Dayton Human Relations Council hires consultant after worker indicted

The Dayton Human Relations Council has brought on a consultant to help the Greater Dayton Minority Business Assistance Center after its previous program director was put on unpaid leave following his indictment on federal corruption charges.

Adrienne Heard, a certified business advisor, will pitch in to ensure the minority business assistance center meets the needs of its clients and businesses and can provide the same level of service, said Erica Fields, executive director of the Human Relations Council.

“Providing important services to our residents and others within the Miami Valley region is a core tenet of our mission,” Fields said in a statement. “We remain committed to our work, mission and dedication to our programs, clients and customers.”

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Heard is not replacing RoShawn Winburn or filling a job vacancy with the Human Relations Council, officials said.

Winburn was the business assistance center’s program director who earlier this year was promoted to the council’s business and technical assistance administrator.

A week ago, Winburn was indicted for allegedly accepting bribes to help people and companies do business with or get contracts from the city. He is accused of providing certifications to people or businesses who bribed him without the proper screening for qualifications.

The city said Heard will work with the center’s administrative assistant and construction specialist and will bring the center to full staff.

The Ohio Development Services Agency oversees the state’s network of Minority Business Assistance Centers and has been working with the Human Relations Council to try to resume full operations, officials said.

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“The Human Relations Council has been a good partner, and it’s exciting to have such a strong professional added to the Dayton team,” said Jeffrey Johnson, chief of the Minority Business Development Division at the Development Services Agency. “We stand ready to continue to assist customers of the Dayton Minority Business Assistance Center.”

Fields declined to comment about next steps related to finding a new director for the business assistance center.

DAYTON CORRUPTION PROBE: Read the indictments here

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