Relationship between Fox, Kalahari under ethics review

An Ohio Ethics Commission investigation of Huron Schools superintendent Fred Fox centers on his friendship with Kalahari Resorts owner Todd Nelson.
Jessica Cuffman
Jun 19, 2012

An Ohio Ethics Commission investigation of Huron Schools superintendent Fred Fox centers on his friendship with Kalahari Resorts owner Todd Nelson.

Fox and Nelson readily acknowledge the friendship and say they have no concerns about it affecting Kalahari’s business relationship with the school district.

Ohio Ethics Commission has been asked to determine if reduced rates Fox received on golf outings at the Wisconsin Dells Kalahari resort violate rules against public employees soliciting or accepting anything of value from parties they regulate or with whom they do business.

Kalahari, which is partially in Huron Township and partially in Perkins Township, has received several tax abatements to encourage its expansion and growth. Any abatement must be approved by voting officials from the school district and other local government entities.

Fox, as the district superintendent, doesn't have a vote on the school board.

On May 22, after a four-hour heated executive session, the board voted 3-2 to send the investigation to the Ohio Ethics Commission for review.

“I did nothing wrong,” Fox said. “This is an apparent smear of me, trying to undermine my ability to run this district. I’ve done nothing wrong. Mr. Nelson is a friend of mine. That’s all I can tell you.”

View documents related to the investigation below and for a more in-depth look at the issues in question, pick up a copy of Tuesday's Register.





@ small town:  I think you hit the nail on the head.  "IF this is the only thing".  I'm thinking it's not the only thing or the board members wouldn't be so concerned.. Just sayin'


It all boils down to: morals and ethics. The top administrator should be bound by both virtues. You should want that in a boss!

Azure Ray

 This whole thing is such a waste of time and effort.  Mr. Fox is a good guy, this is a small town, people who work with the public become friends with other people who work with the public, and many times those good friends play golf.  If this is what this area is worried about, I can see why some of the bigger issues are becoming worse and worse.  Fred Fox has done an excellent job with this district, and clearly this is a smear campaign on his reputation.  You people who are getting so wrapped up in this really make me sick.  It's time for us to worry about issues that really matter, instead of one that is easy to b**ch about.  If you call this "corruption," you are going to find it in every organization ranging from the federal government to the local grocery store down the road.  

Tiger Dad

 So how did the board meeting go?

Darwin's choice

3 to 2 vote............he's fired!!!!!!!!!!!!   we're going to need to get our wallets out.......

Natti Light

 You people actually think that board members have to be intelligent and rational people??  You put your faith in the board becuase the "must" make the right decisions..because, after all, "we voted them in"????

Board members don't have to know jack about running a school system.  In some cases, not all, running for school board is nothing more than a glorified popularity contest.  Tell me, what does Sowecke know about managing or running a school system?  Nothing.  Just because he graduated from high school doesn't mean he's qualified to run one.

Sowecke, Green, and Slocum voted to begin termination proceedings tonight at the BOE meeting.  Once they figured out they couldn't actually do that without a 4-1 vote, they voted to suspend Fred without pay...again...3-2.  There is NO WORD from the Ethics Commission...they just decided to do this on their own.

Do you have ANY idea how much this is going to cost Huron Schools?  If this is done, and Fred is cleared, I hope he takes them to the cleaners over this.  If someone did this to me, without standing, I wouldn't be happy until the last lightbulb in that place was turned out.  This is going to bring MAJOR lawsuits against Huron Schools.  All because the 'ol H Team isn't happy.  Huron Schools is rated Excellent with Distinction, in PART because of Fred Fox and his administration.  When is the last time the glory boys on the football team brought home anything other than another playoff loss?

Sowecke and Green THEN wanted to put a morality clause in the new principal's contract.  Public schools can't do that.  Didn't these idiots do their homework?  Or did they just think they could go in and wing it in this meeting???  It's a shame to see a great school system turn into a joke just because the voters didn't do THEIR homework when they elected these clowns.


 I wish they offered a "Like" button on here. I would have just clicked it for Natti Light's comment. 

concerned huron...

Ohio’s removal-from-office law

Ohio does not have a statute that permits voters to recall elected public officials. Instead it has a series of statutes (Ohio Revised Code (RC) Sections 3.07-3.10) that permit the removal from office of a public official for misconduct in office. RC 3.07 specifically provides that a public official, including a school board member “… who willfully and flagrantly exercises authority not authorized by law, refuses or willfully neglects to enforce the law or to perform any official duty imposed upon him by law, or is guilty of gross neglect of duty, gross immorality, drunkenness, misfeasance, malfeasance or nonfeasance is guilty of misconduct in office.”

Procedural steps to initiate a removal

RC 3.08 provides the procedure to initiate removal of a public official. It requires that petitions specifically setting forth the charge must be signed by qualified electors residing in the school district totaling 15% of the total vote cast for governor in the most recent election. If that number of signatures is obtained on petitions, the petitions are then filed in the court of common pleas. After notice to the public officials against whom the charges are filed, a hearing is held before the judge (or in some cases a jury) and the judge renders a decision as to whether the charges have been proved and whether they warrant removal of the individuals from public office.


