Dean Sparks to retire; will be rehired next day - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Dean Sparks to retire; will be rehired next day

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Toledo, OH -

The 13abc I-Team looking into the retirement of Lucas County Children Services' Executive Director Dean Sparks.  He'll retire at the end of March and be rehired the next day becoming a so called "double dipper."  Sparks tells the I-Team that this is a good thing.

The contract spells out Sparks' new role after his retirement on March 31st.  It's totally legal and it includes a $123,000 salary after his retirement. 

As for his time at Children Services, he says he's proud of the work he's done.  Transparency, a quality improvement department, decision making based on data, good partnerships with courts and mental health centers are some of the many accomplishments Sparks counts in his 17 years in Lucas County.  He's worked 35 years overall in similar agencies.

Much has also changed as well.  Sparks says the deterioration of families because of drugs, poverty and crime have changed the family structure, making his agency's work tougher.

With other retirements Sparks is filling several roles right now and will do that as he works on the transition to a new leader.  Sparks' new contract as executive director after his retirement will last until August of 2015.

It will be a reduced salary, it's $133,000 now and will be $123,000 on April 1st. Sparks will also be helping with finances for the agency, which will include a levy at some point.  It's basically a matter of when and how much according to Sparks. 

Sparks says with his "double dipping", he's prepared for how people will perceive it.  

"The reality of the fact is that this is a cheaper alternative for the agency to keep me here.  It's really cost savings for the agency which I think people can appreciate.  It's kind of an emotional issue for people to hear about ‘double dippers'.  If we could remove the emotion from it I think people will see this is a good thing," said Sparks. 

Sparks says his diminished salary and diminished benefits make the cost savings to the agency.  He says this agreement was made between himself and his board and it was their decision alone.

When asked about whether his replacement will be internal or from the outside, he said it's still too early to tell.

Dean Sparks new contract

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