After weeks of discussions between county commissioners, Linda Robb has officially been fired as the head of the Benton-Franklin Human Services Department.
Robb was placed on administrative leave more than two weeks ago for unspecified reasons and handed a termination letter by Benton County officials following a bicounty meeting last week.
Commissioner Jerome Delvin, chair of the Benton County board, would not discuss the specifics of Robb’s firing, saying it’s possible the former executive director could sue the county.
Delvin reiterated statements he made to the Herald last week that Benton County officials had lost confidence in Robb to lead the department, which provides mental health, chemical dependency and housing services to citizens in both counties.
Kyle Sullivan, a former supervisor with Crisis Response, an agency under the human services umbrella, is currently running the department.
There have been ongoing management issues since Robb was hired away from Catholic Family & Child Services in 2014 to replace Ed Thornbrugh, Delvin said. Robb was given the chance to resign.
Commissioners from both sides of the river have held bicounty meetings over the last two weeks to discuss personnel issues within the department and the future of human services in the Tri-Cities.
Commissioners have talked about the closing of a detox center following a state audit, the possibility of privatizing mental health care and Robb’s job status.
Franklin County Commissioner Brad Peck expressed concern at last week’s meeting that the termination letter may have been delivered prematurely.
Shawn Sant, Franklin County prosecutor, told commissioners his office requested and was waiting to receive more information regarding Robb’s job status. The prosecutor advised commissioners to hold off on making a decision on Robb until the information was reviewed.
“Personally, I have not seen any performance issues that rise to the level of needing a replacement,” Peck told the Herald following the Aug. 5 meeting.
Commissioners have confirmed there are no allegations of criminal wrongdoing linked to the firing.
Robb was the clinical director at Catholic Family for 16 years after spending several years with Lourdes Counseling Center. The Herald reported at the time of her hiring in May 2014 that her annual salary was about $85,000.
Robb, who holds a master's degree in clinical psychology from Wichita State University, beat out about 40 applicants for the job.