Delaware County suspends Social Services commissioner

Scuderi-Hunter

A Delaware County department head was suspended earlier this week, according to county officials.

Dana Scuderi-Hunter, commissioner of the Department of Social Services, has been placed on paid administrative leave, according to Wayne Marshfield, Hamden town supervisor and chair of the Social Services Committee.

A reason for the suspension was not given, and the matter was dealt with behind closed doors, Marshfield said.

The terms and the length of the suspension are unclear, Marshfield said, but Scuderi-Hunter was given “a couple different options.”

Marshfield said the supervisors were notified of the suspension via email Tuesday, and that the decision was made at the directive of Tina Molé, the Bovina town supervisor and board chair.

Molé refused to answer questions about the matter, citing it as an issue of personnel. 

“The social services committee was solidly behind her,” Marshfield said of Scuderi-Hunter, adding that he offered his help to the department in any capacity.

The department’s deputy commissioner, Sylvia Armano, will take over during Scuderi-Hunter’s absence, according to Marshfield; she will be responsible for overseeing the department’s 105 employees.

Armano did not return requests for comment.

Scuderi-Hunter was appointed to the position for a five-year term in 2015 after the retirement of William Moon, who served as commissioner for 35 years prior. She told The Daily Star in 2014 she was hired by the department as a caseworker in 2007.

The board unanimously approved her $96,254 annual salary in May.

Scuderi-Hunter served on the task force responsible for establishing a child advocacy center to address claims of abuse and neglect throughout Delaware County. The mobile CAC was formally unveiled at a ceremony last month.

Scuderi-Hunter could not be reached for comment.

An unsigned statement, circulated late Thursday by Board of Supervisors Clerk Christa Schaeffer, said Marshfield's comments "are not those of the Delaware County Board of Supervisors," and said Marshfield was not "authorized" to make any comments on the matter.

It went on to say it "is a confidential, personnel matter" and "The actions of the county are not meant to express or imply any wrongdoing on the part of the employee."

Sarah Eames, staff writer, can be reached at seames@thedailystar.com or 607-441-7213. Follow her @DS_SarahE on Twitter.