Huron board restores Fox's pay; suspension stands

Embattled Huron Schools superindendent Fred Fox will be on paid leave as the investigation into his alleged misconduct continues.
Melissa Topey
Jun 25, 2012

Embattled Huron Schools superindendent Fred Fox will be on paid leave as the investigation into his alleged misconduct continues.

Fox was suspended without pay June 19 after a 3-2 vote by the Huron school board, which based its decision largely on a 50-page investigative report by the law firm McGown & Markling. (To review the report, click HERE.)

“Under advisement of legal counsel, suspending him without pay was not the best decision to preserve his rights to due process," board president Scott Slocum said Monday night. "We are backing up and trying to do right."

The board still intends to move foward with termination proceedings.

For more on what happened at Monday night's board meeting, pick up a copy of Tuesday's Register.





Admitted, I am not that familiar with workings of so called "old boys network" or whatever in Huron, but for your interpretation to be correct, Mr. Asher must be lying in his letter documented in the meeting minutes.  He states that the BOE legal counsel (not Markling) stated that no vote was necessary to send this issue to the ethics commmittee, and that no report was necessary.  The legal counsel of Huron City Schools handles the ethics complaints and send things to OEC, according to Mr. Asher in his letter.  Is he just wrong about this?

Thus, it seems it would not have been swept under the rug.  It seems it would have been forwarded on avdice of counsel, which is unbiased.  And, this report would never have been necessary (50K or more saved), and likely the public embarrasment for the district would have been minimized.  It seems the report and voting on it to make it public record were totally uncalled for, so I am not sure what the purpose of that was, other than to embarrass Mr. Fox, and the district.  I fear it also had the unintended side effect of ruining Huron's relations with Kalahari.  Just don't think this was the best way for all this to be handled, but we can agree to disagree.



I believe Mr. Asher is trying to put a positive spin on his involvement after the fact. Might be wrong but past practice leads me to believe this is true.

There are so many people ducking from the fallout it's hard to look anyone in the eye.

Sold On Fox 2

From Common_Cents:

'Thus, it seems it would not have been swept under the rug. It seems it would have been forwarded on advice of counsil, which is unbiased. And, this report would never have been necessary (50K or more saved), and likely the public embarrasment for the district would have been minimized. It seems the report and voting on it to make it public record were totally uncalled for, so I am not sure what the purpose of that was, other than to embarrass Mr. Fox, and the district. I fear it also had the unintended side effect of ruining Huron's relations with Kalahari. Just don't think this was the best way for all this to be handled, but we can agree to disagree.'

I am in total agreement with what Common_Cents has said here. This entire 'affair' could have been handled by the Ohio Ethics Commission and the results would be the same, but all of the administrators, (including Fred Fox), would have been spared the public anal exam.

I know we all love to know what's going on and the dirty details, but what if this entire case against Fred Fox is based on rumors and inuendo.. Wait.. It is based on rumors and inuendo. Eventually the truth about Fred Fox's trip to Arizona; Fred Fox's relationship with Kalahari; Fred Fox's 'alledged' affair and the 'Toolgate' scandel will come out. I highly doubt that the findings will be as public as the investigation has been.

Please do not be so quick to judge Caporini and Asher as it seems they wanted to save the district the exact embarressment that can be seen right here on this site. If the investigation had been handled differently we would all still have no 'educated' opinion at this point and as the 'justice' system says: Innocent until proven guilty. By making all of this public, Fred Fox has been tried and convicted by the public, (including the 'public' on this comment section, apparently).

If this investigation had been handled properly, Fred Fox would still be working; the administrators who talked would not be in fear for their jobs; Fred Fox's family would have been spared; the Huron taxpayers/voters would not have their faith shattered; and no students or school employees would have read anything thus saving them from the anguish this 'affair' has caused.

Apparently the Huron Board of Education needed to spend more money on public relations and less on attorneys.

I will question the motivation of the three board members for eternity, but unless one of them tells me directly why they so wanted to make this a public flogging, I guess I/we will never really know the truth.

But.. as in this entire 'affair'.. We all sure can speculate.


 Sold on Fox 2,

If Mr. Fox would have handled his business and personal affairs in a proper and ethical manner we would not be here now. All of your misdeeds by others would not even be in play.

