By Sheila McLaughlin
The Cincinnati Enquirer
MASON - Days after Middletown Mayor Dave Schiavone was forced to resign as a Butler County probation officer for allegedly abusing sick leave, he landed a similar job at Mason Municipal Court.
Schiavone began work this week as a full-time probation officer in the second controversial hiring decision by Mason Judge George Parker since he took the bench 18 months ago. Schiavone remains Middletown's part-time mayor.
Schiavone, who will make $32,000 a year, read a short statement at Tuesday's Middletown City Council meeting.
"My relationship with the chief probation officer had deteriorated...and it was no longer financially or emotionally feasible" to remain on the job.
"I only hope the people of this community judge me on how I have conducted myself and not what they have read in the newspapers," he said.
Parker did not return calls to his office and cell phone on Tuesday seeking comment.
Schiavone resigned as a supervisor in the Butler County Probation Department on May 28, avoiding a personnel hearing involving allegations that he went out drinking on county time, gave mayoral speeches after lying to his bosses that he needed leave to care for a sick child, and approved subordinates' time sheets though he was aware they were not working or sick.
Schiavone has said officials made "no finding" regarding the allegations he faced in Butler County.
However, a copy of his settlement agreement obtained by The Enquirer said the county agreed not to pursue a disciplinary finding in exchange for Schiavone's resignation.
Parker's latest move already appears to have strained relations with the Mason city administration, mere hours after the judge dismissed charges Tuesday against that city's police chief in a settlement that had city leaders pledging cooperation with the court.
Mayor John McCurley questioned Schiavone's hiring because the new position and its salary were not approved by council, as required by law.
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