Los Angeles County Chief Executive William T. Fujioka has removed Trish Ploehn as director of the Department of Children and Family Services, according to his spokesman.
Ploehn will be transferred to a new position in Fujioka's office handling "administrative work that is unrelated to child welfare," said Ryan Alsop, Fujioka's spokesman.
The decision ends Ploehn's troubled four-year tenure as head of a department whose 7,300 employees are responsible for the welfare of more than 30,000 children under active supervision. The department and Ploehn have come under criticism for a series of mistakes that kept children in homes where they died, despite their families having previously come to the attention of the county because of allegations of abuse or neglect.
In a message to her staff, Ploehn said, "Effective today, my journey with the department comes to a close." She told employees that she remained "exceptionally proud of what we have accomplished together."