Ohio Ethics Commission to Review Nepotism Allegation Against School Board Member

Daughter of board member Ed Favre hired as recreation department athletic coordinator in 2004.

Correction: This version corrects the spelling of Leslie Krogman.

The Ohio Ethics Commission is looking into an allegation of nepotism against school board member Ed Favre in connection with the board's 2004 hire of his daughter for the recreation department.

Favre, who claims — with the board's backing — that he did nothing wrong, abstained from the vote to hire his daughter Leslie Krogman as athletic coordinator.

Lakewood is one of a handful of school districts in Ohio that oversees the recreation department that serves city residents; the school board votes on spending, hires and other business.

Schools Superintendent Jeff Patterson told Lakewood Patch the state ethics commission contacted him Monday. He said the district will cooperate with the probe. 

"They will make a decision whether or not to proceed with an investigation," he said. "We will turn over any information that we have and they will do what they need to do.”

Krogman's salary was unavailable late Monday. She could not be reached for comment.

“I will let the superintendent and my fellow board members handle it," Favre said. "I am trying to stay as far away from all this craziness as I can.”

Favre said he doesn’t have plans to step down from his emeritus role on the recreation department’s athletic commission. 

“I have no plans to change anything that I’m doing,” he said.

The recreation department has been a point of contention between some residents and the school board over the past couple months. Krogman's hiring has been among the issues over which the residents have leveled criticism.

The school board told the residents at last month’s meeting that it found Favre had done no wrong because, among other reasons, he abstained from the vote.

One of the residents is Kevin Roche, who has coached baseball in the district and volunteered for the rec deparmtent for seven years.

“You can’t have the appearance of improper behavior, and they’ve had that in the public for months,” said Roche, noting Favre's continued role in the recreation department's commission meetings.

“I take the nepotism charge very seriously," he said. "My personal frustration is that there’s been no action taken whatsoever.”

Roche said last week that the rec department is in shambles following the board's non-renewal of the director and the recent resignation of the athletic manager. 

Patterson recommended the board not renew Recreation Director Erin Fach's contract earlier this year. Fach has been held the position for 13 years. His contract runs through July. 

Athletic Manager Mike Callahan resigned last month.

Favre called Roche's accusations a “vicious and nasty attack” on his family. 

“This has caused stress to my family,” he added.

The school board voted Monday to hire former Avon schools Superintendent Jim Reitenbach to head both the recreation department and the school district’s human resources department. 

Reitenbach will begin his new post on Aug. 1 at a salary of $113,000.

