Mahoning County Commissioner issues plea to MCBDD

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Three of the seven board members of the Mahonign County Board of Developmental Disabilities were not at Monday night’s MCBDD meeting in which the search for a superintendent to replace Larry Duck was briefly mentioned.

Former superintendent Duck officially resigned in mid-March without a reason. Duck had 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 with a six-figure severance package.

Duck resigns.

Chris Sammarone, the MCBDD attorney, said in March 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.

Since that investigation started last September, Duck was paid $50,000 not to work. It was also revealed that Duck was given a $111,000 payout when he left.

One county commissioner wants it to be known that the county commissioners do not want a new superintendent hired until the issues at the agency are cleared up.

Survey results released.

“We’re praying and hoping this board takes no retaliation on jobs or anything with these people who have made comments,” said Mahoning County Commissioner Carol Righetti.

Righetti pleaded with Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities board members at Monday night’s meeting in Austintown.

“You need things in writing and people have come forth,” said Righetti.

County commissioners, along with the Mahoning County prosecutor, have compiled packets with issues and complaints. The details inside the packets remain unknown.

Righetti did say the written complaints were from current and past employees and parents. Now, county commissioners are hoping the issues are resolved before a new superintendent is hired.

“When that happens, you move forward with a clean slate and you build on the good things you have,” said Righetti.

Three of the seven board members were not at the meeting. WKBN 27 First News reporter Matt Horn tried to talk to MCBDD Vice President Frank Santisi about the complaints, but he refused to make a comment.

“Our spokesperson is Jack Gruber and unfortunately he is not here today,” said Santisi.

“The only way you straighten out a problem is to discuss it,” said Righetti.

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