JFS worker canned for porn, threats

A screener with the Huron County Department of Job and Family Services was fired Tuesday for threatening one of the agency's clients and using computer equipment to access pornography. Nichole "Nicki" Baker had been a screener since March 7, 2005. She was hired as a HCDJFS clerical specialist Jan. 12, 2004.
Cary Ashby
Jul 25, 2010

A screener with the Huron County Department of Job and Family Services was fired Tuesday for threatening one of the agency's clients and using computer equipment to access pornography.

Nichole "Nicki" Baker had been a screener since March 7, 2005. She was hired as a HCDJFS clerical specialist Jan. 12, 2004.

Baker was fired effective immediately for acting inappropriately toward a client while on the agency's time and making "repeated remarks" and using profanity toward the client, HCDJFS Interim Director Lowell Etzler said. She reportedly used agency telephones to threaten the same woman and violated "common decency" standards by calling the client a vulgar name via text messaging, Etzler said.

Between June 8 and 22, Baker excessively used her Yahoo! e-mail account and used agency computers to access pornography, he continued. Etzler, who became the interim director June 1 to replace Erich Dumbeck, said he didn't have any knowledge of other HCDJFS employees doing similar things.

Baker's job as a screener was to make the initial contact with someone who reports a complaint to the agency, Etzler explained.

"They get the information from the individual and turn it over to a case worker," he added.

Three other HCDJFS employees were told Friday their jobs would be eliminated, effective Aug. 24.

The positions held by assistant program administrator Marla White, eligibility/referral supervisor Jon Kelley and public information officer Stacia Badovick were eliminated due to staff cuts to save about $173,000.

Only one of those people, Kelley, was offered another job to follow cvil services rules and regulations.

"She is exercising her displacement rights," HCDJFS Assistant Director Bonnie Richards said, and has decided to be an eligibility specialist. Kelley could start the case worker position as soon as Aug. 27.

Richards said earlier the agency was "looking at a lot of other avenues before cutting staff." She also had said the three cuts were part of a "reorganization for the entire agency."

Etzler wasn't sure if HCDJFS would hire someone to take over Baker's position.

"We're in the process of doing some reorganization so that (decision) will fall under that," he said.

In January, a Huron County Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) officer dismissed a employment discrimination complaint Baker filed against Dumbeck, the agency's director from May 2004 through June 1 of this year.

The EEO officer concluded that evidence didn't support Baker's "claim of adverse employment decisions." However, she said Dumbeck's conduct during various phone calls and e-mails to two administrative employees was "unwarranted and unwise."

In April, Baker filed a sexual discrimination lawsuit against Dumbeck, HCDJFS and the county commissioners, saying she had been passed over for five promotions because of "Dumbeck's infatuations with her." She accused Dumbeck of making "unwelcome physical contact" by reportedly touching her on the hips, shoulders and back and said he made an "unwelcome advance," all between January and 2004 and January of this year.

Baker and Dumbeck had a personal relationship starting in January 2004, when they were co-workers supervised by different administrators.

"There's nothing going on (now) I know of," Richards said about the lawsuit. "It's still pending."

Comments

hey Otto (Anonymous)

maybe it's just a thing for men and people who look like men

pathetic (Anonymous)

how ignorant.......she's suing you all right.....this is huge...you all just cost the county a whole lot of money...again!!!!!!!!!!!!

the truth (Anon...

ok, kelly konicek is the one being bothered by nikki, right.....does anyone know who she is....she's been out to cause problems for a long time.....funny that she has been busted how many times by jfs for lying and abusing the system??? they just used this because they could!!!

Leffler (Anonymous)

Cary Ashby failed to mention in her article that Chris Harkness, another former County employee, was alledged to have been lax, as result of being well liked, in his supervision of a secretary that was some how involved with the misappropration of $15,000 in county money, while he reminisced about his try-out with the Bengals. The same Harkness, who once had a lot going on, was also recently cited, along with a Coach Livengood, and some Capraras (which Capraras seems to still be a point of contention) for drinking on a hill after softball, where a Mindy Knoll, may, or may not have been tangentially involved. It also presumed that many, if not all County employees eat a Berrys. Otherwise, nice article kid.

Otto RE: legal...

