Dayton employee accused of metal theft wins job back

Published: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 @ 11:02 AM


            David Shaver testifies at his dimissal hearing. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
David Shaver testifies at his dimissal hearing. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

A city of Dayton employee who was fired for allegedly selling city-owned scrap metal without authorization and other alleged misconduct has regained his job.

Dayton’s Civil Service Board has ordered the city to reduce David Shaver’s firing to a 10-day suspension after ruling that the electrician did not directly take part in selling scrap metal and the city failed to prove that he violated sick leave and other personnel policies.

The board concluded that the city had a “long-standing culture and practice” of maintaining scrap metal cash funds, which multiple city officials previously denied.

RELATED: Conflicting evidence: Did Dayton workers have off-book cash funds?

Dayton employees at many levels of authority, with many years of service, took part in the sale of excess materials at recycling centers for cash, and the city failed to end the practice despite it being a problem in the past, the board ruled.

Closing arguments in Shaver’s dismissal hearing took place last month after multiple days of testimony.

Shaver was fired last year after a police investigation into an October incident in which city employee William Landis allegedly sold scrap metal at First Street Recycling.

Landis was investigated and faced criminal charges for theft in office, but he was placed in a diversion program and retired as part of a separation agreement with the city.

Shaver was present at the time of the sale but denied receiving any of the cash and said he just accompanied his supervisor to the recycling center.

RELATED: Two city employees out after scrap-metal sales probe

Shaver’s attorney, David Duwel, argued that multiple city departments and supervisors had de facto petty cash funds from scrap metal sales that they used to pay for work-related purchases.

“Why the heck would (my client) think that this was something that was wrong — that he needed to turn his boss in on — even when his division manager is allowing it to go on?” Duwel said.

Duwel’s argument was bolstered by the testimony of a former city of Dayton contractor who said he attended an employee barbecue that he was told was paid for with cash from scrap metal sales.

Former city employee Romona Carver also testified at Shaver’s dismissal hearing that she heard about a small cash fund kept in the plumber’s shop when she moved over to the facilities division.

Shaver testified that Landis, who at one point was his supervisor, and other supervisors kept small cash funds from the sale of city-owned scrap metal that were used to pay for items including a new microwave, refrigerator, tools, equipment and other work-related items.

The Civil Service Board said the evidence that city employees routinely sold leftover scrap material for cash was convincing.

Testimony indicated that the city tried to eliminate the practice in 2008, but it continued on afterward and the city was aware or should have been aware of it, according to the board’s order.

Though the city initiated investigations and criminal charges against some employees who sold scrap materials without authorization, the city did not formulate precise rules with precise examples to effectively end the practice, the board said.

RELATED: Conflicting testimony: Did Dayton workers have off-the-books cash funds?

During the dismissal hearing, some city of Dayton officials — including a department director, a supervisor and the assistant city manager — rejected the idea that departments were permitted to keep off-the-books cash funds and condemned the idea that employees would not report the inappropriate activity.

During rebuttal testimony, the city’s director of central services Pete Hager said Carver’s testimony was stunning and she would face discipline if she were not already retired.

RELATED: Contractor: Dayton used scrap-metal money for barbecues, equipment

“My reaction to that news is that I’d like to see her somewhere as well regarding this issue, in terms of discipline, in terms of accountability,” Hager said.

City policy is clear on how scrap metal should be recycled and what should be done with the money, and past employees were fired and faced other consequences for inappropriately taking city-owned materials, said Norma Dickens, senior attorney with the city of Dayton.

Lawmaker Jeff Rezabek won’t run for re-election to Ohio House

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 4:25 PM

State Rep. Jeff Rezabek, R-Clayton.
State Rep. Jeff Rezabek, R-Clayton.

State Rep. Jeff Rezabek, R-Clayton, announced today he will not seek re-election and will instead run for an unspecified Montgomery County office.

Rezabek, an attorney specializing in juvenile cases, ran unsuccessfully for Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Juvenile division judge in 2012. He declined to say if he will run for the seat being vacated at the end of the year by Juvenile Judge Nick Kuntz, who cannot run for re-election due to age limitations for judges.

First elected to the Statehouse in 2014, Rezabek won a bitter re-election battle in 2016 against David Sparks of Clayton.

RELATED: Race for 43rd House district has turned ugly

Rezabek will announce his intentions on Thursday at an 11:30 a.m. news conference at the Dayton Racquet Club, 40 N. Main St., in Dayton.

