PARSONS, W.Va. – Tucker County Senior Center employees met face to face with the board of directors this afternoon hoping to keep their boss from being fired.
The executive director, Mary Alice Smith, recently informed the board that she would resign from her position effective June 30.
Smith said the board accused her of fraud because she paid the senior center’s cook’s husband $200 for his time delivering meals to hungry senior citizens living in the mountains when nobody else would do it. Since the husband wasn’t on the payroll, Smith issued the check to the cook.
Employees supporting Smith packed into the board meeting hoping to convince the board to keep her employed in her original position before she was promoted to executive director three years ago.
Board members came out of executive session and announced that Smith will keep all her positions at the senior center except for executive director.
Jane Parsons, a board member, said “We want to listen to the people to see what they want to say and like I said she was retiring the other part of her job but she did want to stay on as transportation coordinator for the seniors of Tucker County. She is very caring about the elderly, the disabled. She helps make appointments for them, so she is very much needed for that to keep her on.”
Smith said, “I believe that our place as a senior center is to help those people whether it’s within home care or meals or a ride to a doctor’s appointment. It’s never been about the money, definitely not about the position because I’ve always liked kind of working behind the scenes and just doing what I do. It’s just really important that all these people are taken care of.”
Smith said the cook and her husband returned the money paid to them for the twenty hours of delivery and even paid the senior center back an extra $50.