Mahoning County Children Services Board has empowered its chairman, the Rev. Lewis Macklin, to enter into contract negotiations with Atty. Randall B. Muth to become its executive director.
Muth, who left without comment after the board interviewed him in executive session, is now Wayne County Children Services director in Wooster. Present for Monday’s closed-door interview were eight CSB members, all three county commissioners, and Judge Theresa Dellick of juvenile court.
The Rev. Mr. Macklin said he hopes CSB can vote next week to approve a contract with Muth if negotiations with him are successful.
Before becoming Wayne County Children Services director in 2006, Muth prosecuted child-abuse and neglect cases in Stark County, said Brigid Kennedy, search committee chairwoman. “He brings both a passion and a wide range of experience in child welfare,” Kennedy said.
Dave Arnold has been interim county CSB director since January, when Denise Stewart, who had been executive director since 1998, retired.
Carol Rimedio-Righetti, chairwoman of the county commissioners, said it has not been decided whether the new children-services director would report to Robert E. Bush Jr., county Job and Family Services director, or directly to the commissioners.
Last month, the commissioners unanimously declared their intent to designate the county’s Department of JFS as the county’s public children-services agency.
If that change actually occurs, the current 11-member children- services governing board likely would be replaced with a five-member advisory board, Righetti said.