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MTW Health District names new director

By Staff
Settles lawsuit with fired administrator Patton
By NIKIE MAYO, News Editor
WILLIAMSTON — The Martin-Tyrrell-Washington Health District has a new director.
It also has settled a lawsuit with its former director.
Kathleen DeVore Jones is expected to take the three-county MTW Health District helm April 16, Martin County Commissioner Al Perry said during the commissioners’ meeting in Williamston on Wednesday night.
Jones will be moving from Florida, where she has served as administrator for the Santa Rosa County Health Department in the northwest corner of the state. She has also served as director of the Montgomery County Health Department in North Carolina’s Piedmont.
Jones replaces former MTW Director Keith Patton, who was fired following a unanimous health-board vote in April 2006.
Patton left his post to have back surgery in November 2005. He was placed on investigative leave from Jan. 2, 2006, until he was fired three months later. Kittie Davis has served as interim director of the health district.
No health-board members would disclose the reason for the investigation or for Patton’s dismissal.
The health district faced a $200,000 shortfall in June 2006 because of an overprojected budget.
Patton sued the health board, but Perry reported Wednesday night that the board settled the lawsuit a few days ago. Perry said he could not disclose the amount the health district paid Patton because terms of the settlement prevent such disclosure.