Multi-County Juvenile Attention System appoints an interim leader

(Canton Township, Ohio) – An interim leader is named to oversee the Multi-County Juvenile Attention System.

Last week, commissioners and court staff who oversee the system met to reassure the agency’s leader about the system’s future. One of the system’s facilities was closed last year and the number of juveniles being sent to the system has declined. There has been talk of the system downsizing as a result. Not to mention the abrupt firing of the system’s superintendent in March.

The last few months have lead to concern among the system’s staff. Reports also indicate last week a letter arrived from the Tuscarawas County prosecutor regarding the hiring of an appraiser to assess the value of the system’s properties. This added to the concern and hinted that Tuscarawas County may be considering removing itself from the entity, which also serves Stark, Wayne, Columbiana, and Carroll counties.

Reports indicate the letter was intended only for top management and was not intended to be shared with staff. Tuscarawas County representatives have stated the county is simply weighing all their options.

At the conclusion of a board meeting held on Friday, Jamey McKenzie, the system’s chief operating officer, agreed to accept the interim superintendent’s position. The board voted to pay him the salary received by the previous superintendent, $95,289. This increased McKenzie’s prior salary of roughly $75,000 annually. He has been with the system since 2012.

There has been no word as to whether McKenzie will apply for the permanent position. Reports note the position has been advertised and three finalists are expected to be presented by early July.

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