Sold On Fox 2

Natti Lite ! You are so right ! (I'm looking for the 'Like' button, too !)..

This is completely chaotic and out of hand.. Just as Mr. Hardware wanted it to be.

This is a very sad day in the history of the Huron schools. Never have they had a more dynamic leader nor someone who really cares about Huron.

When Fred Fox is cleared I hope everyone is happy with the results of this Board's misdoings. I only can hope that enough people are fed up enough with what they are doing to really do something about it.

The sad part is that no matter what.. Fred Fox is gone. He can not possibly stay at the helm of the Huron City Schools.. The job he was raised to do.

There has never been this big of a mess created by a Huron Board of Education. Who would take Fred's job with this Board ? Who would vote for a school levy ? Who would move their kids to Huron ?

I asked Huron taxpayers / voters to wake up..  now it's too late.

concerned huron...

Assuming this is data we need to look at on Erie County Board of Elections site for Nov 2, 2010, Huron and Huron Twp have a total of 7,954 registered voters of which only 4,689 actually voted, (does not specify how many voted for governor, so will assume all 4,689 voted for governor), then only 703 signed petitions are required to initiate the recall of a school board member(s).  If we aim for 1,000 signed petitions then we should have more than enough to initiate the recall.  Wonder how much it would cost to file th petitions with the court of common pleas?

concerned huron...


Board Members and when their time is up if they don't get recalled first

JOHN J. CAPORINI   12/31/15


KEVIN ASHER  12/31/13

DONNA GREEN  12/31/13

SCOTT J. SLOCUM  12/31/13

H Team v The World

Let me get this straight… a volunteer football coach/board member does not get his way so he makes a motion to start termination proceedings?  Then, two other board members approved this motion?  One of the board members is a retired teacher who dedicated her career toward improving student achievement? 

School boards usually have one member who is a little crazy but for a former educator and another board member make a decision based upon a personal vendetta is reprehensible.

Decisions of this magnitude should be based upon student achievement or the poor financial standing of a school district.  That is not the case in Huron.  The football coach has all the power.  

I have seen this movie before and I do not like it.

fudge pies

i heard someone didnt get renewed as a football volunteer coach. 


let this be a lesson to all concerned.  when one is in the public eye, one's conduct must be above reproach and never trust anyone who first says 'trust me' without having earned the trust by their conduct being trustworthy no matter what!


Better start thinking of a new name for the football stadium, you just killed the Kalahari Cash Cow.

Can I succeed from Huron School District??


His Biggest Mistake was not inviting the board along to the Dells.....then you would have heard nuttin!


"...never trust anyone who first says 'trust me' without having earned the trust by their conduct being trustworthy no matter what!"

what is wrong with this sentence?  everything.

all this hoopla over a discount?  bunch of bs


Many comments are blasting personalities and individuals with premature and incomplete information so far released.  I for one want to see the process evolve.  I have great respect for our schools and our communitity.  I have a high expectation that the school board will do what is mandated, even if not popular.  The Ohio Revised Code is very specific.  The Ohio Department of Education also has very specific requirements concerning educators.  Obviously an investigation is necessary when significant charges have been made.  This is not the time to compare apples to oranges.  We're talking administrative actions relative to ethics and the Ohio Revised Code, not curriculum development or sports.  Success in one area does not, or should not, allow one to "look the other way" when other  issues are raised.  The State's involvement is never popular with some segments of our community when they desire to handle things internally, but there are occasions when it is in the best interests of our community.  Respect the process.  Mr. Fox has always understood when he become an educator that he must maintain compliance with the Ohio Revised Code and the State Department of Education. 

Tsu Dho Nimh

Well said, Candlemaker.


Another way to keep Huron in the 70's.


To qualify to become a member of a School Board, all you have to do is get is enough Hill Jacks, neighbors and groupies to vote for you.

To qualify to become a Superintendent, you need a Masters, a lot of EXPERIENCE, and go through a number of grueling interviews.

So, basically, any loser with an agenda can become a member of a school board and pretend they are of some importance.

I'm sorry for you, Mr. Fox, your a well educated professional, playing games with a bunch of wanna be rock stars.


P.S. How bad do you have to be, to be turned down, as a VOLUNTEER coach!? You want to volunteer your time and "talents" and they do not even want you, for free?!

Edwin Ison

 If many of you had a more complete knowledge of how Fox and his middle managers have dealt with school employees........ well, the tune y'all are singin' would be different :)

It is too funny that some of the tactics used by, are now used against!


I the same 'school administrators' who took him up on the offer to golf at Wisconsin Dells are probably the ones voting him out.  Are these other eight administrators next?


This wouldn't even be an issue had Mr. Fox, invitied these board members to the golf outing!!!


I hear we missed a Big Party in Buckeye Ln, Perkins. Maybe a Law Man's Family may be in trouble?

Sold On Fox 2

Support Fred Fox on Facebook !

Still Sold on Fox 3

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