Monday, August 13, 2001

Two agencies refuse salary data

By Cindi Andrews
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Two of the five agencies that receive taxpayer dollars to help the mentally ill in Warren and Clinton counties have refused to disclose staff salaries.

        The Mental Health and Recovery Center of Warren County and its crisis response arm — the Hopewell Behavioral Healthcare System — contend they are not obligated to provide that information because they are not public agencies, according to Executive Director David Lorenz.

        However, they are funded primarily by Mental Health Recovery Services of Warren & Clinton Counties, a public agency that is funded with state and federal money and a local tax levy.

        “There is any number of cases that say if you are performing a public function and supported by public funds, you are a public agency for purposes of the open records laws,” Enquirer attorney Jack Greiner said.

        Public agencies must disclose staff salaries, according to section 149.43 of the Ohio Revised Code.

        While declining to provide fiscal year 2001 and 2002 salaries, Mr. Lorenz did point out that employees received no raises in two years and Hopewell had a 5 percent across-the-board pay cut in 1998.


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