Developmental Disabilities Board Superintendent Placed On Leave

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The superintendent of the Athens County Board of Developmental Disabilities was placed on paid administrative leave Thursday morning according to an email sent to staff members.

Eric Young was placed on leave as of 9:30 a.m., Thursday.

According to emails obtained by the Messenger through a public record request, Board President John Day, along with Board members Pam Bond and Margaret Demko scheduled a meeting with Young for 9 a.m. on Thursday morning. The meeting was to discuss personnel issues, specifically a continued discussion of superintendent duties.

According to the letter sent to Young regarding his placement on administrative leave, an investigative committee will be established at the June Board meeting and an internal investigation into his work performance will begin.

In an email to Board members and administrators later on Thursday, Day addressed some of what the meeting with Young included.

“We met with Eric and confronted him with the cluster issue. He danced around it and tried to explain it away and pass blame,” stated Day in the email. “We indicated that there were other issues also being investigated.”

The Messenger contacted Day Monday but he would not comment on the matter. It is unknown at this time as to what the “cluster issue” refers or what else the investigation entails.

Young was given the option to resign according to the email, but declined.

“He did not accept our offer to resign immediately so I put him on paid administrative leave, took his keys and cut off all access. He took his personal effects and left,” stated Day.

The email also indicated that Young asked about the option to resign in the future and that option was left open. A committee is to be created at the next meeting on June 23 to investigate him. “Then after that he would have 30 days before a report is created and at that point a full public record starts.”

“If anyone contacts you with information about Eric’s conduct, encourage them to come forward during the investigation,” the email concluded.

The email from Day to the staff did not give specific details as to why Young was placed on leave or the duration of the leave.

According to the email, the Board is working to obtain a temporary superintendent licensure for Maryalice Turner who was hired earlier this year as the assistant superintendent. She is also the current Beacon School principal.

Turner will serve as the acting superintendent, assuming all duties associated with the position.

The move to place Young on leave came just two days after the Board called a special meeting for personnel matters and contract negotiations.

At that meeting, which Young did not attend, the Board meet in executive session for approximately two and a half hours.

Young announced in March that he would be stepping down at the conclusion of his contract at the end of 2016. At that point, Turner was hired as the assistant to help with a smooth transition.

In April 2014, Young was issued a verbal warning by the Board for failing to provide accurate financial information to the agency’s board and stakeholders.

The previous month the Board had appointed a three-member committee to investigate whether there had been any wrongdoing by Young regarding the agency’s funds. As The Messenger previously reported, Young has stated that the agency’s expenditures have been outpacing its revenue and a review of programs and services is needed to address the situation.

According to previous Messenger reports, a three-member committee found no issues indicating good cause for Young’s termination, but he was given a verbal warning.

Young did not return calls seeking comment.