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Turnover roils at pet shelter

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Accusations abound of mismanagement, improprieties

Several key leaders of the Top of Ohio Pet Shelter have resigned their posts amid a dispute over the way the organization should be run.

Last week, former board president Larry Mawhorr, who was also performing some duties of the executive director, resigned his post and was followed Monday by former executive director Lori Plummer and humane agent Carol Souza.

In the interim, the remaining board members voted to approve Gail Friend as the new executive director.

Despite the changes in leadership, Logan County Commissioners said they have been assured that the changes will not affect the shelter’s ability to accept animals or the county’s contract.

“We don’t see it affecting the way we do business with them and Benji Avila (Logan County’s dog warden) has said he has spoken with them and was assured that he will still be able to take dogs there,” Commissioner John Bayliss said Tuesday.

Ms. Plummer and Mr. Mawhorr said they believe the moves made by the existing board and direction they want to take the pet shelter violate board policies and ethic guidelines while Ms. Friend and other board members allege the past leaders were mismanaging the shelter and are launching an investigation into specific instances.

“Over the last two weeks there has been major changes within the board of directors that I believe violate the Ohio Attorney General’s guidelines for a 501c3 (nonprofit) organization as well as the Ohio Ethics Law on nepotism,” Ms. Plummer wrote in an e-mail she sent Monday to the Logan County Commissioners and others. “I also have concerns of how things transpired because they are in violation of the by-laws of the shelter. With all of these happenings I will not lower my ethics or morals to these changes and with a very heavy heart I decided to resign.”

 

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