(WORT)–Last Monday, WORT reported on allegations made by an employee who was recently fired from Family Service Madison, a local non-profit that provides behavioral health therapy services, as well as assistance to other non-profit organizations.
The employee, Alex Wills, alleged that she had been fired for trying to help a Spanish-speaking family obtain interpretation services for an orthodontist visit.
On Sunday, Family Service Madison CEO Russell King sent an email response.
King says that the child needing orthodontic services was never a client of Family Service Madison.
“Ms. Wills was conducting private, personal advocacy for a non-client while working in a program paid for by federal funds specifically allocated to children living with disabilities. No matter how laudable the activity, the federal government does not allow these funds to be misdirected to advocacy activities or expended on non-clients,” King wrote.
The email also states that his organization contracts with interpreters as needed, that Family Service is not a social service agency, and that it does not engage in advocacy. He says that Wills was fired based on “her own admissions regarding her own actions,” and not due to a complaint received from the orthodonist as Wills claims.
Kaleem Caire, a Board member of Family Service Madison, says he doesn’t know all of the details of the case, but that the board is supporting King in his decision.
“He shared with us what transpired and we are supporting him in his decision,” Caire says.
A third-party mediator says he hopes a positive outcome for all is still possible.
Salvador Carranza is a member of Voces de la Frontera and former president of LUCHA, Latinos United for Change and Advancement. He says he was contacted by the Workers Rights Center to serve as a mediator between Wills and Family Service.
“The initial effort was to try to avoid anything that would be negative and get some positive outcome for the young woman that was fired and for the family that was not and continues not to be provided the services they’re entitled to,” Carranza says.
Carranza says he planned to meet with CEO King last Thursday to find a resolution, but the meeting was canceled.
“The Family Services board decided to cancel the meeting because they wanted to lawyer up,” says Carranza, adding “I’m still hopeful that we’ll be able to meet and come up with a positive solution that we can both feel proud of, both for Family Services and the families that were impacted.”