County won't reconsider JFS firings

Cary Ashby • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:53 PM

The Huron County Commissioners' attorney has turned down a request to reconsider the firing of three county employees.

On Aug. 10, the Huron County Department of Job and Family Services (HCDJFS) informed three employees their jobs would be eliminated, effective Aug. 24. Those three workers were: Assistant program administrator Marla White, eligibility/referral supervisor Jon Kelley and public information officer Stacia Badovick. Since then, Kelley has taken another agency job as an eligibility specialist.

HCDJFS officials have said the staff cuts would save the agency about $173,000.

Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Daivia Kasper, who serves as the commissioners' legal counsel, wrote a letter Aug. 24 supporting the agency's decision.

"The board supports the department's efforts to improve efficiency and service to its clients and therefore, the board declines your request to reconsider the job abolishments," she wrote. Kasper went on to say the commissioners understand that "job abolishments require careful consideration" and its impact on employees, so the commissioners will request HCDJFS "review its determination of bumping rights."

Toledo attorney Marilyn Widman, whose law firm represents the three fired workers, wrote a letter Aug. 21 about the staff cuts.

The attorney wrote that abolishing the positions held by White and Kelley was inappropriate because the program overseeing those jobs, "workforce development," is not the program area in which the complained-of funding deficit exists." Widman also said White, Kelley and Badovick weren't "offered their appropriate bumping rights," saying all three were eligible to "bump" other HCDJFS workers.

"We cannot believe HCDJFS or this board (the commissioners) would intentionally deny our clients the continued employment to which they are entitled under state law," Widman wrote.

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