Sheila McLaughlin reports:
Butler County commissioners have hired their fourth finance director since 2009.Commissioners this week hired Tawana Keels, a member of the Princeton Board of Education, as its latest budget chief, following the surprise resignation of Susanna Merlone.
Merlone resigned because she was having trouble selling her house in the Cleveland area, according to documents obtained by The Enquirer.
Merlone joined Butler County Jan. 7 after being laid off as as director of business service and human resources at Lorain County Joint Vocation School. Her salary was set at $93,000.
Another candidate for the job, Thomas Morrison, who came from out-of-state, was working on a try-out basis and was about to be hired when undisclosed information in his background came to light and commissioners rejected the hire, county officials said.
Morrison was set to replace Pete Landrum, who had served as finance director since 2009 and left in September for a job as Delhi Township administrator after a rocky three-year stint with the county.
Landrum hired a lawyer in late 2011 and threatened suit, saying he was repeatedly threatened and berated by Commissioner Cindy Carpenter and was denied a promised pay raise.
Carpenter had said that she was dissatisfied with Landrum’s performance and that she wanted to give him a written reprimand on a number of alleged issues. No disciplinary actions were taken against Landrum.
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