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City Fires Head of Juvenile Center

Recurring problems at detention facility lead to shakeup.

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The superintendent of the troubled Richmond Juvenile Detention Center has been fired.

Dianne Gadow, the top administrator at the 60-bed juvenile facility, has been relieved of her duties, confirms Tammy Hawley, press secretary for Mayor Dwight Jones.

In a statement this afternoon, Hawley says Jack Scott, executive director of the Crater Youth Commission in Petersburg, will take over as interim superintendent and Charles Lampkin, services coordinator with the city’s Department of Justice Services, has been named interim assistant superintendent.

Employees were informed of the decision on Monday by city Department of Justice Services head Charles Kehoe, insiders say. Neither Gadow nor Kehoe could immediately be reached for comment.

The move comes after last week’s vote by the Virginia Board of Juvenile Justice to place the city’s juvenile detention center on probation for lingering maintenance and security-related deficiencies. It was the second time since 2009 that the board had voted to do so.

Recent reports by the city auditor, as well as the state’s own investigators, have cited multiple problems at the facility. Investigators found evidence of sloppy employee training records, an “unreliable” electronic door-locking system and other safety-related concerns.

“Our aim is to get the Center in order quickly and to get it off of probation so that we can ensure the best and proper care for those needing the center’s services,” Mayor Dwight Jones says in a statement Tuesday. “Putting the Center and the staff on the right track begins with the leadership and management and we’ve made the necessary changes.”

City Hall sources say that Gadow’s termination is not related to allegations of forgery at the center. Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Herring confirmed last week that his office is investigating allegations by detention-center workers that signatures on employee training documents were forged.

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