So where should the blame start?

That was easy.

Sold On Fox 2

No blame DonutShopGuy..

Just could have all been handled better with less embarressment.. and not just for Fred Fox.

We are all embarressed. Aren't you ?

That was easier !


 Sold on Fox 2,

No I'm not embarrassed. 

That was easiest.

Sold On Fox 2

I'm not going to sit here, or in public and defend Fred Fox at this point, because everyone has been privy to the investigation's results which are entirely based on hearsay and rumors, (which by the way, just because a rumor is repeated often does not make it true).

Fred Fox may lose his career and his wife over this. And it may be some how justified, but if it's not Fred Fox will still suffer from the public investigation. You can bet on that.

I will still be in Fred Fox's corner no matter what the result. I am not going to judge Fred Fox, nor you for having an opinion, DonutShopGuy. I have not always been an angel myself, so do not feel qualified to judge others.

When it's all said and done, we will all still be embarressed. No matter which way Huron's World Turns..


Sold on Fox 2,

Why should we all be embarrassed?

 From a person who doesn't make judgements, how did you make this judgement? 

Sold On Fox 2

Clementine and DonutShopGuy-

If you truly live in Huron.. How can you not be embarressed by any of this ?

I'm embarressed to be a resident in a town where not only do these things go on, but they are frequently swept under proverbial rugs. I'm embarressed that Fred Fox has been 'tried' in public and found 'guilty' by rumor. I'm embarressed that a Huron Board of Education cannot conduct an investigation using the tools provided by the state and not 'leaking' the information to sway public opinion.

And I'm embarressed that I even need to explain to you why we should ALL be embarressed.

But listen... You had nothing to do with this and you both obviously have lived with no sin or wrongdoing and have clear consciences.. Good for you. I'm glad you are 'above' embarressment..

I'm, however, concerned by the lack of empathy which is a traditional part of healthy people.

I'm embarressed.. You don't need to be. It's not something someone can tell you to be. It's upbringing. Don't they teach this in Alvito ?


 Sold on Fox 2,

Man, you get embarrassed alot.

Would like your definition on embarrassment. 

You are embarrassed because someone does not follow lock step with beliefs? Yikes.

Most normal people would call that a disagreement but I don't have your definition on embarrassment.



Sit n Spin

Sold on Fox 2 says....I'm embarressed that Fred Fox has been 'tried' in public and found 'guilty' by rumor.  Really ? Rumor ?  You obviously must not be able to read, the e-mails are undeniable !  Hell, I'm embarrassed for ya !  I can't believe someone from Huron can't spell embarrassed ! Do us all a favor...walk down Wall Street until you reach the pier...stroll out to the lighthouse, take a right until you fall in the lake. Embarrassment over ;)

Sold On Fox 2

Sit and Spin-

I'm now embarrAssed that I spelled embarrAssed wrong.. but.. the big picture is still that, once again, Huron's government officials duly elected by... ummm... US.. have actually gone the extra mile to 'try' and 'convict' another Huron resident/taxpayer in public.

(BTW.. Hope my lack of a spell check due to furious typing does not lesson the impact of the FACTS that I am talking about here. I didn't see where spelling correctly was required to post here, but I guess if I had nothing more to add than that I just wouldn't post. The emails you talk about DO NOT prove anything beyond a platonic relationship between two school administrators. Where is the problem ? Did you read anything that said 'I love you' ? 'I need you' ? 'That was great last night' ?)..

And thank you 'Spinner' it's a great day for a swim in our fabulous lake !
(Haven't seen a sit-n-spin for years... very clever ! Anyone who could picture their adult self on one could feel some embarrAssment, but the real point is apparently their feeling of going nowhere ?)..



You definitely do seem to have crawled from the primordial ooze known as Huron's Donut Shop where opinions abound, but action is non-existent. Eat the donuts and please don't talk with your mouth full..

