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Former DYRS spokeswoman LaShon Beamon, a veteran communications specialist, has resigned and now serves as director of media relations for the Campaign for Youth Justice. She declined to comment.

In addition, Kris Laurenti, a special assistant and 2007 winner of the Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Award for Distinguished D.C. Government Employees, has left DYRS for the Department of Health. Others who have departed are Dr. Walter Fagget, a nationally respected doctor and former health services administrator; Wendy Smeltzer, a highly regarded management and program analyst; and Farouk Hossein, deputy director of operations, sources at the agency said.

Earlier this year, Linda Harllee-Harper, once the chief of committed services, left DYRS to become associate deputy director with D.C. Courts.

In contrast to the experienced youth rehabilitation professionals who have departed, Mr. Stanley is a career bureaucrat who previously served as the agency’s general counsel and held executive-level positions in D.C. government with the Department of the Environment, the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs and the Department of Parks and Recreation.

He also has worked for the Public Welfare Foundation as a program officer and as a staff attorney for the Children’s Defense Fund’s Black Community Crusade for Children.

Mr. Stanley took the helm as interim director of DYRS in December 2010 in place of former interim director Robert Hildum, a former prosecutor with the office of the attorney general, who was perceived by juvenile-justice advocates as too focused on incarceration.

In announcing Mr. Stanley’s appointment, the Gray administration touted him as possessing “a strong blend of public management and juvenile justice experience” and described him as a friend of progressives who was sensitive to law enforcement issues.

Besides the recent voluntary departures, a senior correctional program officer, a veteran case management supervisor and two experienced contracting and procurement officers were recently forced out by Mr. Stanley after rubbing him the wrong way, sources at the agency said.

“I can’t count the unhappy staff who have left,” said one departed DYRS manager who declined to be quoted by name.

The defections have prompted D.C. Council member Jim Graham, Ward 1 Democrat whose committee oversees DYRS, to express written concerns to Mr. Gray about the leadership of the agency, according to sources with firsthand knowledge.

Neither Mr. Graham nor Mr. Gray’s office would release a copy of a memo that Mr. Graham reportedly sent to the mayor's office within the past two weeks.

Pedro Ribeiro, spokesman for Mr. Gray, denied that he or B.B. Otero, deputy mayor who oversees DYRS, had seen the memo. He would not respond to questions about it, including whether Mr. Gray had seen it. “I can’t comment on a memo I’ve never seen, or its supposed contents,” he said.

Mr. Graham said last week that he has “many concerns” about DYRS but declined to elaborate. He did not deny sending the memo, and he did not respond to written questions.

R. Daniel Okonkwo, executive director of D.C. Lawyers for Youth, a juvenile-justice reform advocate, acknowledged the talent drain at DYRS and the need to hold the agency accountable, but said his group is satisfied with the direction under Mr. Stanley. “It certainly is an agency that can continue to get better, and by no means are they where they want to be, but we’ve seen improvements in measured outcomes and a decrease in arrests and violence,” he said.

Mr. Okonkwo, who was sharply critical of Mr. Hildum for what he said were policy differences, has praised Mr. Stanley for having a balanced attitude about juvenile justice. He declined to address grumblings about the embattled director by current and former employees, concerns that apparently are shared by Mr. Graham.

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