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Ex-superintendent sues board over sick-leave payments

January 31, 2019

IRONTON - Paul Mollett, former superintendent of the Lawrence County Board of Developmental Disabilities, has sued the board seeking accumulated and unused sick leave. The board, meanwhile, is seeking alleged compensatory and punitive damages against Mollett.

Mollett is seeking unspecified sick leave from Sept. 18, 2012, to Oct. 15, 2017, when he resigned as superintendent. He claims the board breached his contract by not making the payments.

The board, however, asks no judgment be rendered against it. In an answer and counterclaim filed earlier this month, the board is seeking unspecified damages, interest and attorney fees against Mollett.

Last November, the board accepted the retirement of Mollett and the resignation of Ryan Cornett, the board’s business manager. Mollett served as board superintendent for more than 34 years. The board subsequently named Julie Monroe, superintendent of the Scioto County Board of Developmental Disabilities, to replace Mollett.

The board oversees the Open Door School in Ironton, the Lawrence County Early Childhood Center in Sheridan and adult programs for developmentally disabled individuals. The board currently is contracting with Easter Seals to provide services to adults. In all, the board serves about 500 county residents with developmental disabilities.

Both Mollett and Cornett were placed on paid administrative leave last August pending an internal investigation. The board said Mollett resigned without seeking the consent of the board as required under the contract.

The board alleged Mollett authorized Cornett, through his private business, Rymacore, to sell products, including graphic T-shirts, directly to the county board without advising the board. Rymacore operated without paying rent on county board property without the knowledge of the board, according to the counterclaim.

Mollett authorized board employees to provide services at no charge to Rymacore including construction, maintenance and remodeling while the employees were paid by the county board, according to the counterclaim.

The board would not have agreed to hold its investigation of Mollett in abeyance had he sought payment for the unused sick benefits when he resigned, according to the counterclaim.

Mollett “would often be out of the office without disclosing his whereabouts to the staff and without taking paid time off, paid leave, unpaid leave or sick leave,” according to the counterclaim.

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