My 'personal' embarrAssment starts with Fred Fox, (who IS my school system's superintendent), who has 'allegedly' had a public affair. In most cases I would say, 'Hey.. that's Fred's business'.. but because Fred Fox used a school computer and email to talk to another administrator it is at least a matter to look into. I'm, at this point, feeling empathetically embarrAssed for Fred Fox, the other administrator, their families and then taxpayers who were forced to feel this embarrAssment by a Huron Board of Education member who could not wait for the proper channels to sort out this 'alleged' mess.. so.. he took it upon himself to actually drive the Board hired attorney to Columbus to file the Attorney's report with the Ohio Ethics Commission, thus making the report a 'public document'. Then the same Huron School Board member came back to Huron screaming 'PUBLIC DOCUMENT' ! for everyone including the newspapers to hear thus extending his planned Fred Fox smear campaign.

Motives behind this Huron School Board Member's smear campaign ?
1) The Board member's hardware store can no longer sell to the school district due to his seat on the board. He somehow blames Fred Fox for this although in reality it is the district's treasurer who stopped this.
2) The Board member had heard he was going to be denied his 'volunteer' football coaching position which would have made him directly answerable to the head football coach.
3) The Board Member's lifelong friendship with the football coach who still holds a grudge over the firing of his own son by Fred Fox when Fred was then a principal in Berlin/Milan.

(And by the way 'coach'.. Keep you son out of it ? Only you and your son could have done that. Think about it..)..

To most of us, all of these things do not make for a reason to ruin someone's career over, but what we are dealing with here is a 'mob' mentality that is running amuck. It would be more fascinating to me if I did not see this same mentality over and over in Huron and the Donut Shop, (where the donuts are good but the shop is also the 'simmering pot' for community problems). Don't get me wrong.. the guys in the shop are not always wrong, but none of them are really 'insiders' or are privy to any information that they have not read or just heard. They are after all, human..

All of the 'public humiliation' could have been avoided had the Huron Board of Ed taken their concerns to the Ohio Ethics Commission where it would have been treated like any other personnel issue, (including the ones constantly referenced here about the 'firings' of other school employees. Do you know the details of those firings ? NO.. Because they were done the right way and kept 'personal')

So.. There was INTENT by at least one of the Huron Board of Education members to make this entire mess a public issue, even though not one thing anyone said in the 'private' $50,000 attorney's report can be used in court, or believed because no one was under oath. If you read it, as I have, I see a rumor gone out of control. Actually several. (and there's more, but let's start with 6..)..

1) Toolgate: Rumors.. Has anyone said they saw Jim Blodgett take or possess a tool ?

2) The Tools Reappearing: Rumors.. As far as any of us knows this is also a rumor. Once again.. No eye witnesses ?

3) The Affair: Rumors.. He said, she said. Did anyone see Fred Fox and his 'girlfriend' in a compromising position ? Is there proof of anything besides a mentorship/friendship here ?

4) Kalahari: Rumors.. Fred Fox was discounted golf along with other administrators because Fred Fox is friends with Todd Nelson. Period. Fred never voted on anything having to do with Kalahari. He has no vote. The School Board votes. City Counsel votes. Not Fred Fox.

5) Todd Nelson's Son's Wedding: Rumors.. Fred Fox did not pay for a room when he attended the wedding. Neither did ANY OTHER guest.

6) The School Bus: Rumors and coming from an unlikely source familier for being voted out of office and even being thrown out of his beloved Huron Donut Shop several times.. The bus did not run and could not be fixed. It was the Huron Band's equipment bus that had already had a life of hauling students followed by another life of hauling band equipment. The bus was done and rather than being scrapped it was sold for $1 which is the proper way to get rid of old, unused equipment. Why is it that you have never heard what happens to a school bus when it is DONE ? They are sold cheap, folks.

Read the Attorney's report. It's all: 'I heard from so and so that Fred Fox was doing this and that.' No one concretely says anything. Tanni Von Thron actually went as far as to say, 'Fred got pale and started acting nervous'.. Last I knew Tanni's diploma was for administrator, not criminal body language. John Ruff, on his way out, made the comment that 'Tony Munafo, Jr. said...'

And the best part of the attorney's report was the attorney's 'credibility' rating scale. If someone said something incriminating.. they were highly credible. If, on the other hand, the person had nothing juicy to throw in on Fred they were labled, 'Not Credible'.

Here is a fact that I hope all of you who read to here will understand:

The report from the Huron School Board's hired and paid for attorneys WILL NOT BE USED in the Ohio Ethics Commissions’ investigation which is the only investigation that means anything here !

