Clark County clerk loses lawsuit over direct deposit


A judge ruled Monday that Clark County Auditor John Federer didn’t withhold the paycheck of the county common pleas court clerk and committed “no wrongful” acts against him.

Clark County Common Pleas Clerk of Courts Ron Vincent filed a lawsuit in August against Federer, demanding his paychecks that had been withheld since January 2015. Vincent hadn’t received more than $21,000 in pay when the lawsuit was filed.

But visiting Retired Greene County Judge J. Timothy Campbell ruled in favor of Federer on all four counts and said Vincent could receive all of his pay by merely submitting a direct deposit form to Federer and all his money would be placed in his account.

Federer said he was pleased the court case was over and that it’s time for officials to move on for the “greater good of the community.”

He reiterated that the lawsuit was a waste of taxpayer money.

“I’m disturbed that an elected official, either new or seasoned, would take the position that this elected official took for whatever reason. The time and burden at the expense of the taxpayer, to the staff of the auditor’s office and to others throughout county government was unnecessary and short-sided by the plaintiff,” Federer said.

Clark County judges and prosecutors recused themselves from the case, which resulted in the state appointing Campbell to handle it and the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office to represent Federer.

Vincent, however, still claims that Federer stole his identity and established a bank account in his name at Security National Bank and provided Vincent’s personal information, including his Social Security Number, without Vincent’s knowledge.

“I didn’t know how it was going to turn out. The issue was that he stole my identity more than direct deposit,” Vincent said on Monday.

Vincent said he probably won’t appeal Campbell’s order.

Federer denied Vincent’s claims of identity theft.

“I’m sorry he feels that way. But it’s indicative of what he’s put the county through so far,” Federer said. “There was an account for his benefit that he had to go in and sign up for. We told him for months that he needed to go into Security and get it set up … There was no identity stolen here.”

Campbell noted that testimony in the case disclosed that Vincent receives his Social Security and payment from the Ohio Supreme Court for services for the Court of Appeals by direct deposit. The state also allows the county auditor “discretionary authority” to adopt a policy requiring employees and public officials to be paid by direct deposit, the judge said, but doesn’t say whether those on the county payroll can opt out.

“To allow those who are subject to the policy to choose their method of payment would result in chaos; some could require payment by electronic deposit; some require payment by check; some require payment in cash; some require payment in coin, etc.,” Campbell’s ruling says.

The county auditor’s office established a policy in 2012 requiring all public employees be paid by direct deposit, but state law at the time excluded elected officials. The law was amended to include elected officials in 2014.

Federer said Vincent, a public official, took a personal position that “eroded the public confidence.”

Vincent, when asked if he would use direct deposit to receive his paychecks, said he didn’t know because he hadn’t read the judge’s order yet.

He disputed the claim that the lawsuit wasted taxpayer dollars.

“He stole my identity and then opened up an account in my name without my authorization. That’s kind of scary,” Vincent said.

Federer shot back that Vincent needs to look up in the dictionary what identity theft means.

Costs associated with the lawsuit must be paid by Vincent, Campbell ruled.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

Brown: Renacci’s claims of multiple abuse cases ‘absolutely untrue’
Brown: Renacci’s claims of multiple abuse cases ‘absolutely untrue’

Sen. Sherrod Brown fought back Thursday against unsubstantiated claims from GOP opponent Congressman Jim Renacci that the Republican’s campaign has heard from “multiple women” accusing the Democratic U.S. senator of assault. “It’s absolutely untrue,” Brown told the Dayton Daily News in an interview. “&hellip...
8th Congressional District debate at Miami-Hamilton this week: How to go
8th Congressional District debate at Miami-Hamilton this week: How to go

Miami University Regionals and the Journal-News will host the 8th Congressional District debate this week in Hamilton. The representative to the 8th Congressional District will represent all of Butler, Clark, Darke, Miami and Preble counties, and the southernmost portion of Mercer County.  Here’s what you need to know if you go: Miami University...
Democrats outraising Republicans in some key races
Democrats outraising Republicans in some key races

Six Democratic challengers outraised Ohio Republican U.S. House members last quarter, including one who raised more than three times the amount of the senior Republican in the state’s House delegation. With weeks to go until Election Day, Democrats Aftab Pureval, Danny O’Connor, Ken Harbaugh, Janet Garrett, Betsy Rader and Theresa Gasper...
Senators Brown, Murphy, Baldwin urge FTC to enforce ‘Made in USA’ label
Senators Brown, Murphy, Baldwin urge FTC to enforce ‘Made in USA’ label

U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) wrote a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to urge them to fully enforce its “Made in the USA” labeling standards, according to a release. In the letter, the Senators reference instances where companies fraudulently labeled their foreign-made products...
Trump appoints judge for court that serves Dayton, southern Ohio
Trump appoints judge for court that serves Dayton, southern Ohio

President Donald Trump Wednesday nominated Matthew W. McFarland to serve as District Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. The district has court locations in Cincinnati, Columbus, and Dayton and serves more than five million Ohioans in 48 counties. McFarland, currently a judge on the Ohio Fourth District Court of Appeals...
More Stories