OK I stand corrected, I suppose a girl may in fact do something like that. I'll buy the Text message if it came from HER cell phone. The computer, I don't know.. It would be really easy to set someone up on that one. Don't get me wrong if she did it with out a shadow of doubt she should be fired. I think they may have to prove this to a jury at some point and I'm just not sure they will be able to it. I looked for her myspace page and didn't find it. I'm guessing she's on here reading this.

Judge Judy (Ano...

Hey pathetic, if she does sue she has no chance based on what was on her computer. Come to think of it, aren't all county records of incidents public record? If you want to see the evidence against her maybe you should put in a request. I'm sure that would be enlightening.

pathetic (Anonymous)

yea, go ahead and see what was set up in her computer. lol

Cary Ashby (Ano...

Thank you Leffler for adding that piece. I was about to get to it when I got a call from Heather Fowler who is trying to catch up.

who's who (Anon...

Hey Marla, I mean pathetic.. go take a hike. Oh, I guess you will very soon. (lol)

pathetic (Anonymous)

nice guess.......way wrong!!! ha, ha i'm sure you hold a very important rold in huron county.

pathetic (Anonymous)

I don't hike anywhere moron, I ride my bike. Help Help Help

LOL (Anonymous)

Good one, Cary Ashby. Pencil-butt Fowler is probably really puckerd-up over this one.

who's who (Anon...

OK pathetic, I missed my guess but apparently so have you.(And I won't stoop to name calling.)

Concerned (Anon...

I think it is very sad the commishioners have no idea what is going on at job and family services, and by their actions they do not care. Sexual harrassment is sexual harrassment any way you look at it. When a woman says NO- leave me alone and the agreesor does not he is wrong and liable. I am very angry that the victim is the one being harmed and targeted. Shame on all of you. I also can not believe the commishioners are stupid enough to listen to an HR director who has personal motives when she took her "case" to them to let three people go. Workforce development is a model for other agencies in the state. Without Marla and Jon, we will see how quickly it goes down hill and nobody uses their services. While Erie county is making their job store better, Huron County is cutting their own throat. This whole situation is very sad. The people of Huron County should be ashamed to live in the county.

hey (Anonymous)

come on....she didn't do this....i'm sure it is a setup....Lowell Etzler sets everyone up....A man of his caliber doesn't have anything better to do than sit around and think up these things.....I bet he thought...hmmmm....what can I do to cause alittle excitment here in the county...oh I know...I will have alittle mouse sneek into some scank's computer and see this county go wild...That's it....Call me Summertime or All the time

duh (Anonymous)

not set up by lowell......by bonnie and the commish!!!! skank.....real nice of ya....let's the immature, childish name calling begin!!!

hey (Anonymous)

nicki, is that you again?

duh (Anonymous)

nope, try again!!!

hey (Anonymous)

I don't blame you, I would have changed my name too.

duh (Anonymous)

i'm gunna change it to yours!!!

Otto (Anonymous)

Anyone know who is in charge of HCJFS is it the County or is it the state of Ohio? Im guessing it the State but I'm not sure... The county must have some input.

hey (Anonymous)

Why don't you just change it to unemployed?

hey (Anonymous)

Looks like Bonnie Richards is in charge.

duh (Anonymous)

go back to mcdonalds.....your break is over!!!

hey (Anonymous)

at least I have a job to go to and don't be bashing McDonalds works, at least they get a pay check next week - do you want me to get you an application?

I bet they aren't looking at pornography while they are keying in your order.

duh (Anonymous)

that's ok.....i have to go to work in the morning.....and yea, i'll have a check next week too!!

green eyes (Ano...

Certain people could have access to any computer at djfs.
Nikki flirted w/Eric to begin with.

Concerned (Anon...

Most of this is BS. I am concerned about the future of the agency. Nobody is stupid enough to do these things when she knew she was being watched. She has a good attorney. Sometime soon, I hope the truth comes out soon. Bad things happen to bad people. For Erich is was very public, I just hope these others who are trying to ruin lives get it just as public.

hey (Anonymous)

someone was stupid enough....guess her name...guess her name...ahhh come on play...it's tricky nicky!!!

Randall Summert...

Even if she had Johnny Cochran she couldn't get out of this one. She should have claimed the harrassing environment made her look at filth and threaten people, or maybe use the Chewbacca defense.

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