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Couple removed from posts at group home

JAY, Okla. (AP) _ Allegations of sexual abuse at the Delaware County Friendship Home have led to the removal of the home's executive director and her husband.

Kathy Cearley-Hector and her husband, Richard Hector, were both suspended last month. On Oct. 1, the board that manages the home, which employs and houses the handicapped, voted to terminate the pair.

In August, the board voted to report allegations of sexual abuse involving Hector to Adult Protective Services, a division of the Department of Human Services. According to the meeting minutes, Cearley-Hector said that a client of the home alleged that Hector touched her inappropriately.

Cearley-Hector has been the executive director of the home since it was established in 1985. Richard Hector has been with the home for more than 10 years as its supervisor of activities, officials said.

Attorney Kort Besore said that board member Carol Hamby has volunteered to serve as acting executive director until a replacement can be found.

``Actions taken by the board were in the best interest of the agency, and the board will continue to take whatever action necessary to serve its clients and the agency,'' Besore said.

The Friendship Home provides housing for 25 clients and training for 60 clients, according to the home's 1998 income tax returns. The home reported more than $1.2 million in revenues and government funding to the IRS in 1998 with more than $500,000 in assets.

But according to the minutes of its June 30 meeting, the board approved a financial statement that showed the home lost more than $21,000 and had more than $88,000 in salary expenditures.

The home has a contract with DHS to teach clients to provide for themselves as well as providing housing, work and transportation for training.

Assistant District Attorney Kathy Baker said she could not comment on whether an investigation by her office or the sheriff's office into the home's operations or personnel was under way.

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