Two long vacant posts as the District of Columbia poundmaster and as superindent of Forest Haven, the city's troubled home for the mentally retarded have been filled, Albert P. Russo, director of the D.C. Department of Human Resources, announced yesterday.
The poundmaster job "is filled with a she, as you can see, and she is terrific," Russo told a news conference, in announcing the choice of Ingrid Newkirk to the post. A former Montgomery County deputy sheriff, Newkirk already has begun a cleanup of the dirty conditions she said she found at the facility at 1201 New York Ave. NE.
Newkirk may be the first female poundmaster of a big city in the nation, Russo said.
The job has been vacant for four years since it was abolished during a congressionally imposed hiring freeze. Russo said he took administrative steps to restore it.
Named to head Forest Haven, the home for the retarded at Laurel, was Chester C. Jones, who has been dirctor for 2 1/2 years of the Albert Einstein Community Mental Health and Mental Retardation Center in Philadelphia.
His deputy will be Dr. Janet Neslen, recently acting chief of DHR's Northwest and Southwest community health centers.
The permanent superintendency of Forest Haven has been vacant for two years. During that time, the post was held on an acting basis by Fred Perry, who will return to DHR headquarters as a special asitant to Russo.
A professional public adminstrator, Jones is a graduate of Harvard University. From 1963 to 1965, he was excutive director of the D.C. Office of Urban Revewal, and in 1966 and 1967 was assistant operations director of the United Planning Organization, the D.C. antipoverty agency.
DHR is under a U.S. court order to place Forest Haven patients in private homes, and to improve conditions at the facility.
On another mater, Russo announced that DHR is microfilming 600,000 birth certificates from 1950 to 1972 and soon will be able to deliver photocopies within 30 minutes after an applications. Currently, deliver takes a week to 10 days.
On Oct. 1, Russo said the vital statistics office will be moved from cramped quarters in the Municipal Center to its own building at 609 Pennysylvania Ave. NW.