County fires economic development, social services directors; reason remains unknown

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RIVERSIDE (CNS) – The heads of two Riverside County agencies were summarily dismissed, without a clear indication why, officials confirmed today.

Economic Development Agency Director Rob Field and Department of Public Social Services Director Sarah Mack were terminated Tuesday by county CEO George Johnson.

The Executive Office did not specify the reasons.

Field had been at the helm of EDA since April 2009. The agency recently came under scrutiny after Sheriff Chad Bianco sought exclusion from some of its inter-departmental services, including building maintenance, citing steadily rising costs.

The Board of Supervisors last week approved policy changes intended to give the sheriff additional financial cushion.

Field started working for the county in January 1999. His brother was the chief of staff for now-retired Supervisor John Tavaglione.

Both Field and Mack were earning $283,427 annually, according to the Executive Office. There was no word regarding severance packages.

Mack’s county service began in February 2001 and she had been managing DPSS since August 2018.

The agency was sued for mishandling several child abuse cases, including one where a girl was repeatedly raped by her mother’s live-in boyfriend, culminating in her becoming pregnant at 13.

The county settled the suits for millions of dollars in 2018. Then-DPSS Director Susan von Zabern resigned amid the scandals.

According to the Executive Office, how the county intends to proceed with recruiting replacements for Field and Mack will be announced in the coming weeks.