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TRUMBULL COUNTY Fired worker seeking more disability pay



Published: Thu, April 28, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The county will object if payment is approved for ex-maintenance director Tony Delmont.

WARREN -- Former Trumbull County maintenance director and convicted thief Tony Delmont is trying to get more disability payments from the government.

Delmont seeks to have the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation resume making monthly payments to him for a temporary total disability, now that the state level has recognized additional medical conditions for Delmont.

Guilty plea

Delmont was fired by county commissioners in November 2004 after his indictment for theft in office, money laundering and bribery, to which he has pleaded guilty.

His firing, however, did not affect his eligibility for workers' compensation.

In August 2004, a doctor working for the BWC determined that Delmont, of Willard Avenue Northeast, has recovered as much as he ever will from a February 2003 car accident in a county snow plow. He was dropped last October from temporary total disability payments.

He had been receiving $2,852 a month tax-free in workers' compensation since the accident, in which he suffered back injuries, according to his original claim with the BWC.

Now he's been allowed a claim for a cervical herniated disc and a neck injury from the same accident based on the December 2004 opinion of chiropractor Christopher Stychno and the Feb. 15 opinion by Dr. Gordon Zellers.

According to documents filed with the county's human resources office, the additional medical conditions were OK'd in March by the Industrial Commission of Ohio.

A motion requesting payment of temporary total compensation for the period of Oct. 20, 2004, to April 1, 2005, "and to continue," was filed with the BWC on April 14. The county was notified April 21. A determination by BWC could come by early May.

If the BWC allows a temporary total disability resulting in a payment to Delmont, the county would appeal. The matter at that point would return to the industrial commission for a hearing. Delmont also can appeal. The matter also can proceed to court, eventually.

While Delmont is no longer a county employee, the county has to pay into the BWC fund for his 2003 claim.

Workers' compensation covers only people who are recovering from a workplace accident, not those who are permanently injured. The Public Employees Retirement System has a separate program for people who retire because of a disability.

Delmont's compensation while on workers' comp had been based on a calculation of 72 percent of the usual salary for someone with his job title. Delmont rose to his $71,000-a-year county job without a high school diploma.

Delmont, whose job did not normally include plowing, was driving a county vehicle back from the county 911 center on a snowy day when it slid into a ditch. The single-vehicle accident took place a few months after a grand jury began investigating theft and bribery in his department.

Admitting scheme

In court documents, Delmont admitted taking part in a scheme that defrauded taxpayers of $400,000. He is awaiting sentencing.

Delmont will face one to three years in prison if he cooperates by naming others involved; the sentence could be increased to 10 years if he does not. He also must repay the county $50,000.

Prosecutors said the 27-year county employee accepted bribes, vacations and gifts in return for allowing vendors to overcharge and oversell goods to Trumbull County.




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