Director of Montco's Juvenile Detention Center Let Go

Maureen Raquet, long-time executive director of the Montgomery County Youth Center, has left her position.

The long-time executive director of Montgomery County's juvenile detention facility in West Norriton has been dismissed from her position, sources have told Patch.

Maureen Raquet was dismissed from her position on Thursday and did not return to the Montgomery County Youth Center for work on Friday.

According to sources, Raquet's dismissal followed several weeks of interviews of facility personnel by representatives of the county's human resources department.

Staff at the center confirmed that Raquet was not on the premises Friday morning and Assistant Director David Zikosky referred Patch to Montgomery County Director of Communications Frank Custer for comment.

Custer, reached by telephone Friday morning, would neither confirm nor deny Raquet's dismissal and said the county would not comment on personnel issues.

Raquet was contacted by phone Friday morning, but declined to comment on the matter.

Friday afternoon, sources confirmed that Shelter Supervisor Mark Wykle was also dismissed.

The cause of the staffing changes is unknown, but a former employee for the center described the shake-up as being the result of complaints of a hostile work environment by many staff members.

Raquet was hired by the county as a juvenile probation officer in 1980 and was named executive director of the center in 2000. Wykle was hired as a counselor at the center in 1990 and made shelter supervisor in 2008. Both were given the opportunity to officially resign their positions.

The detention center houses up to 36 juvenile detainees in a secure detention wing and can hold another 12 youths in a reduced-security shelter wing. Juveniles are housed at the center while they await hearings in juvenile court.

Patch will update this story as more information becomes available.

Cheryl March 04, 2013 at 02:06 PM
I also worked in this hostile environment. This should have been stopped years ago. So many young workers were broken from the hostility and constant demeaning. Please continue your watch, there are still some administration members and staff that should be replaced.
Johnny March 05, 2013 at 06:01 PM
As another former long time Youth Center employee, I feel wonderful that the County has finally done something about the working conditions at the Youth Center. Every employee who works there sacrifices their personal life to work there. There are not too many people who would do that, and work with the type of juvenile population that the Youth Center houses. I hope that for the current employees sake, that none of the admistrators currently there are promoted to Executive Director. For too long the County ignored what was going on at the Youth Center. Mrs. Raquet has no one to blame but herself her dismissal. And as for Mr. Wykle, he definately got what he deserved. He should have had some trust in his workers and not micro-managed them to death. If the publice knew the full extent of what Youth Center workers were forced to endure, Raquet and the rest of her cronies would have been gone a long time ago.
J March 05, 2013 at 06:47 PM
How about looking into the administration at Montgomery County Children and Youth who demands their workers work over-time with little support to them? If this is happening in one county agency it is happening in most. People with power like to run with it and do not care that it negatively affects their worker and families.
LJC March 06, 2013 at 05:23 PM
Well said, Johnny! This has been a long time coming, and I hope that someone new is brought in to continue this positive change. If one of the current administrators takes over, it would kill all forward momentum. Then it would be back to the very same negative atmosphere that brought about this shake up in the first place. I hope that this is not the end of the housecleaning at the Youth Center. There is still a lot of cronies to go! My wish is that those who truly devote themselves to the care and well-being of the kids get a chance to make a real difference
Carol LoConsole Merritt March 11, 2013 at 06:03 AM
It only took 7 years for the leaders to believe the workers there was something wrong.


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