When the Mahoning County prosecutor was told there was likely an unjust firing that had taken place, why did Prosecutor Degenova take it upon herself to investigate and render a decision? Think about this would you hire a lawyer to investigate a case and also render a decision?
That is pretty much what has happened in Mahoning County in the case of Ricki Morrison. To reset the scene, Ricky Morrison a janitor in the Mahoning County Court House was discharged. The supervisor tasked with the unpleasantries has said, and yes this is hearsay, you are the last person I would fire but I have been told to fire you. To be fair the last sentence is a paraphrase, none of us were there but that seems to have been the tone.
After a phone call, Prosecutor Degenova investigated and rendered a decision that the firing was out of line, and the county administrator did not have the authority to fire Morrison. Without a law school degree, common sense would indicate Degenova would hire an independent investigator to find the facts of the case. Degenova would in turn represent the three commissioners, if a lawsuit evolved.
Yes, most of us that are interested in county government are beyond thrilled that Morrison has been re-instated, keeping his health benefits in his time of crisis with a medical issue. However, consider what happened in the Morrison case?
Morrison was fired, the commissioners blamed the county administrator for doing so. The prosecutor sided with the commissioners and voided the firing, blaming the administrator for the misstep. Again, it normally does not work this way, the investigator does not render the judgement. It would be similar to investigating oneself.
In my view the entire county believes Ricki Morrison was fired because he supported the opponent, of Commissioner Regetti, Geno Defabio. When Regetti was called out for the firing, it was blamed on the administrator. Has anyone asked the county administrator about why she fired Morrison? Did she act alone? Was she told to fire him? Did she act alone?
From my point of view, Geno Defabio has ruffled feathers by running against a longtime incumbent in a race that he lost by 150 votes out of nearly 100 thousand cast. Let's bottom line it, while Ohio is an "at Will' State" we still subscribe to fairness in the workplace. While a reason for a firing is not required, we put faith in our elected officials that they will act fairly in all matters. In this case it appears they have not, and the public deserves to know the entire truth and if an apology is in order, let's hear it and move on.