The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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January 22, 2014

Watonwan County human services director fired

ST. JAMES — Watonwan County Human Services Director Rich Collins was terminated Wednesday after a closed session held by Watonwan County Board.

Watonwan County Auditor Donald Kuhlman declined to provide details about the termination. He said the decision was made by the board on Wednesday during a performance review. He said the decision was based on the board's "loss of confidence in his ability to effectively manage the department." He said the board has not yet selected a replacement for Collins.

Media reports from last year indicated Collins was receiving a salary of $97,032.

The Watonwan County Human Services Department fired its welfare fraud investigator in August 2013 after he was charged with felony theft for falsifying the hours he actually worked. The case is still ongoing in Watonwan County District Court.

Kuhlman declined to comment on whether the incident was a factor in Collin's termination.

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