Thursday, May 10, 2001

Deerfield fires worker who had been demoted

By Earnest Winston
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        DEERFIELD TWP. — The former assistant township administrator who was reprimanded last year for insubordination and had his job title changed has been fired, township officials said.

        Doug Larrick, who had his job changed to public works project manager, was told last week he was being terminated immediately.

        “It was difficult because (Mr. Larrick) was a productive employee,” Trustee Larry Backus said. “I think he basically did a good job.”

        Trustees voted to fire Mr. Larrick after a May 3 executive session. Mr. Backus said Mr. Larrick was suspended for five days in June for insubordination to his supervisor at the time, Administrator Hazel Dotson. At that time, Mr. Backus said, Mr. Larrick was told he could be fired for any further insubordination.

        His job title also was changed from assistant township administrator to public works project manager.

        According to an internal township memo obtained by the Enquirer, Mr. Backus said Mr. Larrick later refused to allow his new supervisor, Public Works Director Larry Weis, a chance to review “communications before they were sent out by you.”

        And in March, according to the memo, Mr. Larrick was told in a letter that he would not receive a raise. Mr. Backus said Mr. Larrick drew a bull's-eye on the letter and attached it on the wall in his office.

        “The fact that you put such a defaced memo on your wall in the first place was deemed to be inappropriate behavior,” Mr. Backus said in an April 10 memo to Mr. Larrick.

        Mr. Larrick, 46, has hired Cincinnati attorney Sheila Smith to represent him. Ms. Smith, who said her client is not guilty of insubordination, said legal action may be taken against the township.

        “The trustees' claim of numerous instances of insubordination are not true,“ Ms. Smith said. “In fact, from our position there were no instances of insubordination.”

        Mr. Larrick made more than $46,000 a year with the township. He was hired in June 1994, and previously worked for 12 years in the Warren County Engineer's Office.


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