Sheila McLaughlin reports:
The president of the embattled Butler County Veterans Services Commission quit on Thursday saying he can no longer be part of an organization that disregards the health and financial welfare of county veterans.
Dan Biondo’s resignation comes a month shy of the end of his judge-appointed term and a week after he unsuccessfully spearheaded a move to get rid of the commission’s executive director, Curt McPherson.
“I just feel useless at this point. I think I’ve done all I could do. I’m pretty frustrated, disappointed,” Biondo told The Enquirer after submitting the letter to Butler County Common Pleas Judge Patricia Oney.
Biondo’s term was set to expire on Jan. 14 when a new member will take his seat on the five-member veterans services commission.
Biondo had applied to remain on the commission, but Butler County common pleas judges instead voted to appoint Fred Southard, a former Hamilton city councilman and retired chiropractor.
Biondo and commission vice president Bob Perry last week lost their bid in a 3-2 vote to force McPherson to retire or get fired.
McPherson has been under fire from Perry and Biondo since October when it was revealed that the organization turned away nearly half of veterans who asked for financial assistance for food, clothing, rent or mortgages.
Former agency workers and a former executive director showed up at last month’s meeting and accused McPherson of being a bully and a bigot who referred to African-Americans using a racial slur. McPherson denied using the term.
The commission’s chief service officer, Matt Jones, also filed a 14-page grievance letter accusing McPherson of using an agency vehicle for personal use, discussing an employee’s post-traumatic stress disorder with staff and giving his sister preferential treatment in filing for widow’s benefits. McPherson has denied any wrongdoing.
“My only regrets will be that I could not protect the integrity of the Veterans Services Commission and continue to allow the horrendous treatment of past and present employees by the director of the Butler County Veterans Service: Curt McPherson,” Biondo wrote in his resignation letter.
The Enquirer will update this story