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Trotwood investigating its Public Works director

By Josh Sweigart - Staff Writer

Trotwood Public Works Director Thomas Odenigbo is suspended from his job pending an internal investigation of personal purchases he allegedly made while receiving a city discount.

Personnel records obtained by the Dayton Daily News show Odenigbo was placed on paid administrative leave on July 8. At his pay rate of $44.83 per hour, Odenigbo was paid more than $5,738 before the city ordered him to start using his accrued leave on July 30.

“As you are aware, your continued employment is under review due to recent issues regarding personal purchases you made while receiving the city’s discount,” City Manager Michael Lucking wrote in a July 8 memo.

Reached by phone Friday, Odenigbo declined to comment on the issue.

“There is nothing that has come out of it,” he said.

Assistant City Manager Quincy Pope, who also serves as the city’s police chief, said no criminal investigation is under way. The issue is being reviewed by the city’s law director, who refused to comment.

Odenigbo was hired as public works director in 2000, according to city records. His starting pay was $30.29 per hour, plus he received a $4,000 moving allowance and a city vehicle.

Odenigbo was reprimanded in April for taking such poor care of the city’s old public works facility that officials were concerned it posed a pollution risk to nearby Wolf Creek.

Photos obtained from the city show the property at 776 East Main Street piled high with discarded tires, drums filled with paint, scrap metal and other materials.

“Your failure to provide proper oversight of the property has put the city of Trotwood at risk of being cited by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as it brings discredit upon the municipality,” says a April 25 disciplinary memo from Pope.

Odenigbo was ordered to have his staff clean up the site. The large piles were not visible from outside the property on Friday.

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