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Published: Friday, 12/15/2006

Whistle-blower lawsuit against Fulton MRDD is dismissed


WAUSEON - A whistle-blower lawsuit filed by a longtime township trustee against the Fulton County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, which had employed him, has been dismissed, with the disabilities board ordered to pay almost $1,000 in court costs.

Joe Borton, who is a Dover Township trustee and had been employed by the disabilities board as a vocational habilitation programmer, said the case, which was resolved in mediation, was handled correctly.

He said terms of the settlement are confidential, but offered: "I was about as happy as anybody can be under the circumstances. Otherwise, I wouldn't have agreed to it."

Penny Earl, president of the disabilities board who represented the agency in mediation with Mr. Borton, said she also was pleased with the outcome.

She said the board's insurer is expected to pick up the costs, ordered by Judge Anthony Gretick, who heard the case in Fulton County Common Pleas Court after Judge James Barber removed himself.

Mr. Borton sued the board last year, saying he was fired from his $9-an-hour job at the disabilities agency because he reported a co-worker's abuse of a disabled client and because he is blind in one eye. A lawsuit filed against the board by the employee he reported, Laura Kutzli, continues.

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