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."


Job Store (Anon...

Yea everyone tells me that bus is a joke there are no jobs here in the county anyways. Close that operation down lay off the 2 or 3 ladys that run it and rehire then when we get some jobs in this area!! No only will it save money but thats 2 more that can't gossip!!

Carly Carinthos...

What ever happened to reading the help wanteds in the classifieds? There are lots of jobs in there. They may not be good paying,do nothing jobs like at the HCJFS but you got to start somewhere.

My 2 cent (Anon...

It has just come to my attention that some of the names in here are from a day time soap... how fitting.

Elizabeth Spenc...

Let's lighten up on here. It's not like someone's on trial for murder or had their baby kidnapped. Put things in perspective.

Re: Elizabeth S...

Quote...." Let's lighten up on here. It's not like someone's on trial for murder or had their baby kidnapped. Put things in perspective. "....Unquote... Funny, thats the same line Efaw's defense team used sucessfully against Leffler. It had only marginal success in the civil suit though....

KizorSozae (Ano...

Leffler should be ousted from his position, come election time I hope he gets voted out as he has shown his failure to prosecute...he won't take a case unless its a slam-dunk (i.e., Regina Hicks murder...he won't take it to the grand jury even though the evidence is there) ...and then there's Paul Efaw who gets three years for stabbing an eleven year old girl...just to name a few...Leffler will screw this case up too...all at taxpayer expense, again!

ex employee (An...

Most of the workers in HCDJFS are good people and really try hard to help people. Unforunatly the rest are there for the benefits and money and noting else.

Let see how long Rhonda, Marcy, Beth, Sara last without Marla and Jon. I hope Jon is ready to be just one of the workers she always put down. I think I will visit the office to smile at her.

Ray @ The O.B. ...

Er, "ex-employee"... just for the record, Marla White hasn't been in The Office Bar but once or twice in the better part of a year.

ex employee (An...

Er I have seen her in there.

OldPHSstudent (...

She wasn't very nice to people while in high school, thought she was better than everyone!!! Now it's all coming back to her, I feel bad for her because shes gotten herself into such a mess..but she doesn't deserve pitty because shes a grown woman! She decided to get involved with a MARRIED man and she decided to access her personal e-mail while at work and though she might not have intended to look up the porno she should still be held responsible. Thats what signing computer use policies are for!!(So if I missed a few commas and a have errors with my spelling, so be it after all I did graduate from PHS)

to carly, jason...

you are watching waaaayyyyy too much General Hospital.signed The Ice Princess lol!!!!!!!

Mick (Anonymous)

I agree that Erich got the shaft and should of stayed Director. Everyone makes mistakes and Nicki is a big one but he was not the Director at the time and everyone can see what Nicki is all about. The commissioners need to look at the big picture and see that Erich was getting the shaft because Marla did not get the job. I don't feel sorry for Marla or Nicki their plan back fired on them.

Ray @ The O.B. ...

Ex-employee: in this regard, I know what I'm talking about and you do not. Marla _used_ to come to the Office Bar, but has not been in for several months. Your information is badly outdated.

Jan Boyd (Anonymous)

DuplicaThank my friend for e-mailing me on the use of my name. Please be assured that I am very happy in my new life. I miss Ohio and the fine people I have met but I get to see my children and grandchildren and that is more important. I feel bad not only for those who have lost their jobs but for the whole department. It is a good place to work with some wonderful people there and it is a shame that it has come to this. Please take a moment a reflect on how all this negative is hurting HCDJFS and the community. Norwalk is a wonderful place to live and to raise your family, this type of name calling a hurtful comments do not help heal. To Marla, Jon and Stacy I wish you well, you are all fighters and will bounce back and do well. For the rest of the Office and Huron county don't reval in the hurt of others, it could be you some day. God Bless all of you.te posting,

curious (Anonymous)

since you people have nothing better to do on here but cut people down, Does anyone know Nikki's maiden name?

info (Anonymous)

her maiden is baker

curious (Anonymous)


curious (Anonymous)


curious (Anonymous)


curious (Anonymous)


Pig Farmer (Ano...

The other white meat.

Alan Quartermai...

Hey Ice Princess, I still get GH even where I'm at now. You can never get enough of a good thing.

Karma (Anonymous)

KARMA COMES BACK AROUND DOESN'T IT!! I know her from plymouth also....not to good for ANYONE now are we?! Be a grown up and take some responsibilty for yourself.

duh (Anonymous)

she's not from plymouth.....try again!!!


Nikki graduated from Plymouth High School did she not!! Maybe all this will open her eyes to some changes she might consider making in her present life.....I'm so glad to be out of the plymouth area it's gone to hell...

duh (Anonymous)

she graduated from new london. get your story straight!!!

Karma (Anonymous)


Karma (Anonymous)

Plymouth High School
Graduated: 2000
Student status: Alumni
Degree: High School Diploma
Clubs: Majorette, Marching/Jazz/Pep Bands, NHS, Class Treasurer, Modern Language Club President, Track, Basketball Stats, Homecoming Queen


Wrong Nicki (An...

You must have the wrong Nicki. She graduated class of 1996 from New London. She was played Softball, Basketball, in the band and was definitely NOT a majorette! You have the name spelled wrong...it's NiCKi, not Nikki like you have. Bessides, I'm pretty sure she set her My Space to private in order to view it, so you wouldn't have been able to get that info.

bittercup (Anon...

With Nicki/Nikki's many proven talents, maybe she went to both schools, more boys that way.