very important … and those people have relationships with the people who have been working with them.”

She said, though, that she would be bringing new management and that there would be “significant daily oversight” over the employees.

Caitlin Coakley can be reached at caitlin.coakley@mecktimes.com.

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