Richard Krumreig May 08, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Of course Mr. Favre has no intention of changing what he is doing. He seems to feel that he is above the rules that everyone else follows. Even though he claims that Mr. Roche's accusations are a “vicious and nasty attack” on his family, he seemed to have no qualms about harassing a school system employee last year and causing stress within her family. The school board relies on the alleged fact that Mr. Favre never VOTED on any resolution regarding his daughter or his wife. Apparently they do not understand that when Mr. Favre DISCUSSED the hiring of his daughter with other members or with the person that would actually make the hire, he committed an ethical violation. Ed Favre needs to resign from the school board immediately and own up to his poor performance as an elected official. The Lakewood City School system is not Ed Favre’s kingdom to rule as he wishes. The school board clearly does not abide by the dictum that even the appearance of an impropriety by an elected official should be viewed as an impropriety.
Pat Ballasch May 08, 2012 at 02:23 PM
It sounds like there's been some problems with the rec. department. Is there somewhere I can find the back-story that goes into the details?
Kara Goeller May 08, 2012 at 04:35 PM
I have three young children and have coached t-ball for the Lakewood Recreation Department for almost six years. Since I started volunteering for the Rec Department, I have seen a great deal of improvement in the t-ball program's efficiency and communication, which can be credited to Leslie Krogman's hard work and dedication. She has done something that the leaving director never did, listen to the customer base. She took suggestions and actively worked to improve the program. I hear from a lot of mothers in Lakewood that also think Leslie is a big help. Leslie has also coached my kids in various activities. She has a passion for her work and it shows. She positively encouraged each and every child on the team and my children walked away with a better understanding of the sport. Leslie is more than qualified for her job and does it well. Frankly, that is all that matters to me as a parent and coach. Maybe the decision to not renew Mr. Fach's contract has more to do with his performance and less to do with nepotism. It may also be that Leslie does a great job, regardless who she is related to.
Bill Ahern May 08, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Anyone who knows Leslie's educational, personal and work history would not think she was hired based on nepotism. She was a well qualified applicant for the position of athletic coordinator for any city. Being related to someone on the school board should not rule out a strong applicant from applying for an open position.
Richard Krumreig May 08, 2012 at 10:47 PM
I am glad that you have had a good experience with the rec dept, Kara. However, the facts of this situation differ from your experience. Actually the t-ball programs and several other programs are working in spite of Ms. Krogman. The internal workings or the problems with the rec dept have been hidden and covered up by the school administration and the school board in order to protect the Favre family. I have a document that I received from the school board through a public records request. It says in part "..to hire Leslie, when she was not the choice of anyone on the selection committee." It continues...."We have restructured Rec Dept two times to work to Leslie's strength." I am sorry, but the fact is that Ms Krogman got her job and has continued to be employed because of her name. If anyone doubts this, they should begin to ask the board of education for the documents that support the position of many people in this city.
George Tecca May 09, 2012 at 05:12 AM
Leslie has done a great job with the Lakewood Recreation and is over qualified for this position. Ask any athletic participant or parent if they know who Erin Fach is, most will say they don’t know who he is. They all know Leslie and have nothing but good things to say about her. Many people in this city believe she has done a good job and another example would be right now, no commissioner around and no athletic manager but yet 100 adult softball teams consisting of an average of 16 players per team, for a total of 1600 plus and over $50,000 in revenue are playing there regular scheduled games. How does that happen? No, commissioner and no manager but the rec goes on without a hitch???
Richard Krumreig May 09, 2012 at 11:14 AM
Once again, misinformation. The softball program does not magically work. The actual work of filling the leagues is done during the late winter months when the commissioner and athletic manger were still working for the rec dept.
George Tecca May 09, 2012 at 12:30 PM
Richard you are correct, the softball program doesn’t magically work. It worked this year with the hard work of Leslie Krogman. Filling the leagues isn’t much work when the team’s manager simply comes in the office and registers the team with any staff person sitting at the desk. More of the work is done to make sure the league starts and runs without a problem. That’s exactly what happened this year. With Leslie’s dedicated service to the city she grew up in, the season started last week and running great without a commissioner or manager...
Michael Rice May 09, 2012 at 12:43 PM
I couldn't haven't said it any better. This has more to do with the non-renewal of Fach's contract and the resignation of Callahan than anything else.
Richard Krumreig May 09, 2012 at 12:43 PM
George, you are obviously entitled to your opinion since you have viewed the situation from the outside. I have read the internal documents that paint an entirely different picture. Make a public records request or two and you might find out things that you do not readily see.
Michael Rice May 09, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Richard, can you scan that document and email it to me please? I'd love to see it. My email address is bfv715@gmail.com. Thanks, Brian
Richard Krumreig May 09, 2012 at 01:08 PM
This has nothing to do with the non-renewal of Fach or the resignation of Callahan unless you want to point to the issue of Mr Favre's fingerprints all over the non-renewal of Erin Fach. I started this discussion last summer, you probably did not know that. A series of events occurred last summer to my wife, who at the time worked for the rec dept, and family because of what I was doing that caused me to refrain from further activity. When I saw that Kevin Roche was taking up the issue I decided to hitch my wagon to his horse. This is all about the Favre's attempting to run the rec dept and step on anyone that disagrees with them.
Michael Rice May 09, 2012 at 02:43 PM
I'm waiting for the document you posted you had in your possession. Can you scan it and email it? You were quick to respond to this comment, but not to quick to respond to the one asking for a copy of this document. Richard, Instead of having us each make a request of these documents could you please just email us copies? I don't have a horse in this race, but you sound very ticked off and could have a hidden agenda. That's just my two cents. Thanks, Brian
Melissa Kress May 09, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Few people in the Lakewood Rec Department are as hardworking, knowledgeable, personable or community-minded as Leslie Krogman. As a parent who is frequently in the Board of Ed Building signing up a child for one activity or another, I often start the process by seeking out Ms. Krogman for direction. Not only is her experience with Lakewood’s recreational programming unparalleled so is her natural ability to work effectively with parents and coaches for teambuilding on and off the field. Additionally, Leslie Krogman is a huge supporter of Lakewood itself--always present at community events supporting our community and its members. Both in and out of her job she is so clearly dedicated to the children and families of our community that to claim she was hired due to favoritism regardless of merit is laughable. Many lament the phenomenon of “brain drain” where the very best and brightest of a community opt to take their incredible talents elsewhere. We should consider ourselves blessed that Leslie Krogman chose to stay in Lakewood and additionally to use her unique talents to benefit Lakewood.


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