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 (Anonymous)

i'll give you three guesses as to who is not there

3 Guesses (Anon...

Is it ex-football cheerleader Mindy Knoll?

3 Guesses (Anon...

Shawn Harkness?

3 Guesses (Anon...

Willie Nelson?

i wonder (Anonymous)

how would anyone know that she harassed her brothers ex....hmmmm NICKI is that you again....listen girl...you need to keep your mouth shut...you are in the middle of lawsuit trying to get you some big bucks from daddy big bucks huron county...shhhh....we wouldn't want anyone to know this is you cayse afterall you sneeked around with a married man for over a year...certainly you can pull this off...

3 Guesses (Anon...

I give up, who?

i wonder (Anonymous)

if she planned all this so she would get fired and then she could come back and say that she is being harassed again....listen nicki you're not that important for people to constantly harass you....but isn't it ironic that you are suing for harassment by the county when you used taxpayers money to harass someone yourself? Sounds to me like the money just walked out the door...shucks.

call me summertime!!!

Unfair practice...

Everyone knows women don't seek naked pics on the web. What idiot would write this kind of trash about people and try to ruin a persons life. Shame on you writers for writing this trash about people. If someone wrote lies about you dumb idiots, how would you feel? You need to get the true facts before you slam another. Write about something that matters for crying out loud and leave the untrue to the enquirer where they make up bull just to sell a newspaper. You small town jerks need to get it right!

thank you (Anon...

unfair practices!!!

wow (Anonymous)

so, when we gunna see the tapes of baker and dumbeck online???

ddddd (Anonymous)

why is the director discussing an internal investigation. even if it is complete discussing those details is inappropriate.

to ddddd (Anonymous)

Once an investigation is over it is public record. Or so the government would want you to believe.

Re : ddddd (Ano...

I agree, She should have been put on some kind of leave pending a investigation from a impendent agency. I wonder if this is how Lefflers office would have handled it. Did they check with there Atty's on this or is someone just jumping the gun.

Supporter of Hu...

To be a human service organization, there are not a lot of "humane" adminstrative leaders in this organization.
You would think that the administration of this organization would understand confidentiality! Apparantly they do not.
Ms. Baker and Mr. Dumbeck alike deserve their privacy and thier right to a fair trial. Let's also think about all that has been brought out here just today with different information that was never meant to be taken outside of that agency. How would readers even know that it was an ex that this all evolved around for the threatening charges? Maybe reorganization of management should be where the commissioners should start. Let's put an actual employee who understands what confidentiality means! Huron County residence beware; your own human service organization in your county has failed you!
Also, I see no response today from Mr. Dumbeck or Ms. Baker! Talk about common decency! Let's use our brains and think before we act.
Are any of the leaders of this commission and agency educated? Citizens....start asking questions! It's apparant that the administration and the commission are covering their own backs! What do the accused have to say? Let them speak...

From One Strong...

A BIG PAT ON THE BACK GOES TO YOU NICKI! STICK TO YOUR GUNS GIRL. DO NOT TAKE THE SNIDE REMARKS. KEEP YOUR HEAD HELD HIGH AND TRUST IN THE LORD. WOMEN FOR CENTURIES HAVE BEEN TREATED LIKE SECOND CLASS CITIZENS. WE NEED TO STOP THE MADNESS ONCE AND FOR ALL, AND SHUT THE BIG MOUTHS OF THE OFFENDERS WHO SPREAD THE GOSSIP AND TELL THE LIES JUST TO HEAR THEMSELVES TALK.

in the know (An...

Randall Summertime: what's the link to Miss Nikki's myspace page?

i know (Anonymous)

myspace.com/nickibaker20 and there is nothing wrong with her site.

Kim (Anonymous)

I feel sorry for Erick's wife, it's terrible this was displayed in the paper. I'm sure she's suffering enough from his actions.

what (Anonymous)

why you feel sorry for his wife......are you serious???

In answer to su...

Maybe the parties in question are told not to respond to the news media. If I were an attorney, I would require my client not to give any comments to anyone prior to the case pending. Point taken but we all need to sit back and let the courts and the lawyers fight this out. We need to butt out and find something else juicy to read about that is the true facts not some fairy tale. You really have a good point however...Who IS running this agency?? Let The Public Beware!!

sanity? (Anonymous)

Time for the Reflector to start moderating or delete these posts. It's insane.

Another Cut and...

