Trial date set in Ex-JFS worker's law suit

Nicki Baker will have her day in court. July 15, 2008 is the day that the former employee of the county welfare agency will face off against the department, its former and current top administrators, and county commissioners, whom she is suing.
Cary Ashby
Jul 25, 2010

Nicki Baker will have her day in court.

July 15, 2008 is the day that the former employee of the county welfare agency will face off against the department, its former and current top administrators, and county commissioners, whom she is suing.

Nichole “Nicki” Baker was fired Aug. 14. She is now accusing the Huron County Department of Job and Family Services (HCDJFS) of sexual discrimination, creating a hostile work environment, negligent supervision, defamation and inflicting emotional distress. Last week, Visiting Common Pleas Judge Judith Cross scheduled the jury trial.

However, Cross wrote in court documents that she expects Baker's attorney to demand a financial settlement at a June 23, 2008 pretrial conference.

HCDJFS hired Baker on Jan. 12, 2004 as a file clerk. She was an agency screener starting March 7, 2005. Baker was responsible for initial contacts with a complainant and gathering information from the person before turning it over to a case worker.

Beginning in October 2004, Baker applied for five “lateral transfers and/or promotional opportunities” and was rejected each time. Marilyn Widman, Baker’s attorney, wrote that former HCDJFS Director Erich Dumbeck approved “the final selected candidates.”

Baker, in the lawsuit, accuses Dumbeck of telephone harassment and making “unwelcome physical contact … beginning within two months of (Baker) starting work and continuing until at least January 2007.” Dumbeck, the social services supervisor when Baker was hired, is further accused of making an “unwelcome advance toward” Baker at a Norwalk bar March 17, 2004.

Last month, HCDJFS fired Baker, based on allegations she harassed a client, used profanity repeatedly with the same woman and accessed pornography using the agency computer. The lawsuit, filed April 17, indicates the client is an estranged relative of Baker’s by marriage.

She filed a complaint Aug. 15 with the Huron County Sheriff's Office, accusing someone of tampering with her work computer in connection with the pornography allegations. Detective Sgt. Dane Howard was assigned the case.

“But there was no investigation conducted at the time,” Howard said Wednesday, because his supervisors told him “it was an employee relation problem, not a criminal one.”

Both Huron County Commissioner Mike Adelman  and HCDJFS Interim Director Lowell Etzler also declined to comment on Baker's lawsuit.

Comments

your kidding (A...

I am not sure the HCDJFS can withstand anymore scandles. Unfortunately, all this negative publicity reflects on the hard working people that work at the agency that actually do their job and do it well. I can't imagine the tense atmosphere that exists in that building.

re your kidding...

I agree it is time to put Nicki Baker in the same category at Britney Spears and move on. The good workers in the office and the tax payers of Huron County needs this behind them.

Boy (Anonymous)

She must think she is something special to warrant all that attention from Mr. Dumbeck. I heard that she never made it to the final part of the interview process. The supervisors would not hire her because of her Absenteeism and her attitude. They only present the candidate they want to hire and none of the supervisors wanted her in their unit. She is in the same category at Marcy, Rhonda, Beth, Sandy, Heather B and Sara. She needs to just let the good people in that office get back to doing real work.

SLS (Anonymous)

She is trailer trash that is looking for a payday. I've seen her out and I've seen her Myspace. Not very classy for a woman who reprents a county office. Go Nichole -- are we going to try for Jerry Springer next?

jlynn (Anonymous)

Moderator: Comment deleted for defamatory statements.

Let's discuss the issue, not just call each other names.

amazing (Anonymous)

Look at paragraph 4, it is all about the money. She is a slim, never washed her hands after going to the bathroom and always looked like she was unkept and dirty. Hope she can live happy with her ill gotten money.

your kidding (A...

Ms. Baker joins the groups of people I have encountered that want something for nothing and than whine when they don't get it. Absenteesism and a bad attitude will not get anyone a promotion no matter where you work. Get over it Nicki, you didn't earn the promotion that is why you didn't get it.

RE: BOY (Anonymous)

I think you left out YOUR name on that post, pal.

this was in ano...

