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L.A. County's ousted child welfare director gets new job

December 15, 2010 |  4:21 pm

Trish Ploehn, the recently departed director of Los Angeles County's Department of Children and Family Services, has been appointed assistant county executive.

In her new position assisting county Chief Executive William T Fujioka, she will be responsible for education initiatives at the county and will retain her current $260,000 salary indefinitely, said Ryan Alsop, Fujioka's spokesman.

That decision drew criticism from Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, who does not believe her new responsibilities qualify her for such high compensation. "The work she is going to be doing is not commensurate with the salary she is going to be paid," said Antonovich spokesman Tony Bell.

Ploehn's duties are still being defined, but she will be involved in the search for a new superintendent of the Los Angeles County Office of Education, an agency that has come under heavy criticism in recent years over substandard education of youths in the Probation Department's juvenile camps and halls. Additionally, she will be executive director of the Education Coordinating Council, the organization established by the Board of Supervisors to raise the education achievements of children under the supervision of the family services and probation departments, Alsop said.

Under the terms of her new employment agreement, Ploehn will not receive a severance payment for losing her former job. Under her contract, she would have received six months' pay if she left county service after the county's decision to remove her as director of the department.

Meanwhile, the supervisors formally installed Antonia Jimenez as interim director Tuesday on a 4-1 vote. Antonovich voted against the decision in order to protest Ploehn's retention of her current salary, his spokesman said.


Ploehn removed as head of L.A. County child welfare agency

Persistent backlog in L.A. County child abuse probes has led to a crisis, report says

Times' investigation: Innocents Betrayed

-- Garrett Therolf at the L.A. County Hall of Administration