So... Blame Fred Fox for causing this ? His ACTIONS caused this ? At best Fred Fox's actions, along with the rumor mill we refer to as Huron, caused there to be some concern among Huron Board of Education members and the rumor loving Huron community. At best the Huron Board of Education, secret agendas intact, should have turned their 'suspicions' over to the OSBA, (Ohio School Board's Association for those of you who are initially challenged) and the Ohio Ethics Commission where the 'suspicions' would have been handled in the correct manor which would have included the privacy afforded to those accused, but not confirmed guilty. Isn't this the same we would all expect for ourselves ?

Instead.. Fred Fox's business, (which is also the Huron School Board's business), was made public by a Huron Board of Education member who actually went out of his way to make sure the reports were made public. Due process ? Kangaroo court is more like it.

So good people of the Register's online comments section.. Continue to bash Fred Fox for the 'public' allegations that have been made, but remember that when the 'real' investigation is completed I believe that there will be an entirely different 'truth' than the one you have been reading.

And yes.. I am personally embarrassed by the handling of this situation no matter who is at fault. I'm allowed to be. I have rights, too ! (and so do you to your own opinion.. I just wish you actually checked into the 'facts' before forming that conclusion)..

and... My embarrAssment is actually bordering on outrage that the Huron Board of Education would spend all of that money, ($100,000 maybe ?), to do an investigation that is not even relevant to the issue at hand because it is inadmissible..

Sit and Spin on this... Spell-check... lol


Sold on Fox 2,

Sorry for my late response. I was so embarrassed I had to leave town for the weekend. I am contemplating selling my house and business and moving out of state because of the public shame Mr. Fox brought on all of us. How can you stand all the attention?

 Wow," primordial ooze known as the Donut Shop". Are we practicing to write a novel or trying to make yourself look intelligent? Doesn't really matter to me, I not a regular at  the place in Huron,  but it seems to tick you off. Why's that?

For someone who complains of people spreading rumors without facts its like the pot calling the kettle black.

Rumors about the football coach. Rumor about the owner of the hardware store. Rumors about the football coaches son. Cripes sakes man, you are great at "smear" tactics.

"I just wish you would actually check into the "facts" before forming that conclusion"  Are you speaking of yourself here? 

Sold On Fox 2


'Wow," primordial ooze known as the Donut Shop". Are we practicing to write a novel or trying to make yourself look intelligent? Doesn't really matter to me, I not a regular at the place in Huron, but it seems to tick you off. Why's that?'

As a matter of fact, DSG.. I actually am a writer and am according to my Mensa membership slightly intelligent, but any place where people meet to compare gossip and complain about people who are actually doing something does tend to tick me off. And.. they don't even make their own donuts, but I like the Messenburgs. By the way, you sound like a Donut Shop regular, but I have detected some common sense in your posts.


'For someone who complains of people spreading rumors without facts its like the pot calling the kettle black.

Rumors about the football coach. Rumor about the owner of the hardware store. Rumors about the football coaches son. Cripes sakes man, you are great at "smear" tactics.'

If telling the truth makes me a smearing black kettle then so be it, but not one thing I have ever said on here, (including the things you have highlighted), is not a fact. These are not, I repeat, are NOT rumors. And... Whether you know it, or not, every one of these 'rumors' has direct bearing on what is happening now.

Now DSG, I am really not defending anyone in this matter at the present time. I am only pointing out the facts that this 'investigation' should have been handled in a way that would have afforded Fred Fox the same rights that are given any other employee of the Huron Board of Education. The 'owner of the hardware' store went way out of his way to actually drive to Columbus in order to get the lawyer's report into the public record, thus making it a 'public' document. This is excessive and since the report from the attorney could not possibly be entered into the investigation, what could possibly be the reason for the 'owner of the hardware store's' action besides making sure people saw the report which should not have been made public due to an employee's right to privacy ?


DonutShopGuy, I have no reason to NOT tell the truth. I'm not under oath, or on trial, but feel that Fred Fox has had his rights completely trampled by some people who are attempting to get even with him. If Fred has actually done the things he is accused of, then the Ohio Ethics Commission will make sure he pays for his indescretions. In the meantime, Fred has already been 'convicted' by people like yourself who want to believe that he is bopping the principal on company time while planning his next golf getaway.