Clayton Councilman Kenny Henning said he will file to run in the Republican primary for Rezabek’s seat.

Kenny Henning, Clayton councilman(Staff Writer)

Henning will make the formal announcement at an 11:30 a.m. news conference Friday at the Miami Valley Career Technology Center’s adult center, 6801 Hoke Road, Clayton.

RELATED: Rezabek bill would give judges more say on trying juveniles as adults

“I’m 100 percent invested in the community and I want to ensure that our 43rd House district has a strong champion to advocate for the district in Columbus.” said Henning, who is a judicial assistant to Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Erik Blaine.

A Clayton native who has served on the council since 2012, Henning said his campaign will focus on farming and agriculture, the concerns of small business owners and trying to restore Local Government Fund revenue slashed by the state legislature. He said he also wants to address the opioid addiction crisis.

RELATED: Donald Trump is the new president and local residents saw it happen in person

Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Foley has expressed interest in running for the seat in the Democratic primary, according to Mark Owens, chairman of the Montgomery County Democratic Party. Foley, who does not plan to run for re-election, is in his last year as a county commissioner. He did not respond to requests for comment.

Dan Foley, Montgomery County commissioner, speaks at the Engineers Club in Dayton. FILE(Staff Writer)

The only person who has obtained nominating petitions from the Montgomery County Board of Elections for the 43rd House seat is Ralph Dean Brill, a Brookville Democrat. He could not be reached for comment.

The filing deadline for the May 8 primary is Feb. 7.

RELATED: Dan Foley won’t run again for Montgomery County commission

Owens said the 43rd House district is about evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans and can be won by a Democrat like Foley.

“If he’s willing to get out and roll up his sleeves and work I think he can win it,” Owens said.

Owens said he has also discussed the 43rd House race with other possible candidates, but he declined to say who they are.

RELATED: Ohio could have two redistricting proposals on ballots this year

The district covers parts of Englewood, Clayton, Trotwood, western Montgomery County and all of Preble County.

Multiple people have pulled petitions to run for Foley’s county commission seat. Democrats include Montgomery County Treasurer Carolyn Rice and Daryl Ward, senior pastor of Omega Baptist Church in Dayton. Both Rice and Ward have turned in their nominating petitions.

RELATED: Candidates seek to replace Foley on Montgomery County commission

Republicans include former Miami Twp. Trustee Bob Matthews and current Miami Twp. Trustee Doug Barry, both of whom have turned in petitions. Petitions have been obtained but not submited by Greg Hart and Joshua Smith, both Dayton Republicans.

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Clayton pushing to make public more aware that golf club is city owned

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 10:04 AM


            The city of Clayton took over ownership of Meadowbrook Country Club, now Meadowbrook at Clayton, in 2015 after it was donated to the city by Larry and Tina Harris of LGH Properties LLC. City officials are reviewing marketing efforts for the facility. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
The city of Clayton took over ownership of Meadowbrook Country Club, now Meadowbrook at Clayton, in 2015 after it was donated to the city by Larry and Tina Harris of LGH Properties LLC. City officials are reviewing marketing efforts for the facility. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Clayton officials are trying to figure out how to market a golf course and banquet space donated to the city three years ago.

City council will hold a workshop on Thursday, Jan. 18 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss how to make the public more aware of Meadowbrook at Clayton, which includes a golf course, banquet center and swimming pools.

Meadowbrook was privately-owned until it was donated to the city in April 2015. Since then, the city has been trying to figure out how best to market the banquet space and golf course to the Miami Valley.

The workshop, in council chambers at 6996 Taywood Rd., is open to the public but no public input will be accepted at that time, said City Clerk Barbara Seim.

“This is just an ideas and information session, there’s no action item, no voting,” Seim said.

Meadowbrook staff will present to city council current marketing efforts as well as what they hope to do in the future.

“It’s great that they want our input,” Bill Williams, director of golf at Meadowbrook said.

After the workshop, members of the community can stay to comment or share ideas during the city council meeting that follows at 7 p.m.

The city is placing an emphasis on marketing Meadowbrook because many don’t know they have access to the golf course and banquet hall now, city officials said.

“We were private for so long that people don’t realize we’re public now,” Williams said.

Larry and Tina Harris of LGH Properties LLC donated Meadowbrook Country Club, a 171-acre club, to the city. The property consists of a 65,000 square-foot banquet center, clubhouse, Olympic-sized pool, baby pool, driving range and 18-hole golf course.

