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Former employees: Mold discovered years ago in government building

PANOLA COUNTY, Miss. -- It's been an entire year since Shavonne Thigpen left her job at the Panola County Department of Human Services.

She said she was anything but surprised Friday when notes went up on the door of her former office, announcing the whole place was closed and employees relocated to a new building in Batesville.

"Every six weeks, I was at the doctor`s office," she said.

During her 18 years working in the building, Thigpen said she and her then-colleagues found mold covering the walls in a filing room in the back.

"We call it the dungeon."

It's the same room Deanna Towles said her deceased mother would frequently complain about during her time at the office.

"It just killed her to file in the file room because she could not actually breathe to do it."

Her mother died of an unexplained lung disease a year after she retired in 2013. Towles said the mold her mother described could be at least partly to blame.

"I know in my heart and soul that that building was a part of my mom`s problem. Without a shadow of a doubt."

And they said it's probably the reason the building was closed.

WREG has been calling the Panola County Administrator's Office since Friday.

On Monday, we called again and emailed the county administrator, but never heard back.

Thigpen said she's just relieved to hear something's finally being done about a problem she said has been years in the running.

"I`m just glad that they`re out of that building and I do hope that they`re not forced to go back into that building."