By Ed Runyan
The Trumbull County commissioners have hired Atty. Daniel A. Thomas of Niles to serve as administrator for the Trumbull County Child Support Enforcement Agency.
Thomas, who has worked as an attorney for the firm DelBene, LaPolla and Thomas since 1993, is an acting judge in Niles Municipal Court.
His private legal work has focused on corporate, real estate, labor and employment, general business, sports and entertainment law.
He also served as an assistant Trumbull County prosecutor in the civil division from 1997 to 2000 and was an assistant law director in the criminal division for the city of Warren for 18 months in 1996 and 1997.
He starts his new position Monday at a salary of $56,208 annually plus full county benefits.
CSEA is under the supervision of Atty. John Gargano, who was recently named director of Trumbull County Job and Family Services and its One-Stop jobs training office after serving as legal adviser to those two offices and CSEA for the past 25 years.
CSEA’s offices are in the Stone Building, at the corner of North Park Avenue and High Street downtown.
Commissioner Paul Heltzel abstained from voting on Thomas’ appointment, saying he technically did not need to but has had a relationship with DelBene, LaPolla and Thomas for many years.
He does not work for the firm but rents office space from it, Heltzel said.
In other action, commissioners adopted a resolution in support of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s application to the Ohio Public Works Commission to purchase and conserve 88 acres of land in Bristol Township.
One of the properties is 72 acres and is known as Spokane Swamp. The other, 16 acres, is known as the Sparks-Kiefer Property.
They are near each other and located on the east side of the Western Reserve Greenway bike trail and will be accessible from Hyde-Shaffer Road.
The land is in the southeast part of the township.
Both are classified as “outstanding swamp forest” and are part of the Grand River Wildlife Area, which draws 8,000 sportsmen and women annually, the commissioners said.
The museum will hold programs for the general public at the two locations if they are successful in obtaining the funding, according to the resolution.
The museum in 2009 acquired 293 acres of Bristol Township swamp forest just north and east of the intersection of Bristol-Champion Townline Road and Downs Road in the southeast part of the township.
The museum also has property in Mesopotamia and Hartford townships.