Clayton City Manager Rick Rose has “really taken the lead” on promoting the Meadowbrook, according to Williams.

“Since it was a donation to the city, we didn’t have a department to take it over, so as city manager I’ve just taken it upon myself to make sure it succeeds,” Rose said. “We are a small city and it is a group effort of employees and elected officials.”

According to Rose in 2016, the first full year the city owned Meadowbrook, its revenues were $483,203 plus an additional $252,000 in transfers from the general fund. The following year’s revenues were $507,481. Transfers from the general fund were $162,480.

“In general, cities spend somewhere between 2 and 11 percent of their general fund budget to supplement their parks and recreation facilities. Clayton is on track to be in the five percent range,” Rose said.

Rose said the goal of the workshop is to discuss different directions the city could go with marketing. He hopes the change in marketing will increase direct revenues and lessen general fund transfers.

He wants to encourage the public to play on the golf course and get word out about all the different events the banquet center can be used for. The ultimate goal is to increase golf outings and rentals of the banquet center.

Meadowbrook currently uses social media for marketing but the city is hoping to “change it up.”

“We want to broaden our reach and put in the minds of everyone that (Meadowbrook) is open to the public,” Rose said. “Meadowbrook at Clayton is not just a golf course and banquet facility but also a place to hold public events and bring our community together.”

In addition to the marketing, the city is upgrading and remodeling parts of the building, another change they hope to finish this year..

Fire department back in place in Warren County township

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 11:00 AM


            The Massie Twp. Fire Department has a new chief, Donald Fuguate, and is back in operation.
The Massie Twp. Fire Department has a new chief, Donald Fuguate, and is back in operation.

The Massie Twp. Fire Department is back in business.

On Tuesday night, the township trustees picked Donald Fugate to succeed Fire Chief Scott Hines, who resigned on Jan. 2.

RELATED: Warren County’s Massie Twp. meeting tonight over fire department future

Fugate was the captain reporting to Hines, the only paid member of the volunteer department.

Hines resigned after learning he was under scrutiny for purchasing food for firefighters, and part of the department’s entirely volunteer force resigned too.

Emergency medical service - handled through mutual aid with Wayne Twp., Warren County, and Chester Twp., Clinton County - still has to be returned to the department, Trustee David Crisenbery said.

“We’re checking protocols seeing how quick we can get our EMS back on,” Crisenbery said.

MORE: Beavercreek Twp. announces fire department promotions

The trustees also plan to move ahead with forming a joint district with Chester Twp.

Warren County’s Massie Twp. meeting tonight over fire department future

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 11:43 AM


            The Massie Twp. Board of Trustees has called a special meeting for 6:30 p.m. today to discuss the future of the township fire department.
The Massie Twp. Board of Trustees has called a special meeting for 6:30 p.m. today to discuss the future of the township fire department.

The Massie Twp. Board of Trustees called a special meeting for 6:30 p.m. today to discuss the future of the township fire department.

Fire Chief Scott Hines, the department’s only paid employee, resigned on Jan. 2 after learning he was under scrutiny for purchasing food for firefighters, and part of the department’s entirely volunteer force resigned too.

“They left us with a skeleton crew,” Trustee David Crisenbery said this morning.

MORE: Safety questions raised about Caesar Creek marina

The township, home to about 1,500 residents, is on the south side of Caesar Creek Lake. The department handles emergency calls from the lake.

Since Hines’ resignation, fire and emergency calls are being handled by the remaining department along with mutual aid from fire departments in Wayne Twp., Warren County, and Chester Twp., Clinton County.

The trustees are also weighing creating a joint fire district with Chester Twp. with new levies supporting the operation.

“That is the goal,” Trustee Daryl McKinney said.

MORE: Coach boating with daughter drowns in Caesar Creek Lake

A larger district qualifies for more grants, McKinney said.

The Massie Twp department operates on a $92,000 budget from two levies.

MORE: Beavercreek Twp. to build $2.5 million fire station

Crisenbery said the township could seek an additional local levy to fund part-time paid firefighters. Also, Hines’ replacement could be picked, Crisenbery added.

“Anything’s possible tonight,” Crisenbery said. “All options, I feel, should be on the table.”

Hines said he was working with the Village of Harveysburg on creating a fire department, taking over fire and ambulance services within its municipal limits within Massie Twp.

He accused Trustee Mark Dawson of “micromanaging” him for more than two years.

“I just got tired of it,” he said.

Dawson could not be reached to respond.

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the township fire station, 10 N. Harveysburg Road.