Sheila McLaughlin reports:
The former executive director of Butler County Children Services who got the boot in an immediate reorganization of the embattled agency will be paid through Jan. 18 as part of a settlement with county commissioners.
According to an agreement obtained by The Enquirer, the county also will continue Jeff Center’s health insurance and will allow him to cash in any unused sick time.
In exchange, Centers has promised not to sue the county and will not file an age discrimination complaint against commissioners.
Centers, who made $86,000 a year and has headed the agency since 2009, was stripped of his title in September after commissioners called for reform in the wake of a case involving a 12-year-old girl who was locked in her parent’s Middletown basement on July 3.
The agency’s director of intake also was suspended for three days for ignoring an earlier complaint regarding the 12-year-old a month before caseworkers found her.
Centers has been on paid leave since Sept. 18 while commissioners appointed Jerome Kearns, executive director of the Butler County Department of Job and Family Services to lead both departments.
Centers was the agency’s third director in five years after commissioners called for improvements following the death of 3-year-old Marcus Fiesel in foster care.
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