You may laugh about the embarrassment, DSG, but I have heard it from businessmen all the way to school children.. people embarrassed by the way the politicians of Huron conduct business. I understand that you are not personally embarrassed as you have not personally done anything wrong, DonutShopGuy.. unless you are actually Tim Sowecke ? As a matter of fact you really do sound like you have a vested interest in all of this ? Is this really you, Tim ? Sorry about your coaching job and not being able to sell hardware to the Huron City Schools, Tim !


Sold on Fox 2

In today's world of technology, why would anyone drive a report to Columbus?  It can be delivered electronically in nano seconds.  The delivery of the lawyer's report is not what makes that document public record.  The Ohio Public Records law makes it a public document. Anyone can request to see any document including emails from a school district and they must be released with a few exceptions. 

Sold On Fox 2


I'm not making 'the Drive' up ? It happened. Apparently people of Tim Sowecke's age group don't believe in today's world of technology ? hahahaaha..

And.. In reference to your statement that 'any' document from a school district can be seen: request something from a school employee's personnel file. Go ahead and use today's technology and you will find in 'nano seconds' that you will not be allowed access to it.

The lawyer's report ON FRED FOX was a personnel issue and should have/was discussed in Executive Session. Executive Session discussions are exempt from public records.

Personnel records are exempt from public records.

Documents entered into public record, whether driven and hand delivered directly to, or electronically delivered become public records, thus making them available to the PUBLIC !

I don't know about you TaxRaider, but I personally do not want the public privy to my work, school or medical records ?

Fred Fox was not hired/elected by the public. He's a Huron City School employee thus providing him with some privacy that he deserves like any other employee. By circumventing the system and personally delivering Fred Fox's investigation to a 'public entity', Mr. SOWecke effectively also circumvented Fred Fox's right to privacy. Fred Fox didn't get a copy before the Ohio Ethics Commission ? And.. The Ohio Ethics Commission will not even look at the report ? So what do you suggest the reason Mr. SOWecke felt the need to personally deliver the report into public record was ?

*(and in addendum.. If Fred Fox had broken a law the police would have been called and then the arrest and trial that followed would be a matter of public record.. as it should be).

This is not all hear say.. just as, even as I support Fred Fox, I know that all that he has been accused of is not hear say. Something HAS TO happen to start a rumor. Something.

My only argument at the present time is that Fred Fox's rights have been totally trampled. Some may feel justifiably so. I'm not a judge, juror, commission member, or a school board member so I have to wait and see what is decided, but I still defend Fred Fox's right to have privacy in regards to his 'personnel issue'.

Sold On Fox 2

Support Fred Fox on Facebook !


Sold on Fox .... As I said there are few exceptions . . . .  medical records and school transcripts are exempt from public view otherwise it is fair game.  The public records law is very scarey but currently it is the law; another one of those laws intended to protect the public but is way overboard and has some negative unintended outcomes.  In fact, there are a few attornies in Ohio getting rich from this law since a $100 per day per document for a max of $1000 can be charged to the public entity.  Do some research Bucyrus was hit hard financially by this law, I believe the attorney was awarded nearly $11 million but settled for $1 million. 

Wanna know what public employees are paid?  Check out  When you work for a school district, you live in a fish bowl. 

Sold On Fox 2

TaxRaider -

I know what you have said is correct and if you are not a school employee you have thoroughly done your homework.

The reality is there will not be much of anything in a school employee's personnel file for the very reasons you have stated. I'm not saying this is any more 'right' then it is for the entire file to be available to the public, but it is reality.

The public records law is indeed scary and is an extreme invasion of privacy which no other business would allow to happen !

My point here is still that the lawyer's report on Fred Fox was done internally by the Huron Board of Education and was ONLY discussed in EXECUTIVE SESSION thus making it NOT a part of Fred Fox's personnel file. It only became public when it was given to the Ohio Ethics Commision and since the commission won't use it there was definately intent to make the report public.

