The human resources chief for Cuyahoga County, Douglas Dykes, resigned Monday in the latest news of a scandal surrounding his misdealings. The now former HR chief faces felony charges stemming back a year for theft.
A year ago, prosecutors indicted Dykes for theft-in-office, a felony charge. Additionally, he faced other charges surrounding financial misappropriation of public funds. In one case, he provided an illegal bonus for a county official back in 2017.
His misconduct came to light following a 2018 investigation into the county’s IT department. Despite his indictment, Dykes remained HR chief until his resignation Monday. That position pays $180,000 as an annual salary, which is also the length of time elapsed between his indictment and resignation.
Mary Louise Madigan, county spokesperson, refused to report whether or not Dykes provided a reason for his departure.
However, an explanation may involve a recent payment made to the county. A $10,362 cashier’s check written to the county bore the name James Hay as its remitter.
HR Chief Mishandled Funds
Dykes stands accused of changing over a $15,000 moving expense into a signing bonus of $13,500 for Hay to take an IT position in Cleveland. However, auditors determined the payment outside the bounds of personnel policy and therefore illegal.
Subsequently, Hay agreed to a payment plan to return the money.
Revelations last week exposed Dykes as the individual who wrote the January 14 cashier’s check. Neither Hay nor Dykes’s lawyer, Anthony Jordan, were aware Dykes planned to make the payment to return some of the funds he stands accused of stealing.
This repayment may provide prosecutors with an opportunity to argue Dykes was aware of his misdealings and thus guilty.
Last April, Dykes pled not guilty to the charges. His lawyer expressed dismay that the plea deal barred Dykes from public positions.
Dykes trial is set for April. Meanwhile, the Human Resources Director of Benefits and Compensation Holly Woods replaces him on an interim basis.