MCBDD accepts Duck’s resignation

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — The Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities announced Monday that it has accepted the resignation of Superintendent Larry Duck, who has been on paid leave for six months and was the focus of an ethics investigation.

The board still refused to give details Monday on the exact nature of the investigation or why Duck has left. For weeks, Chris Sammarone, the board’s attorney, has refused 27 First News requests for information on the situation.

Sammarone would only say that Duck was suspended in September after “potentially divulging confidential information of a board member during a public meeting.” However, the Ohio Ethics Commission looked into the matter and didn’t find a problem.

“There were no felony or misdemeanor charges from the ethics commission,” said MCBDD president Jack Gruber.

Since that investigation started last September, Duck was paid $50,000 not to work.

Mary Jo Nagy used to work for the board, and said current employees are afraid to talk.

“The taxpayers of Mahoning County don’t need this. Either he’s here or he’s gone,” Nagy said.

Now Mahoning County taxpayers will have to shell out even more money for Duck leaving. His severance package is worth at least $111,000 before the County pays full-priced COBRA health insurance for Duck.

Gruber said nothing has affected any students or clients.

He still maintained on Monday that most of the issues between Duck and the agency are confidential. That’s despite an opinion of this station’s attorney that the board is not releasing personnel documents that Ohio law requires them to give to the public.

He did reveal that the $111,000 payout is because of a secret agreement reached with Duck.

On Sept. 19, 2013, the seven-member board voted unanimously to place Duck on leave “pending the results of an Ohio Ethics Commission investigation.”

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