A Greene County Common Pleas Court judge awarded the former county children services executive director who was terminated last year $83, 604.20 in civil forfeitures and attorney fees in a court order filed this week.
The county will also have to pay Alice Maddox unpaid back pay from the time she was terminated on June 26 through November 20, 2012 when the children services agency merged with Greene County Jobs and Family Services and eliminated the executive director position.
Maddox’s annual salary, excluding benefits, at the time she was terminated was $92, 518, according to the county auditor’s office data.
“I felt more positive about the judges order that was issued a few months ago where he substantiated that what the board did was invalid,” Maddox said. “This was just the final piece to it. The legal fees piece, but the more important part to it was the fact that what they (the board) did was wrong.”
In January, Judge John Kessler, a visiting common pleas court judge, ruled in Maddox’s favor and found the children services board violated the Ohio Sunshine Laws 30 times during a series of improper executive sessions.
Now, the court has ordered the county to pay Maddox $6,000 in civil forfeitures and $77,604 in attorney’s fees, back pay plus other unidentified costs.
“I’ve been following this case prior to being elected as county commissioner,” said Tom Koogler, a Greene County commissioner. “I believe there was a bad board, and I believe Alice Maddox was unjustly treated. Alice deserves whatever she’s getting.”
County commissioner Alan Anderson said he was unable to comment on judge’s decision because he had not seen the court order.
The defunct children services board came under public criticism from public officials, employees and fellow board members when it asked Maddox to resign and placed her on administrative leave in April 2012. Tension increased when the board terminated her during a June 26 public meeting and county commissioners voted to merge the agency with jobs and family services in November.
Maddox filed a second lawsuit against the county earlier this month that makes similar allegations that the children services board violated Ohio Sunshine Laws, however the newer lawsuit also alleges the Greene County commission board also violated the same laws.
The former executive director filed a third lawsuit against county commissioners, jobs and family services and the children services board in federal court this week.
“Unfortunately the people in Greene County have to pay in the long run,” Koogler said.