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DD board chairman: Mahoning commissioners don't run program

Published: Fri, April 11, 2014 @ 12:07 a.m.

By Peter H. Milliken



The chairman of the Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities has said emphatically his board, not the county commissioners, runs the county’s DD programs.

But Commissioner Carol Rimedio-Righetti said the commissioners want to be kept informed on developmental-disabilities board matters as the DD board selects a new superintendent to replace Larry Duck, who resigned last month.

“At the risk of not being re-appointed when my tenure is up, the commissioners do not run the program. The board runs the program,” said Jack Gruber, developmental-disabilities board chairman.

Gruber is an appointee of the county commissioners. His term expires three years from now.

Gruber made his terse comments in a brief interview as he and other DD board members were being summoned into an hourlong executive session with the county commissioners Thursday on personnel matters.

The commissioners appoint five of the seven DD board members; the county probate judge appoints the other two.

“We’re not fully informed. We need to be. We will be,” Righetti vowed.

“We have had many complaints” about personnel matters at the DD board, which commissioners want addressed, Righetti said, declining to elaborate on the executive-session discussion.

The meeting came the day after the release of an employee-satisfaction survey report, in which the employees expressed dissatisfaction with their senior management but satisfaction with their jobs and immediate supervisors.

Forty of 300 DD board employees completed the survey, which the board commissioned at a cost of up to $7,500 last Sept. 19 — the day the DD board put Duck on paid administrative leave.

The survey was conducted by Rachel L. Livengood of Troy, Ohio, former Mahoning County human-resources director.

After five months on paid administrative leave from his $120,636-a-year job, Duck resigned with a $111,317 severance package that included six months’ pay, cash for sick leave and personal days and six months’ paid health insurance.


1meme(2 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

I smell a rat somewhere..would be interesting to see who is who. Who is connected to whom. I hope the Vindi cator keeps up on this.

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2BlackPalm(8 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

Yes indeed meme, there is a rat and the rat is the DD board and their legal counsel. The County Commissioners have been getting all the complaints as they are directly accountable to the public. It is obvious the DD board believes they are not. That organization has been on a downward tailspin for several years. All under the leadership of Mr. Duck and his board of stooges. Duck is gone it is time to replace some board members. Mr. Gruber's comment that the commissioner's don't run the program. Yes Mr. Gruber is correct, and who created this mess Mr. Gruber? You did! That organization upper management needs replaced they are responsible for the disarray there. We have an organization that had a superintendent and a assistant superintendent and the entire organization has no standard operating procedures or policies. Each workshop is on it's own. Complete chaos. Mr. Duck was getting his wage increase while employees that have direct client responsibilities were on a 5 year wage freeze. Yes meme there is a RAT! It is the DD board. I would like to see an Ohio ethics commission investigation into the DD board health insurance. Why do DD employees have different health insurance than the rest of the county employees? Is it because a former board member was an insurance agent? According to yesterdays Vindicator article Mr. Duck stated the employees have the best fringe benefits. Well not with the current health insurance coverage. It is far less coverage than the coverage of the other county employees. Why? Explain that Mr. Duck! Perhaps someone is getting a finders fee for the health insurance arrangement? I want to remind the DD board this is Mahoning County. You are looking for a new superintendent. Make it a requirement they live in Mahoning County where they are paid, same with all the employees there. You want to make a living off of the taxpayers of Mahoning County, you should live in Mahoning County, Not Columbiana. It is time for a change at DD. Major changes.

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3closeddoors(3 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

Not only should you NOT be re-appointed; you and the rest of the board should have to resign. What a mess you have made of things. No one trusts the DD Board or any of the things they are doing as everything they do is "behind closed doors"; so secretive. Well, wait until you want public money; you won't be passing any levies.

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4closeddoors(3 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

If the Commissioners want the truth about what happened with Supt. Duck, why don't they have a meeting with Mr. Duck? Everyone knows that the DD Board is trying to cover up something so why not ask Mr. Duck what that is.

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5Hmmmmm(48 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

Blackpalm the reason for the downward spiral is the county commissioners appointments , they are terrible as for the Duck he lived in the country of Beloit when he was hired !!!!

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6Hmmmmm(48 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

Just say the local news,,, glad Mr Gruber grew a pair,,, I lust hope the commissioners do not hire a double dipper,,, or one of their washed up friends !!! or a former supt ,,, by the way Carol you are part of the problem and your sorry appointments

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7BlackPalm(8 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

Hey Hmmmmm, have news for you. Beloit is in Mahoning County. Get a map and check for your self. Mr. Gruber grew a pair? that's a joke. Look what he did to that organization. No balls, No glory, only Shame. The conditions there speak for them self. He is part of the problem. When the County Commissioners appoint someone to a board, that person is a representative of the County Commissioners, the appointing authority by statute. That person has a responsibility to be accountable to their appointing authority and also the public. The problem at the MCBDD is you have several board members that think they are autonomous and not accountable to anyone, their appointing authority and the public. They are arrogant. They need to go and go immediately. They have destroyed the public trust. The tragedy here is the organization is tarnished, The clients that they are to serve are going to suffer and the employees that are dedicated to provide the services to these people will suffer because of the actions of upper management and the board members that supported them. In regards to double dippers. That organization has many. It is not the County Commissioners that hired them. It was the Larry Duck regime and the DD board of stooges that went along with it without accountability to the County Commissioners or the Probate Judge. Get your facts correct HMMMMM. You apparently don't know a thing about county government and the Ohio Revised Code.

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8Hmmmmm(48 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

BlackPalm,,, I agree the conditions speak for them,, a 5 year accreditation from the state,, a carryover that most agencies envy,,, an increase in services for the clients at no extra cost to taxpayers,,, as far as the Ohio Revised Code I know enough that when there is a qourom like yesterdays County Commissiones meeting and MCDD it should be held in PUBLIC,,and not hide behind personnel matters,, that are very specific

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