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Human services director takes medical leave

(Published January 17, 2000)

D.C. Department of Human Services Director Jearline F. Williams went on extended medical leave Jan.12. Mayoral spokeswoman Peggy Armstrong said Williams is struggling with colon cancer.

Carolyn N. Graham, deputy mayor for children and families, will run the department in Williams’ absence.

"Mrs. Williams is a valued member of my team and I wish Jerri the very best," said Mayor Anthony A. Williams. "My wife Diane and I will keep Jerri in our prayers as she faces this tremendously personal challenge."

The human services director recently has faced criticism for the department’s poor record of treating the mentally retarded and the elderly. A series of uninvestigated deaths and cases involving neglect have led to a criminal investigation of the agency’s staff.

Copyright 2000, The Common Denominator