Shake up at RCCS – Will this change anything?

Shake-up at Richland County Children Services

Randy Parker put on paid leave; board president resigns

MANSFIELD — Few details have been released about Wednesday night’s shake-up of the Richland County Children Services leadership, but board member Robert Konstam said a plan of succession has been in place for “some time.”

With a 6-4 vote, Richland County Children Services board members placed Executive Director Randy Parker on paid administrative leave.

The action took place at a board meeting that included the resignation of Board President Nancy Joyce. She did not cite a reason for resigning.

“The Richland County Children Services board of directors has placed Randy Parker, the executive director, on paid administrative leave, and we have no further comment at this time,” board attorney Scott Harvey said Thursday.

Ten of 13 board members attended the meeting, said agency spokesman Carl Hunnell. Robert Konstam, Pam Siegenthaler, Beth Price, Carol Payton, Dave Leitenberger and Michelle Kowalski voted to put Parker on leave. Opposing the motion were Joyce, Dean Wells, David Metzger and Jon Bell.

James Kulig, Ivy Amos and Dr. Colleen J. McKinney were absent from the meeting.

“I enjoyed my tenure on the board and I feel very good about the direction of the agency during that time, and I have great respect for the staff for the work they do in protecting children and strengthening families,” Joyce said Thursday.

“Children Services will continue to operate in the same professional manner,” Wells said. “We have good people on board that handle the safety of the children in Richland County.

Wells, acting chairman of the board, has served for six years.

“We have a lot of young people in this town who need a lot of help,” he said. “Children Services does a good job at helping them.”

Parker will be on leave until the board takes further action, Konstam said.

“We have a plan of succession in place, and there has been for some time a plan that provided (that) in Randy’s absence, Nikki Harless will step into that slot and provide those duties,” Konstam said.

Harless is director of operations at the agency, which has more than 1,300 children in its care and completed three adoptions last month, Wells said.

Harless is a lifelong area resident, graduating from Clear Fork High School in 1987. She received a bachelor’s degree in social work from The Ohio State University in 1992 and obtained a master’s degree in social work there in 2007.

She has worked with Richland County Children Services since 1992 and is a licensed independent social worker. She lives in Ontario with her husband, Tim, who is director of external affairs at Richland County Children Services.

Wells said he was shocked when he went to the board meeting.

“I’ve been very close with Mr. Parker and the administrative staff on working with foster kids, foster parents. So I didn’t see this coming,” Wells said. “Everybody gets their day. Mr. Parker is a good man, and he’ll land on his feet.”

Wells said he delivered the board’s decision to Parker last night.

“He was on medical leave. He was not at the meeting,” Wells said. “That was the first sick day he ever took.”

Parker was unavailable for comment Thursday.

Wells said he addressed some of the staff, but the rest will be notified through email.

“The ones I was dealing with were visibly upset,” he said. “It’s tough.”

A regular board meeting had been scheduled for Monday. About 2 p.m. that day, board members were made aware of a problem with the fire suppression system and were told it was potentially unsafe. Joyce was asked to reschedule the meeting as soon as possible, so Wednesday’s meeting was set.

The executive session at Wednesday’s meeting was called to “consider the appointment, employee dismissal, discipline, promotion or demotion or compensation of an employee or official, or the investigation of charges or complaints against an employee, official license or student.”

Parker’s gross pay in 2010 was $136,019, making him among the top-paid employees in the county.
Twitter: @lwhitmir – Orig Link to MNJ –

Here you will see comments are at a minimum, because folks are not allowed to share their issues with these people, and hopefully they’ll find their way here to speak out?.

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15 Responses to Shake up at RCCS – Will this change anything?

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  6. Milly Vetsch says:

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  7. buckeyesyd says:

    Phil Sydnor · Top Commenter · Public Scrutiny
    While they’re shaking things up!, maybe they need to look @ the CSEA? – This child support agency is just as poorly run and nobody seems to care about that?. People are getting FLEECED by this agency, and need to look at all the illegal fees they are charging that are bankrupting average Americans trying to just get by, and we wonder why there’s so much crime here?.

