Gaston & Catawba

Probe of Gaston DSS program nearing completion

An investigation into allegations of mismanagement and possible fraud in a job retraining program at Gaston County Department of Social Services is nearing completion, authorities said today.

DSS director Keith Moon said a family member of a former DSS employee alleged that some DSS staff hired relatives for temporary positions and that benefits had been improperly provided. The charges focused on the Workforce Investment Act Program, which provides retraining for people who have been laid off or displayed.

Moon asked for a state audit and a review by Gaston County police into the allegations.

“County police interviewed our entire staff and some external people,” Moon said on Friday. “ We hope to wrap things up very soon.”

Two Workforce program employees resigned in July, but Moon said he couldn't link their departures to the allegations.

Sgt. Chris Reynolds with the Gaston County police said investigators were still gathering information.

“We're clarifying some things,” he said. “We're hoping to re-approach the DA next week.”