" Just a little warning swiss family. You might think that you can come on here and slander anyone you wish just because you don't have to give your real name but it would be super easy to find out who you really are. Have you ever heard of a I.P. address? It's a code of numbers that is issued to your computer while you're on here from your internet service provider. Makes no difference if you have dial-up, dsl or cable either, every computer gets one. Very, very, very easy to track your movements by simply logging your I.P. address when you access this website and it doesn't take someone with a Phd to set up the right software to do it. So go ahead and continue to make wild accusations and slanderous comments about people on here. All it takes is one of them to report your behavior to the authorities and soon we'll all know who your are! Give that a thought before you go off on your next tirade. "

re: amazing (An...

what is a slim exactly?

re: re amazing ...

I think they ment slime, but then you must work at JFS since you think you are smater than everyone else. That is their attitude.

re boy (Anonymous)

No I did not leave my name on the post and I am not your pal.

swiss family (A...

You'd think that poster would also have acknowledged that the IP addresses might reveal that swiss family or anyone else using the same screen name over and over is ... 10 different people. I've never posted as swiss family before, but I just did, just like anyone else can.

RE:re: re amazi...

YOU are a tool. Just because I asked a question, you assume you know me and know where I work. You are completely off, and you are a tool.

re re boy... (A...

why didn't you leave your name? chicken? do tell, how do you know so much? you work there too? receive handouts? don't leave us hanging!

slim (Anonymous)

somebody askin' 'bout me?

ICKI SKANKER (A...

Pages out of the diary of Icky Skanker

I just want to get some money from JFS so I dont have to work. I hope I do win my lawsuit and Eric wants me back so we can run off into the sunset. I dont know what I will do if I lose. Oh, I know I will get Food Stamps and Money from welfare because I know that no one will want to give me a job at least one standing up.

swiss family (A...

lol Icki now thats funny.

re: Icki (Anonymous)

I head there is an opening in town for a Head Nurse.

Not News Worthy...

For a 'not news worthy' story, I find it tragic that the Rejector has two stories with the same information.

Re not nuew wor...

I agree, lets move onto something of importance and this is not important.

Correction to l...

Before one of the JFS people think I am uneducated and out of work I will correct my mistake when fingers fail to move correctly. It should be RE: not news worthy. They think that everyone in Huron County is out of work and on benefits and if they happen to need benefits, they are uneducated. Must be great to be perfect.

to:Correction t...

Do you realize how big Huron county is? Do you have any clue what-so-ever?? No? I didn't think so. Might want to 'bone up' on that education of yours.

rest my case (A...

This is the attitude they foster in JFS. What a wonderful place to live in their minds of how so wonderful and perfect they are and have to deal with the likes of us. So self important. Remember you do not have to answer to us, but when you do have to it will be to a much higher source and no it is not the director of JFS.

swiss family .....

to "rest my case " ..AMEN !!! and if their job is so overwhelming , like they make it sound , then maybe they can't handle the job , and if they can't handle the job , i am sure that there is someone who can , so i wish that they would resign , if they can't handle all of the responsibilities of this huge county , step aside , and let someone who can handle the job , do it

Why would I... ...

have to answer to anyone at JFS??? I DON'T WORK THERE, GET THAT THROUGH YOUR THICK SKULL. Deal with who? The likes of you and swiss family? oh pleeeeeeeeeeeeease! You tools are just out of your minds. Someone has something like a question, and you get all bent thinking they MUST work there. Relax, tools. Nobody at JFS will ever fire me. I don't believe they have the authority.

re why would I ...

Take a chill pill, if you don't work there why are you getting so upset. Me think you protest to much. Maybe if you had something to do than reply to these post you would not be so angry. Do you need a hug?

Re:re why would...

what are you, a caveman? ME THINK YOU PROTEST TOO MUCH. I get upset at the likes of you IDIOTS assuming that if I write anything POSITIVE it's a conspiracy...why am I explaining this to caveman? ME DON'T KNOW WHY. MAYBE ME IS TURNING INTO TOOL BY ASSOCIATION.

AlterEgo (Anonymous)

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks." is from Skakesperare's Hamlet

Let's see.... (...

Caveman...Shakespeare....gee, I don't see any difference. And like I said before...I'm a tool by association.

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