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DeWine gets Fox report

Alissa Widman Neese • Jun 5, 2014 at 8:29 PM

The Ohio Ethics Commission has concluded its investigation of former Huron Schools Superintendent Fred Fox, Erie County prosecutor Kevin Baxter confirmed Wednesday evening.

The commission submitted its report to Baxter this past winter, he said.

On Jan. 8, Baxter forwarded the report to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, who will serve as the case's special prosecutor and consider whether criminal charges should be filed. 

"I know many of the parties involved, and I didn't feel it was right for my office to handle this case," Baxter said.

Fox called the commission's investigation "frivolous."

"We don't expect any charges to come from this," he said. "It's an embarrassing situation for the ethics commission because they spent a lot of time and money."

The Ohio Ethics Commission fields complaints against public officials and determines whether an accused individual's behavior is unethical. Its representatives will not comment on ongoing investigations until they have publicly released an official report on their findings, which only happens if an individual is found to have behaved unethically.

Because of its confidential nature, it's unclear what charges the commission is suggesting.

In May 2012, a three-person majority of Huron school board members agreed to submit a formal complaint to the Ohio Ethics Commission regarding Fox's alleged misdeeds. They include an improper business relationship with a district vendor, improperly seeking reimbursements for a business trip and an extramarital affair on school time.

Fox officially lost his job with Huron Schools in April 2013 through a controversial firing. He contends the three board members wrongfully terminated him and has a pending lawsuit against them, as well as the district.

The Register contacted the Ohio Attorney General's Office Wednesday seeking more information and a status update on the review.  

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