Union County’s Department of Human Services leader is leaving the agency for a job in California.
Richard Matens announced on Facebook Wednesday afternoon he is relocating to northern California to be the Executive Director for Consolidated Tribal Health Project in Redwood Valley. In his new job, he will head a group that provides medical, dental, behavioral health and outreach services for nine Native American tribes.
Matens has led the Union County department since 2013, and will be working through the first week of August.
He presided over an agency rocked by scandal in 2013 when a social services supervisor was charged with child abuse after a boy in her care was found handcuffed to her porch with a dead chicken tied around his neck.
The supervisor, Wanda Sue Larson, and her long-time boyfriend, Dorian Harper, later were both convicted in the case. The arrest also led to a shake-up in DSS operations.
In Matens’ Facebook post, he said he and his wife “have truly enjoyed our time in Union County...(and) are really looking forward to this new adventure!!”