Some followers will see this action as a positive since they enjoyed reading the material collected. I see it as a direct attempt to change public perception and take the heat off of the Huron Board of Education. The ploy worked, but as I stated before there is little in the report that claims first hand knowledge of any wrong doing by Fred Fox. It's a lot of he told me, or she told me, or he said, or he was gone and said he was here and he wasn't... The discounted golf ? So what ? If Fred Fox was actually bopping the principal on 'company' time there's a problem, but short of that ? And if Fred Fox knowingly covered for his friend/bus supervisor Jim Blodgett then there is a problem. BUT.. NO ONE even in the report ever comes out and says, "I saw Fred do this'..

If the Huron Board of Education was doing their job, (which keeping track of the super's actions is part of), this would not have gotten this far. I don't blame the board for anything that Fred Fox is 'alledged' to have committed, but I do blame the board for not being in touch with their one of two board employees. (besides the treasurer). And.. I do blame the board for knowingly putting the lawyer's report in the hands of another public entity, thus making it a public document(s). They went out of their way to do this and there is definately a reason.

What is happening in the Huron City Schools is a reflection on Huron. The only positive I can see is that for once we're not talking about sports, or football, when discussing the Huron City Schools. Then again.. I guess I wish we were ?


Sold on Fox .. Rarely do I open my mouth or express my opinion without doing my homework.  I understand why a teacher's record/personnel file is open to the public, after all we send our most prized "possessions", our children to school 180 days a year.  I want to know who is interacting with my children.  I want to know if a teacher has been disciplined, what a teacher's evaluation says, and what a teacher's creditials are.  Don't you?

Sold On Fox 2


I said I am in agreement with you. I am just telling you that rarely does anything make the file for the very reason we are discussing. It's public.


Sold on Fox ... I thought you indicated " Personnel records are exempt from public records".  My point has been they are a matter of public record, it is the law, and there are consequences attached.

Sold On Fox 2


Personnel information in executive sessions is exempt from public records. I stand corrected.


Sold on Fox 2,

I have empathy.

For Mr. Fox's wife and children and Mrs. McNulty's husband and children.

Am I healthy in your eyes now?


"I have not been an angel so I don't feel qualified to judge others"  Do you remember your quote?

You have done nothing but judge others based on your beliefs.


 He looked you in the eye and dared everyone to take your best shot.!!!!!!........Guess what?     WE DID!!!!!! 

Tsu Dho Nimh

Local Observer

And I would be Richard Dawson, giving a huge kiss!


Good morning. Huronites!  As much fun as it would be to fly down to Huron and knock some heads together, the Pussycat Patrol has decided to remain neutral on this "Fifty Shades of Fox" situation.  But, unfortunately, after viewing this photo with your "School Board" - we just have to comment.  We have never seen such a motley crew...........................The gentleman with the white socks and work boots - Really?  And the lone lady in the group - we are praying that you are not wearing hose and that your toe nails are painted.  Please people, you are on display now.  You must look your best.  If you don't have respect for yourself, how do you expect others to respect you?  The Pussycat Patrol always look their best, even when fighting crime.  Just last week, we had an audience with the Pope at the Vatican (that's another story for another time) and we made sure we wore our Spanx and that our clothes were neat and clean.  Appearance is extremely important!  Now, carry on, fine city of Huron.  The Pussycat Patrol will be watching this situation closely.  We hope that we don't have to intervene in this matter, but if so, we will be there STAT!  Now, Cheetah is firing up the engine of our private jet (she's also a pilot) because we are needed in France.  But before we go, can anyone direct us to a nice spot for cocktails?  We gets mighty thirsty fighting crime.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.  And remember.........appearances do count.  A lot can be said for nice, clean clothes and good personal hygiene.  Thank you, fine Huronites!    


For the out-of-towners, starting on the left is Tim (Mr. Hardware) Sowecke, Donna Hastings Green, Scott Slocum, Kevin Asher and John Caporini.

Julie R.

This certainly has been an embarrassment for Huron --- for Fred Fox, anyway. Just think of all the high-school kids ~ and probably even the jr. high ~ that have read those reports.  And then there's his poor wife, who must be humiliated beyond belief. It's none of my business but if I was her I would kick him to the curb so fast he wouldn't know what hit him --- and then I would soak him for every penny he had!  


The Pussycat Patrol is more concerned about the thievery of tools - were these ever located?  Approximately how much was stolen??