The charges against suspended Delaware County Department of Social Services (DSS) Commissioner Dana Scuderi-Hunter have finally been made known, as they have been obtained by regional news outlets.
The seven official charges are:
1: “The employee has engaged in conduct unbecoming an employee of Delaware County”
B.“Conflict with the Delaware County Probation Department and County Attorney’s Office”
2: “The respondent is guilty of conduct unbecoming of an employee of Delaware County as well as insubordination and misconduct and a breach of duty of loyalty.
3: “The respondent is guilty of misconduct; conduct unbecoming and mismanagement”
4: “The respondent is guilty of insubordination, misconduct, and breach of trust
5: “The respondent has been engaged in misconduct, insubordination, and conduct unbecoming”
6: “Respondent is guilty of insubordination, conduct unbecoming, acts of disloyalty and making false statement to her employer”
7: “The respondent is guilty of insubordination, misconduct, and conduct unbecoming an employee of Delaware County”
There are numerous allegations tied to each of the seven charges, but the following is a brief recap of the basis of each of the charges.
The first charge claims Scuderi-Hunter “alienated other department heads” and engaged in behavior that was “antagonistic, disrespectful, overbearing, and disruptive of a collegial and collaborative working environment.” It also addresses Scuderi-Hunter looking for more space for DSS, which is said to have caused conflict between Scuderi-Hunter and the Public Health Director Amanda Walsh. Scuderi-Hunter is also charged with not reporting an alleged instance of a DSS employee drinking on the job to the Personnel Office.
Charge B of the first charge appears to deal with “an utter lack of concern for the safety of her own staff.”
The second charge alleges Scuderi-Hunter “engaged in conduct which was inconsistent with her position as the Commissioner of Social services” and “brought shame and discredit upon the County.”
The third charge relates to the way in which the Commissioner was said to speak to former DSS employee Angela Barnes on May 13, 2019.
The fourth charge alleges that Scuderi-Hunter instructed DSS employees not to communicate with the County Attorney’s Office and the Probation Department which “resulted in confusion.”
Charge five says Scuderi-Hunter ignored the repeated requests from a caseworker for additional mental health services to be provided to a client.
Charge six relates to what is described as “acts of disloyalty and collaboration with the attorney for” a party in opposition to that of the County.
The final charge seems to be related to County property that Scuderi-Hunter is alleged to have not returned such as her I.D. badge and a County-owned laptop.
In the defense’s official written response to the charges, the defense offers three general defenses to the charges: 1. “There is no factual or legal basis for the charges,” 2. “The penalty is excessive and arbitrary in light of Scuderi-Hunter’s past record,” and 3. “Some or all of the charges are untimely pursuant to Civil Service Law 75.”
Day six of the disciplinary hearing finished around 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 9 and the hearing will resume on October 21. The News will have a complete report of the most recent testimony in next Wednesday’s (Oct. 16) Edition.