Defamation suit against Children Services director going forward.

MANSFIELD — The Fifth District Court of Appeals disagreed with Judge James DeWeese’s ruling in a defamation suit against Richland County Children Services Executive Director Randy Parker.

DeWeese, a Richland County common pleas judge, dismissed sheriff’s Sgt. Jeff McBride’s suit in December, saying he did not have a valid case. DeWeese said McBride’s complaint was devoid of facts to support his allegations of malice.

The appellate court, in a ruling issued Wednesday, said McBride did allege sufficient facts which, if proven, could overcome any legal immunity Parker might have.

Under Ohio law, an employee of a political subdivision is immune from liability unless the employee’s acts or omissions were done with malicious purpose, in bad faith or in a wanton or reckless manner.

McBride, who spent 21 years working with Richland County Children Services investigating crimes against children, was removed from that post in March 2011. He raised claims of defamation and interference with contract against Parker. McBride’s complaint said Parker made published statements that McBride was a disruptive influence on Children Services, had inappropriate discussions with staff, was “sloughing” off and was guilty of other dishonest conduct.

McBride’s suit said Parker’s statements were false, hurt his reputation and adversely affected his career.

The court of appeals heard arguments from both sides in an April hearing. Judge William Hoffman seemed to be leaning in McBride’s favor when he referred to McBride’s complaint and the alleged false statements.

“That seems to give evidence of malice,” he said. “Do you have to say he threw an egg at the guy’s house to prove these statements? I don’t know what else you have to do.”

Attorney William McIntyre, representing McBride, is seeking a trial.

Last month, the Children Services board voted 6-4 to place Parker on paid administrative leave. Board members have yet to give a reason behind the move, but indicated at a special meeting Thursday they are considering replacing Parker.

Written by
Mark Caudill

News Journal
Twitter: @MNJCaudill

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4 Responses to Defamation suit against Children Services director going forward.

  1. Fantastic collection, Eric, appreciate it. Bookmarked and shared 🙂

  2. Nicky Gandy says:

    Superb.. Many thanks for sharing it

  3. buckeyesyd says:

    Speaking of appeals, Judge DeWeese just had his appeal that he did not get the same immunity that his buddy John Mayer got for his imvolvement in the racketeering and harassment case against Johns ex-wife. You can see it here –

    11-3505 Jennifer Leech, et al. v. James DeWeese, et al.
    1:10-cv-2645 Northern District of Ohio at Cleveland J. Gwin
    In this civil rights action brought by an Ohio probationer and claiming a conspiracy among police,
    probation officers, county prosecutors, state and local agencies, and a county judge, one defendant appeals
    the denial of absolute judicial immunity. (15 Minutes Per Side)

  4. buckeyesyd says:

    If you go here,
    You will not be able to READ this!….CENSORSHIP by a News Paper Agency at it’s finest – lol!.

    Phil Sydnor · Top commenter · Public Scrutiny
    Just like the Racketeering and abuse of power lawsuit against John Mayer, his brother, and this Judge is moving forward. These are humbling times for the locally corrupt who have abused their power and wasted enough of the taxpayers dollars. When will the VOTERS say enough is enough or will the Judge finally get removed from the bench in his involvement once again in being the MOST OVERTURNED JUDGE in the State of Ohio?

    I hope by Election time this November, “the people” realize where their problems stem from!, it’s time to give crime a kick in the teeth…more is coming soon!

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