07/20/06 — Duplin D.A.'s office forced to move due to mold

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Duplin D.A.'s office forced to move due to mold

By Turner Walston
Published in News on July 20, 2006 1:45 PM

KENANSVILLE -- Mold problems have forced District Attorney Dewey Hudson's Duplin office to close, effective today. Employees have been reassigned to the Sampson and Onslow County offices.

District Attorney Dewey Hudson said increasing mold problems forced the temporary closing of the office.

"For several years, employees in my Duplin County office have been sick due to mold, mildew and excessive humidity," Hudson said in a press release Wednesday. "My employees suffer from congestion, migraine headaches, skin abrasions, sinus infections, sore throat and irritated eyes."

Hudson indicated that conditions had worsened due to summer temperatures.

"I regret the inconvenience that closing the Duplin County office will bring upon the citizens of Duplin County," Hudson said. "However, the situation has become unbearable!"

Industrial hygiene consultants from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services are investigating the problem.

Interim County Manager Mike Aldridge said he was waiting for their report before determining the best course of action.

"I'm really not sure, number one, what the source of the moisture is, and number two, what we've got to do to correct it," Aldridge said. "We're ready to take whatever action necessary to correct the problem once we determine what that actually is."

Duplin employees will check voice mail in Duplin County, and calls will be forwarded to the temporary offices, she said.

"We're going to try to accommodate the public as best we can," administrative assistant Nicole Rose said.

Assistant District Attorneys will continue to make court appearances in Kenansville, but "We're going to have to arrange different places to meet with victims," Ms. Rose said.

"We're just hoping that the recommendations will be completed as soon as possible so that we can get back in our office," she said.

Aldridge said he hopes that will be soon.

"As soon as we get a report, we'll be ready to strip wallpaper down, clean up, paint and disinfect," Aldridge said. "Whatever we have to do, we'll be poised to do that."