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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 10 months, 3 weeks 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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2Roger_Thornhill(722 comments)posted 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Who hired Rachel Livengood, the commissioners or DD board?

What did taxpayers get out of her "survey"?

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3closeddoors(3 comments)posted 10 months, 3 weeks 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 10 months, 3 weeks 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 10 months, 3 weeks 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 10 months, 3 weeks 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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7Hmmmmm(48 comments)posted 10 months, 3 weeks 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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