August 30, 2014

Medina
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Court employee could face termination

Loren Genson and David Knox | The Gazette

An employee of the Medina County Clerk of Courts Office faces possible firing after being accused of failing to back up data and altering files on the clerk of courts’ computer.

Cynthia Tyree was placed on paid leave Tuesday by Clerk of Courts David Wadsworth.

Wadsworth declined to explain why the disciplinary action was taken.

But specific allegations are listed in a “pre-disciplinary conference” notice obtained by The Gazette in response to a public records request.

The document states that Tyree, a deputy clerk of courts/network administrator, is charged with “failure to perform backups and failure to log backups between Oct. 5, 2013 and Jan. 16, 2014. Failure to backup the system places computer data at risk of loss.”

She also is accused of changing “necessary files on the server without consulting the clerk of courts … causing system problems and requiring support assistance.”

When reached for comment on Friday, Tyree declined to comment on the specific allegations.

“Mr. Wadsworth is entitled to his own opinion, the same as I, but opinion is not fact,” she said.

Tyree confirmed she attended a “pre-disciplinary conference” Friday morning at the county administration building.

Also at the meeting was Denise Casteel, administrative assistant in the county Sanitary Engineers Department.

Tyree said she was told Casteel would write a report but was not told when that would be done.

The “pre-disciplinary conference” document notified Tyree that she “may be subject to termination” and notes that her position is not protected by civil service.

Wadsworth hired Tyree shortly after being elected in 2012, following his appointment to the clerk’s post in January 2011.

Wadsworth did not return calls Friday requesting comment.

Wadsworth has struggled with personnel problems in the past year.

In June, he agreed to an out-of-court settlement in a federal lawsuit filed in 2013 by former deputy clerk Julie Kauffman. Kauffman’s suit charged that Wadsworth fired her in retaliation for telling Medina County Prosecutor Dean Holman that resources in the clerk’s office were used in Wadsworth’s election campaign.

Wadsworth was charged with misuse of public funds and pleaded no contest in September 2013. A judgment in the case was delayed, pending Wadsworth’s completion of a “first offender” diversion program.

The clerk of courts office also has been plagued by computer problems.

In the spring and summer of 2013, the clerk of courts website sustained a string of malfunctions and in June 2013, Wadsworth hired Mirifex, an IT consulting agency based in Sharon Township in an attempt to correct the problem.

The clerk of courts online system also has had issues this spring, when a Virginia-based company backed out of a contract to modernize the clerk’s office with a new online docket.

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4603 or at lgenson@medina-gazette.com. Follow her on Twitter @lorengenson. Contact reporter David Knox at (330) 721-4065 or dknox@medina-gazette.com.