Vets Services probe continues

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By Wayne Gates

The Brown County Veteran’s Services Board of Commissioners met again on Thursday, August 2 to discuss the situation regarding Director Ralph Fox.

Fox was placed on administrative leave with pay on July 2 after allegations of abusive behavior in the office were filed against him by fellow Veterans Service Officer Cheryl Childers.

Brown County Prosecuting Attorney Zac Corbin, who by state law serves as the attorney for the board, said that the board met in executive session and that no action was taken.

Without going into specifics of what was discussed in executive session, Corbin said that the board heard from two employees of the office and would have to schedule another meeting to meet with a third employee who wanted to have an attorney present.

About 30 veterans and others met with the board on Tuesday, July 31 to talk about the performance of the office and Fox.

Three smaller groups were brought into the small conference room where everyone who wished to speak was given the opportunity.

Of the twenty or so that spoke, a majority of them spoke favorably of Fox and his performance.

Following the meeting, Fox’s attorney, John Woliver, spoke to The News Democrat.

“Out of the 25 people that spoke, most of them were positive for Ralph and the job he has done over many years,” he said.

When asked about the specific complaints of Childers, Rhoades and others, Woliver said “There were certain allegations made that Ralph stated were just untrue. That has been communicated to the commission.”

When asked about the allegation that Fox grabbed Childers by the arm while holding a gun in the other hand, Woliver said “Ralph denies having a firearm while touching her. He flatly denies that.”

Woliver said that moving forward, “The commission understands that they have to create a climate that if any individual feels that they have been unfairly treated, they should immediately feel comfortable enough to go to the commission. They have a tough job and they are trying to do their best.”

Regarding Fox, Woliver said “I think it would be appropriate to restore Ralph to full duty.”

The BCVS board will continue to evaluate the situation as it gathers more information. Fox remains on administrative leave with pay.

The next scheduled public meeting of the board is August 28 at 9 a.m.

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