A Willard attorney representing the estate of Connre Dixion, the Monroeville child killed by her foster parent Paul Efaw, alleges in court documents that Huron County Department of Job & Family Services (HCDJFS) employees knew Efaw had an uncontrollable temper before becoming a foster parent.
In documents filed Friday, attorney James Martin also states that HCDJFS and the county commissioners who were in office in 2004 "had complaints in their very own files regarding Paul Efaw over a period of 1985 to 1997. Defendants even found that Mr. Efaw had committed physical abuse and emotional treatment of his own children."
"I'm not going to comment on it. There's a civil case going on," HCDJFS Executive Director Erich Dumbeck said, referring to a wrongful death lawsuit filed in 2004.
Efaw, 60, is serving a three-year prison term at the Hocking Correctional Facility for one count of voluntary manslaughter, a first-degree felony, for the Oct. 18, 2004 stabbing death of his foster daughter, Connre Dixon.
Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler declined to comment on Martin's allegations, but said he wondered how Efaw became a foster parent during his trial. "I think that's best handled in the court room," he added.
Assistant Prosecutor Daivia Kasper, the legal counsel for the commissioners, said the wrongful death case has been turned over to the Spangler Nathanson law firm in Toledo. Kasper said her role is to be "co-counsel," or serve as a local resource who is familiar with many of the parties involved.
The wrongful death lawsuit names the commissioners and HCDJFS because they are "defendants in the underlying complaint and may be an interested party," court records indicate. Commissioner Mike Adelman, who is named in the suit, said the litigation "is news to me" and wouldn't elaborate without speaking to Kasper.