Head of Riverside’s Troubled Social Services Resigns

Riverside County’s Department of Public Social Services Director abruptly resigned Sept. 10, leaving a key vacancy at the agency that oversees services for 2.3 million at-risk adults and children.

The reason for Susan Von Zabern’s departure remains unclear. But her exit follows intense scrutiny of the department, which is currently facing two lawsuits alleging gross mismanagement of cases involving a young rape victim and three-year-old child who was discovered hugging her sibling’s corpse.

Von Zabern has been with the county since 1991 and has served as the department’s head since 2007. Riverside’s assistant chief executive of Human Services, Sarah Mack, has assumed duties while the county searches for a permanent replacement.