Juvenile center director comes under fire

Allegations of sexual harassment against the director of the Canadian County Children’s Justice Center are being investigated, officials have confirmed.
In a statement, emailed from the county on Wednesday, officials said they could not disclose information about the incidents, but the allegations against Dan Kern are being taken seriously.
An investigation, the statement said, is underway.
The statement said county officials only became aware of some of the allegations recently, although they happened weeks and even months ago.
Kern was hired in March. He replaced Dr. Bill Sharp, who retired at the end of April 2018 after more than 21 years of service.
Many of the allegations against Kern relate to his treatment of students attending the school associated with the justice center, as well as other juveniles at the facility.
Emailed documents claim Kern made inappropriate comments toward and about students at the facility.
The county’s statement said Associate District Judge Bob Hughey, who heads the justice center, was not notified about the situation until recently.
None the three county commissioners nor the county’s human resources director were notified, the statement reads.
“There are criticisms being made about the lack of a complete investigation.  But the investigation has been delayed by the withholding of this information until recently.  In fact, there are allegations being made now through news sources that we are hearing for the first time.  That doesn’t mean that the allegations are true or not true, but we have not yet had an opportunity to investigate,” it reads.
NaCole Majors, the county’s human resources director, is conducting an internal investigation. She is not an employee of the justice center. Her office is at the county administration building.
“We want to address any personnel issues that may exists at the Children’s Justice Center, and her investigation will aid us in doing so,” the county stated.
According to the statement, Hughey is consulting with the county commissioners about the allegations and is following the advice that Majors provides.
“We will continue to investigate as we learn more about these allegations,” the statement reads.
Kern served as the chief executive officer for Strategic Behavioral Health in Memphis from March 2014 to October 2017.
He also served as the director of operations for an adolescent assessment center in Albuquerque from April 2013 to March 2014.
Kern remains on the job as the investigation is being conducted, officials said.

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