  8. buckeyesyd says:

    Jackie Fry · Tecumseh High School
    Mr. Wells seems too close and personally involved with Mr. Parker to be in the position of making further decisions about his continued employment with the agency. Of course employees that he spoke with would appear visibly shaken. Until they know for certain that the status quo at that agency has changed it isn’t safe to share their true feelings. Those who are upset that he may be gone for good know that they probably won’t have their jobs under another director. Thank goodness that the commissioners and the new board members have finally seen what is going on and are taking charge to correct the wrong in our community.

    Christopher ShortYou are stupid!

    Jackie Fry · Tecumseh High School
    Christoper, have you ever read the posting guidelines above?

    Phil Sydnor · Top Commenter · Public Scrutiny
    Maybe what’s wrong with the Community are some who are on these boards?. Didn’t Dave Leitenberger work for the State when he was terminated and picked up by his friends in the County?. Didn’t Dave and Bambi Couch Page meet with their friend John Mayer that fateful day that John snapped after a jealous rage which involved MANY in trying to cover for him?. Maybe you need to come to and read the transcripts on Johns case against the State and you will see how they’re all tied together?.

  9. buckeyesyd says:

    Micki Neal · SubscribeSubscribedWhy do we still have to pay him? I don’t know anyone that gets sent home from work paid. How many of you have ever been sent home with pay? With logic like that we would no longer need to collect unemployment, we could still collect our pay and go on vacation. Who are the morons that come up with this kind of thinking? Well Randy, I sure hope you enjoy your time off at our expense.

  10. buckeyesyd says:

    Toni J. Longville · Norton, Ohio
    All I can say…it’s about time! Hundreds of folks are very happy to hear this!!

  11. buckeyesyd says:

    Steve Roberts · Top commenter · Mansfield Senior
    136,000 a year, I knew these folks got payed good but come on thats a bit much.

  12. buckeyesyd says:

    Rita Adams · Top commenter
    Don’t bring randy parker back its time for a change,,,,put someone in there that truley cares about the children!!! So u pay him to be on a vaction,,,quit payin him…!!!!

  13. buckeyesyd says:

    Their site says there are 2 comments, is this all they want you to see?

    Tim Theodorou · Top commenter · 28 years old
    Wow! Making RCCS a family affair by allowing her husband to work under her huh? I don’t like the sound of that at all!

    Clydesdale Del · Top commenter · Muskingum University
    This shakeup makes me want to reread “Little Red Riding Hood.”

  14. buckeyesyd says:

    Here’s a comment you will surely not see, I have been banned from speaking on their site – lol!. I wonder why?…

    Phil Sydnor · Top commenter · Public Scrutiny
    “on paid administrative leave” – This is the same thing Dave Leitenbergers friend John Mayer got just before he was FIRED. After meeting with Dave and Bambi Couch Page at the Red Fox John made an illegal arrest which still has a Judge heading to Cincinnatti to appeal his not getting the same immunity everyone else got on May 30th.

    It’s funny when these people are put on on “paid administrative leave” and they’re fired that they don’t pay it back. Since their buddy John got paid too and is not getting his job back, shouldn’t he have to pay it back?. After all he wasn’t doing the job he was paid to do?.

    I am curious though why Dave would vote against Mr Parker, a friend. I thought these people take care of each other?, when Dave was terminated by the State he was then picked up by his friends in the County?. Is he preparing him to land on his feet like his buddes did him and John somewhere else in their web of deceit?.

    It’s time to REMOVE ALL of these people and start over, the gig is up!.

    Clydesdale Del, if you want to reread anything…Maybe you should select “Rotten to the Core” – It’s Alive and Well!!!!!

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