The Board of Directors of HAWC (Healing Abuse Working for Change) voted on Thursday, January 19, to terminate Rachel Morgan, who had recently been hired by the domestic abuse agency in anticipation that she would be assuming the role of Executive Director. This action comes amid charges alleging Morgan had committed theft at her previous employer, the Grayson Crisis Center out of Sherman, Texas. Paula Herrington, who has served as the agency’s Interim Executive Director since April 2016 and had done so during their previous executive transition in 2013, has been named the agency’s permanent ED.

“The allegation was devastating news for HAWC. In spite of extensive due diligence in the hiring process, nothing was disclosed that would have raised any concerns of this nature.  My fellow board members and I are shocked and saddened by this information. We are grateful to have a strong leader in Paula, who is deeply committed to HAWC’s mission to create social change by taking action against personal and societal patterns of violence and oppression,” said Linda Puopolo, President of HAWC’s board.

Morgan had started at the agency in early January but had not yet assumed any Executive Director responsibilities during the transition. When informed of the charges, Puopolo called an emergency board meeting for Thursday evening, during which the decision to name Herrington as ED was made.

“HAWC has experienced no interruption of services as a result of this, and we remain committed to providing comprehensive domestic abuse services to the North Shore Community,” said Herrington. “To survivors, our message is clear: HAWC is a valuable resource to those experiencing domestic abuse, and we are here to serve you.”

This new development has no impact on programming at HAWC, and the agency continues to operate as normal.