LACONIA — Belknap County Commissioners have named Keith Gray, assistant superintendent at the Belknap County House of Corrections, as interim superintendent of the facility.
Gray will head the department as the county conducts a search for a permanent replacement for Superintendent Dan Ward, whose last day on the job will be this Friday.
'It's more of a retirement than a resignation,'' said Ward, who has held the position for five years and been in law enforcement and corrections for well over 20 years.
He says that his wife, Sheila, has accepted a vocational rehabilitation position with the Florida Department of Education in Tallahassee, Fla., which is located in Florida's panhandle region.
''I'm going there to support Sheila,'' said Ward, whose son D.J., who is entering the ninth grade and is the youngest of his six children, who will also be making the move.
Ward said that he is proud of the work that he has done in Belknap County to refocus corrections on providing treatment for offenders which will help them re-enter the community once their jail terms are completed.
Commissioners also agreed yesterday to hire a full-time replacement for Administrative Assistant Eileen Gaudette, who has been working 32 hours a week. Ward recommended that the position become full-time as it is a key position and Gray's position will remain unfilled until a new superintendent is hired.
The commissioners also revoked a private-pay rate increase for the Belknap County Nursing Home which Nursing Home Administrator Mathew Logue had recently announced in a letter to patient families. The increase would have hiked the daily rate from $290 to $300.
Commissioners said Logue had made the increase without informing them or seeking their approval.
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