Cuyahoga reform: FitzGerald hires one, fires three

2:56 PM, Mar 9, 2011   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald fired three county employees Wednesday morning, all with former ties to the county boards of revision, and hired a director of development.

FitzGerald fired former Administrator Robert Chambers, board clerk Hanane Hmada and board office manager Marcella King-Piazza.

The three had not been working for the boards of revision since mid-2010 and had been reassigned to other departments.

FitzGerald also named Larry Benders as the Director of the Cuyahoga County Department of Development. Benders will begin his job in April.

He currently serves as the Executive Director of the City of Cleveland/Cuyahoga County Workforce Investment Board and its agency, the Employment Connection.

Benders has three decades of general management experience, largely in the private sector, with Johnson & Johnson, Nabisco, Coors Brewing Company, Ben & Jerry's, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Benders earned an undergraduate degree from Yale University and a master's degree in business from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Benders' annual salary will be $160,000.

FitzGerald issued a written statement regarding the firings:

"Today three people have been terminated from employment with Cuyahoga County due to the reorganization of the Cuyahoga County Boards of Revision. The three unclassified employees are: Robert Chambers, administrator; Hanane Hmada, clerk; and Marcella King-Piazza, office manager."

"As part of a reorganization of the Boards of Revision, new boards have been hearing cases full-time for several weeks and are now run by members who were selected through a competitive process."

"Additional boards are being formed and staffing of the Boards of Revision will be consistent with the new classification review process."

The three-member boards of revision rule on challenges to property valuations.

An investigation showed that more than 2,200 tax documents were altered and more than $400 million in values reduced without going by the boards of revision.

FitzGerald had already fired all current boards of revision members.


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