Adams County has terminated two longtime county employees and placed three others on administrative leave following an extensive investigation into illicit drug activities among county employees.
Ruth Kedzior, the Adams County assistant administrator, confirmed Department of Human Services employees Trisha Segura and Justina Lucero were terminated in May as a result of the investigation. Both women, who were income-maintenance specialists, were responsible for establishing eligibility for food assistance and family Medicaid. Segura had worked for the county nearly 11 years prior to her termination, while Lucero had employed by the county for nearly seven years.
Three unidentified county employees have been placed on administrative leave with pay.
Adams County administrator Jim Robinson said an internal investigation began after county officials received information on March 26 that controlled substances were being distributed among several county employees in the Human Services Department. County officials turned the information over to the North Metro Task Force and a criminal investigation began.
“Whenever there are accusations of some type of drug use that violates our drug-free workplace policies, then we’re going to treat that as a very serious violation, and we’re going to take appropriate action as soon as we can,” Robinson said.
Robinson said the county has not received the results of the investigation and declined to say what types of drugs were involved or where the information first came from. He also said there is no reason to believe that there are more people involved or any distribution was taking place among people served by the county.
The investigation also prompted Xerox-owned ACS, which provides information technology services to the county, to place one of its county-contracted employees on administrative leave.
“When we run into situations where public employees — servants to the public — have been accused of a crime, we have to let due process take its course,” Robinson said. “It’s a patient process, but in our country, everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.”
Krista Flannigan, Adams County District Attorney’s Office public information director, said all six county employees are being screened to determine their eligibility for county diversion programs. The screening process could take up to several weeks to complete, she said.