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Drug treatment court seeks new coordinator
Management issues cited after staff released
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Dawson County Treatment Court is under new management.

"We are looking to make a fresh start," said Debbie Mott, director of treatment services for Dawson and Hall counties.

Northeastern Judicial Circuit Judge Jason Deal, who presides over the court, recently made a decision to release the three-member staff in anticipation of filling the positions with more compatible personalities, according to Court Administrator Reggie Forrester.

"There just was a lot of dissention in the office," he said. "They didn't communicate well with each other. They didn't get along well with each other.

"It just got to the point that the emphasis on that court should be participants and getting their future back on track."

According to Forrester, the treatment court's staffing had experienced a high turnover in recent years.

"Over the last two or three years, we've had numbers of good counselors and employees in that court in Dawson County," he said. "There's been a lot of turnover and each person that has left has left unhappy, and it has been about management."

Mott said she believes starting with a new staff will not only eliminate past issues but also create a more positive climate for participants.

"There will be no interruption in the program. We still had court last Thursday, and we're still running group [meetings] in the evening," she said. "We're still doing everything we normally would, and hopefully we'll continue to get better and better."

Mott praised the work of the three who were let go and wished them well.

"I want to reiterate that all three of the staff were good folks that did good work. Their hearts were in it," she said. "This was strictly a managerial issue, a managerial style, and we're going to go another way."

The county this week posted a job listing to fill the treatment court coordinator position, which was previously held by Bob King.

"We're anxious to get someone in there," Mott said.