Sheila McLaughlin reports:
Two board of election employees – including the son of a county commissioner – resigned in the wake of allegations that they were receiving county-paid full-time benefits without working the hours.
Brent Dixon, a Republican, and Garry Hicks, a Democrat, resigned this month after Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser became involved and issued a “cease and desist” letter to the board of elections, Republican elections board member and Liberty Township Trustee Dave Kern told The Enquirer.
Kern said he began asking questions when he was notified by the county auditor that Dixon, who is the chief operating officer of his family’s Hillandale Communities nursing home business and is son of County Commissioner Don Dixon, and Hicks had received 14 percent raises this year and that the county was contributing toward their medical and pension benefits.
Reynolds said both are salaried employees making $8,000 a year.
Dixon was hired during the tenure of retired elections director Betty McGary, who is Don Dixon’s long-time fiance.
“There’s a lot of questions related to how Betty McGary would go along with this and authorized this as a director when it directly impacted Don Dixon’s son,” Reynolds said.
He said Butler County contributed more than $156,000 towards Brent Dixon’s medical insurance during his 22 years with the board of elections. Hicks was hired in 2001 and the county contributed about $35,000 toward his medical insurance premiums. Reynolds did not have figures for how much the county contributed toward their pensions.
The Enquirer will update this story