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Charlotte Area

DSS director Wilson apologizes for one-day job posting

Mecklenburg County Social Services Director Mary Wilson apologized today for how she proceeded to hire the wife of Charlotte City Councilman and mayoral candidate Anthony Foxx for a $100,000 job. But Wilson made no apologizes for spending $20,000 in public money to renovate her office. Wilson received heavy criticism last month when it was revealed how she went about hiring Samara Foxx to head the business affairs division of DSS. Wilson not only hired Foxx during a hiring freeze last July, but did so after posting the job for only one day. They had worked together at a previous job. Wilson said today on WFAE's Charlotte Talks program that she's learned her lesson. "I do think that is something I owe the county, the community and the staff at DSS an apology. When I came on board, I wanted someone I knew, that I could trust, that could give an assignment to, and they would go do it. I could have posted Samara's position for two or three weeks," Wilson said. The controversy prompted Mecklenburg County to revise it job-posting guidelines and require that all positions be posted for at least one week. Also on Charlotte Talks, Wilson defended spending $20,000 on renovating her office. She said her office helps create a better image for DSS. "It is creating an environment that is less government for the 300 children that are in foster care that I have to meet with, and for the number of families that come in seeking some appeal of the decisions we've made in their life," Wilson said. "I think I created atmosphere that says this is not government, this is not a stand-up desk, this is not a blue conference room table. This is an atmosphere that says 'Come in, sit down, and let's talk about your life.' " Wilson's renovations include new furniture, drapes, crown molding and a 28-inch flat-screen TV.