Miami County Children’s Service board delays decision

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Contributed

Some Miami County Children’s Services Board members still reeling from a theft and fraud investigation of the former agency director last week asked for more time to consider relinquishing agency oversight to the county Department of Job and Family Services.

Board President John Bosse asked fellow citizen board members to consider a motion giving up control, so the county commissioners could act to merge the Children’s Services operation under Job and Family Services.

Today, 67 of Ohio’s 88 counties have Children’s Services agencies overseen by Job and Family Services. The rest have citizen boards like Miami County’s whose five members are appointed by the county commissioners.

If the board gave up control, Bosse said he would recommend it remain in an advisory position during a transition period.

Board member Chris Long asked for more time to consider the proposal. The board will hold its monthly meeting on Thursday.

Board member Cheryl Buecker several times during last week’s special board meeting questioned how change would affect employees and the focus of the organization. “I am concerned about the employees. We know they did a good job,” she said, asking county commissioners and their clerk/administrator if they could address a list of employee questions.

“If this does happen, we are trying to make it as seamless as we can… I don’t think there is going to be a lot of wholesale changes here,” said Commissioner Ted Mercer.

The future of agency oversight was raised after Sheriff Dave Duchak last month disclosed an investigation into long-time agency director June Cannon. She was fired by the board March 5. A search warrant affidavit said the sheriff was asked to investigate “questionable requests for reimbursement” for mileage and purchases.

No charges have been filed. County Prosecutor Tony Kendell said Friday work on the case continues.

Bosse said the board meets only once monthly and he questioned whether board members would have the time for additional meetings and review that would be required.

“Some of us I don’t think have the time,” he said. “It is sad the events happened but from a control point, the logical approach to me would be for us to recommend that commissioners to move this unit under Job and Family Services.”

Contact this contributing writer at nancykburr@aol.com.

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