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Two Dayton officials resign after being put on leave

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Two Dayton officials resign after being put on leave

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The director and executive secretary of Dayton’s department of planning and community development have quit after being placed on paid administrative leave last month.

Director Aaron Sorrell and executive secretary Shannon Hughes voluntarily submitted their letters of resignation this week, said Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein.

They were both placed on administrative leave on May 24 for reasons that have not yet been made public. Sorrell and Hughes received positive ratings on their most recent evaluations earlier this year and were given raises, effective as of April.

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“We don’t make comments on personnel matters, but we have moved forward with leadership changes in planning and community development,” Dickstein said.

Brian Inderrieden has been appointed as the acting manager of the department. Inderrieden previously served as the city’s planning manager.

Sorrell oversaw a department with a more than $3 million general fund budget for 2017. The department is in charge of housing, community development and historic preservation programs, as well as developing and administering urban design, subdivision and zoning code standards, regulations and plans.

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The department also coordinates the administration of a variety of programs that receive millions of dollars in state and federal dollars, such as neighborhood demolition programs.

Sorrell, 42, has worked for the city since 2000 when he was hired as a community development specialist. He was promoted to a senior specialist a year later, and held that position until 2006, when he became the acting manager of housing and neighborhood development.

He took over the position permanently and became the director of planning and community development in 2011.

According to personnel documents, this year Sorrell earned about $56.37 per hour, or $117,250 a year.

On March 15, Sorrell received a “proficient” performance rating from the city manager, according to a memo from Dickstein to the director of human resources.

Aaron Sorrell, Dayton’s director of planning and community development, speaks at a Dayton City Commission meeting. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
Aaron Sorrell, Dayton’s director of planning and community development, speaks at a Dayton City Commission meeting. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

Dickstein recommended he be given a one-step increase, which bumped up his annual salary by more than $2,300, according to records contained in his personnel file.

On his self-evaluation dated Jan. 6, Sorrell listed some of his accomplishments as obtaining an important federal housing planning grant, removing the deed restrictions from the former Schwind apartments property and providing leadership and direction to the city’s main residential demolition program.

In recent years, Sorrell helped update the city’s zoning code, enhanced and grew programs intended to combat foreclosures, expanded the city’s mini-grant initiatives and developed a vacant property registration program, according to past evaluations.

Sorrell said under his leadership his department helped increase volunteerism in neighborhoods, completed a thoroughfare plan and West Dayton strategic framework and built a strong culture of customer service.

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According to his personnel file, in February 2014, Sorrell was officially reprimanded for an incident that occurred two years before in which he allegedly signed off on grant payment without verifying that it was properly submitted or related to a particular contract.

Hughes, 46, was hired as a secretary in early 2014. Some of her responsibilities included preparing and maintaining records of personnel-related paperwork, submitting monthly payrolls, recording attendance, scheduling appointments, screening calls and other duties.

With her recent raise, Hughes earned about $53,373 annually, according to city records.

Hughes previously worked for nine years at CBC Engineers & Associates in Centerville, which provides engineering and geotechnical services. She served as administrative assistant to the CEO and chief engineer.