Nichole "Nicki" Baker violated "common decency" standards by a personal relationship with Erich Dumbeck. She was fired Tuesday. 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), and she is exercising her displacement rights," HCDJFS Assistant Director Bonnie Richards said of the on again off again relationship. Baker's job as a screener was to make initial contact with someone using profanity and pornography via agency computers."They get the information from the individual, and turn it over to a case worker, who then uses agency telephones to threaten and violate the client." Etzler explained. "Baker was immediately effective. Her ability to call the client a vulgar name via text messaging, all the while being touched on her hips, shoulders and back, while on the agency's time, was uncanny." stated Etzler. All of this for less than $173,000 in civil suits is a real bonus in todays Conuty Workforce environment. "There's nothing going on with most administrative employees this year. Were looking at a lot of other creative avenues to cut staff." stated Etzler

Scott Newell (A...

Nice job Cary. Seems that you might have tied in this little tid bit, that's not so irrelevent, like say, a former county employee who may or may not have been laxed in his supervision, of a secretaty that attempted to tamper with evidence, while never once drinking beer on a hill in Baines Park. While discussing leadership, change and reorganization, and the numerous on-going lawsuits, ....you might have reminded your readers......A jury decided in March the Department of Job and Family Services and the Huron County commissioners were liable for death of Connre, an 11-year-old foster child, killed by her foster father. The jury said the county should pay $600,000 in damages to her estate whose beneficiaries includes her grandfather, father and three siblings. Dixon died Oct. 18, 2004, when she was stabbed five times and bled to death in a barn following an altercation with her foster father, Paul Efaw, at his Ridgefield Township home. Efaw was sentenced to a three-year prison term in October 2005 for voluntary manslaughter.The Huron County Department of Job and Family Services placed Connre in the Efaw home in 2003 after it gained custody of her and her three siblings. During the trial, Huron County Department of Job and Family Services officials testified they had several child abuse complaints involving sexual, physical and emotional allegations against Efaw in their files, but they didn't deter them from certifying him as a foster parent......But then again, maybe not.

Who gives a cra...

Ok, Erich and Nicki had a consensual affair. His wife found out and he broke it off. He then became Director and her immediate supervisor. Only after she was rejected did she start claiming sexual harrassment. Once she realized she couldn't get him. Sorry Nicki, you should have known you would be watched like a hawk since you are suing the county, you know they got the goods on you now. I hope Erich also learn that you don't get your meat where you get your bread. He will likely have to leave the area all together, not just because of the harassment case, but because he took over an agency which has long been a total screw up. These things are not even the tip of the iceberg, you just wait till you see what comes down the line at HCJFS. Also, Nicki, if you are reading this, call me, I think you are smoking hot, I would let you see me if you do me, heck, I bet I could get the wife to join us tooo...

Who gives a cra...

Darnit, the last part of that message was supposed to say, Also, Nicki, if you are reading this, call me, I think you are smoking hot, I would let you SUE me if you do me, heck, I bet I could get the wife to join us tooo...

dddd (Anonymous)

As I said it is inappropriate for the director to comment on the sepcifics of the case. That fact that the investigation is public record has nothing to do with the directors comments. Let the investigation speak for itself. Thanks for stating the obvious

dddd (Anonymous)

I want to apologize if I sounded rude, in reading my post I did. I really don't feel strongly one way or the other, however barring pending litigation (looks like there is) the director would of been much better off saying the firing was due to violation of policy or procedure and leaving it at that. Unless the allegations are proven, having him accuse you of downloading dirty pictures is embarrassing and hurtful. If the Sheriff's office did the investigation, I gaurantee there are issues with any allegation. There is enough liability (apparently) in the situation without someone coming out in your home town newspaper saying your fired for looking at dirty pictures on your computer. I don't see the advantage of saying that publicly. If thats in the investigation...let the investigaton speak for itself.

KizorSozae (Ano...

Re dddd: Well said

Danielle (Anonymous)

The pending litigation is for Baker's harrassment suit against the county. The investigation into the p0rn0 was proven. That's why it's in the paper.

dddd (Anonymous)

I would just like to repeat that I'm not emotionally involved however, doesnt Baker have someting pending as the story states. The investigation is only as good as the people who did it,based on that agency's history with investigations.....I wouldn't bet my life anything was proven. Even if it was proven, the director shouldn't of handled it the way he did in the paper.

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