NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Earlier this week, the Court-Appointed Special Advocates of Deep East Texas Board voted unanimously to fire the organization's executive director.
"The CASA Board of Directors decided over the last few weeks that there was a need for new ideas and a new direction for CASA to help us with the demand and growth we're getting from the foster children and CPS in the state," said Roger Van Horn, the chairman of the CASA Board.
Van Horn said a CASA Board committee looked at a number of things, including where CASA is at the moment, where they wanted to be, and the organization's relationship with the state, the county, elected officials, and Child Protective Services. He said the personnel committee determined that there was a "need for change."
"Investigation is misleading," Van Horn said. "None of this had to do with any questionable behavior or illegal issues. It had to do with the direction CASA was taking and where we wanted to go."
Van Horn said that the board has already started the search for a new director. Resumes are already being sent to the organization.
"CASA has grown for eight years, thanks to Ms. Carlton's efforts and love for children, but it's time for us to move in a new direction," Van Horn said. "I think we all need to know CASA is bigger and the job is bigger than any one person. It's not going anywhere."
Van Horn said over the course of the next week or so he will be reassuring CASA volunteers and donors that the service isn't going away.
Carlton said that she is really proud to have started CASA of Deep East Texas, which includes Nacogdoches, Shelby, and San Augustine counties. She also said when the organization's doors almost shut in 2007, she was instrumental in the effort to make sure CASA could continue serving the children of Deep East Texas.
"I met the most amazing people through the volunteers, the kids, and those who care about children," Carlton said. "That I will never regret, and now I am starting a brand-new chapter in my life."
Carlton, who has a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling, was hired in 2006. The board has agreed to pay her salary until the end of the year.