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State names interim director for Redfield development center

REDFIELD, S.D. (AP) -- The state Department of Human Services has named an interim director for a state development center that has faced criticism by former employees.

REDFIELD, S.D. (AP) - The state Department of Human Services has named an interim director for a state development center that has faced criticism by former employees.

Secretary of Human Services Gloria Pearson says Barb Abeln will oversee the South Dakota Developmental Center in Redfield while the state searches for a permanent leader.

Some former employees have accused the Redfield center of having a hostile administration and a dangerous work environment. The facility also is dealing with a staff shortage - more than 40 open positions out of about 340 - that has resulted in required overtime for some employees.

Jan Banghart, the former director, announced her decision to retire immediately in an email to workers last week. She did not elaborate on her reasons.

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