Guernsey Coroner Involved In Ohio Inspector General Investigation

By
Bethany Venable

Dateline
Updated Fri, Mar 16, 2012 1:18 pm

The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities must now review how they handle employee political activity, following an investigation by the office of the Ohio Inspector General which found the department at fault for wrongdoing. The investigation involved the Guernsey County coroner.

According to the report by the inspector general, in August 2010, a complainant alleged Dr. Janet Brockwell held the elected office of coroner while working as a part-time physician at the Cambridge Developmental Center.  
 
The Cambridge center is operated by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (ODODD).
 
The complainant also alleged Brockwell conducted her coroner's work on state time. 
 
Cambridge Center policy and the Ohio Revised Code prohibit classified state employees from running for or holding an elected office. The report identified Brockwell as "covered under the 2009-2010 SEIU/District 1199 union contract."
 
The department reviewed the matter in 2009 and gave Brockwell a warning. 
 
Brockwell has worked for the Cambridge center since 2006 and her current term as coroner expires in 2013.
 
The report states Brockwell did not keep regular hours at the Cambridge facility, but did log her hours using the center's timekeeping system.  Upon comparing her logged hours with official death certificates she filed with the state of Ohio as Guernsey County coroner, the inspector general found no instances she conducted coroner business on state time.
 
The ODODD has 60 days to respond to the investigation. The Office of Ohio Inspector General is recommending the ODODD "determine if administrative action is required to address management's inaction involving the employee's political activity."
 
The inspector general's office is also recommending the Guernsey County prosecutor monitor Brockwell to make sure she does not violate the ODODD policies by running for political office again while employed by the state of Ohio.
 
 
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