Rachel Richardson and Sheila McLaughlin report:
The Butler County Board of Elections on Monday abolished two controversial full-time positions after Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said the jobs should be eliminated.
But members decided to hold off until early next year on whether to bring the election specialist positions back as part-time.
Earlier this month, Husted cast the tie-breaking vote in an issue that divided the Butler County Board of Elections.
The controversy centered on two election employees — one of them County Commissioner Don Dixon’s son — who were being given full-time health and retirement benefits for part-time work.
The two men, Brent Dixon, a Republican, and Garry Hicks, a Democrat, resigned after Republican board member Dave Kern last month publicly questioned the arrangement.
Democratic board member Bruce Carter called Kern’s actions “underhanded” and criticized him for bypassing the board and bringing the matter to Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser.
At its Nov. 25 meeting, board members split on Carter’s motion to reclassify the position from full- to part-time and allow Dixon and Hicks to come back as part-time election specialists. By law, Husted became the tiebreaker on the issue.
Carter called for Husted also to decide if Kern acted improperly and whether he should be dismissed. Kern seconded the motion and voted in favor with a 3-1 vote, with Republican member Judy Shelton the lone vote in opposition.