Director of social services retiring

Published 1:44 pm Thursday, November 29, 2012

Suffolk’s director of social services has announced his retirement effective Saturday.

Leonard Horton, 63, has been the director since 2001 and was the deputy director before that since coming to Suffolk in 1987. He worked more than 40 years total in the Virginia Social Services system.


Horton’s position oversees the Department of Social Services, Comprehensive Services Act Division, Community Corrections, the Early Childhood Development Commission and the Suffolk Workforce Center.

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During his tenure, Horton helped establish the Suffolk Workforce Center, oversaw the construction of the Health and Human Services Building, instituted automation of the agency’s processes and more. He also served the community in numerous other capacities, including Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community, the Cheer Fund Board, the Suffolk Literacy Council and more.

Horton said he is looking forward to traveling and spending more time with his family.

Azeez Felder, currently the department’s assistant director, has been named interim director. He came to Suffolk in 2004 after being employed in Chesapeake as the child protective services supervisor and in New York, N.Y., in various roles at the Administration of Children’s Services. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in industrial organizational psychology.