Thursday, June 08, 2000

Deerfield demoting roads chief

Township to restructure administration

By Kevin Aldridge
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        DEERFIELD TWP. — Township leaders have OK'd the creation of a public works director post and the demotion of longtime road superintendent Ted Farquer as part of a restructuring of Deerfield's administration.

        Mr. Farquer, a 15-year employee of Deerfield Township, has been removed from his position as road superintendent following an investigation into whether he used township equipment for personal gain. He fell under scrutiny after a group of township employees presented trustees with a list of about 18 allegations against him that included using township equipment to perform unauthorized jobs for himself and friends.

        The allegations arose shortly after trustees approved a $3,000 pay increase for Mr. Farquer last month. The increase was for compensation Mr. Farquer never received when he was switched from an hourly employee to a salaried department head.

        The investigation, which is continuing, has turned up no evidence to support any of the allegations against Mr. Farquer, trustees said. However, the investigation did delve into Mr. Farquer's ability to adequately supervise the road department.

        “The board as of this date has been unable to substantiate any of the allegations against Ted in whole or in part,” said Township Trustee Tom Raga, who would not go into detail about the accusations because they were discussed in executive session. “Our decision to demote him had to do with the goals this board has set for all our departments.

        “We want to operate the township as a customer service based entity,” he said. “And we have found that the road department wasn't providing our residents with the best possible service under Mr. Farquer.”

        Mr. Farquer, who remains under review, will assume a temporary position with the township's parks department, doing mostly maintenance work, Mr. Raga said. Mr. Farquer, whose salary was about $43,000 a year, will lose roughly $10,000 yearly as a result of the demotion.

        He could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

        “Ted seems to be taking it well,” said Township Admin istrator Hazel Dotson. “He's a good, loyal employee. It's a shame it had to come to this.”

        Trustees plan to eliminate the road superintendent position altogether and replace it with the new position of public works director. The public works director will oversee the road, cemetery and parks departments, according to trustees.

        “By professionally overseeing construction and maintenance activities associated with our roads, parks, drainage areas and cemeteries, we can do a better job of planning and prioritizing our needs and rely less on costly outside consultants,” said Dan Theno, administrator of development and community relations.

        The public works director will receive a salary between $35,000 and $60,000 depending on his qualifications, Mr. Theno said. He added that the township is seeking candidates with engineering or construction backgrounds and experience in business management and supervision.

        Trustees will accept job applications through July 15. The board hopes to fill the position by August.


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