Censored from speaking during the last Liberty Township Board of Trustees meeting, Warren Yamarick, M.D., has filed a request with township trustees for a public hearing regarding his performance as the township’s medical director for the fire-based emergency medical services (EMS).
Yamarick said he met all the requirements to speak during the Jan. 7 trustees meeting, but he was skipped over by Trustee Melanie Leneghan. When Yamarick tried to invoke his right to speak, Leneghan had him removed from the township hall, citing it was being done under executive decision.
“I followed all the rules,” Yamarick said in a phone interview Monday afternoon. “I filled out all the paperwork and handed it to Leneghan.”
Though the crowd insisted that he remain to have a chance to speak, Yamarick was escorted out of the meeting room by a deputy from the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office.
“I shook his hand and told him there were no hard feelings,” Yamarick said. “He was just doing his job.”
While talking with other residents in the hall, Yamarick said the decision to remove him was a violation of his “First Amendment rights.”
Yamarick’s request for a public hearing was received at the township offices Jan. 10, in which he states, “After I began expressing concern about the quality of care if Delaware County were to take over Liberty Township’s EMS runs, Trustee Leneghan began questioning my performance as medical director of the Liberty Township Fire Department, and in recent statements, she has made clear she is opposed to allowing me to serve a 29th year in that role.”
“It was a joke for you to say that a two-man medic would be equal to or better than a three-man medic,” Yamarick said during a Dec. 3 trustees meeting. “We are a team of firefighters and EMS, a three-man medic is a hell of a lot better than a two-man medic.”
Leneghan tabled a resolution during that Dec. 3 meeting that would have appointed Yamarick to continue as medical director in 2019 as per the township’s statutory obligation under Ohio Revised Code.
Yamarick states, “Ohio Revised Code section 121.22(G)(l) permits the Trustees to consider the ‘appointment, employment, dismissal, discipline, promotion, demotion, or compensation of a public employee or official, or the investigation of charges or complaints against a public employee (or) official ‘in executive session ‘unless the public employee, official, licensee, or regulated individual requests a public hearing.’”
“Recently, Ms. Leneghan indicated that discussions regarding my performance and continued service would take place in executive session, i.e., outside the public eye,” Yamarick writes in his request. “I have nothing to hide, and I feel that any concerns any of the Trustees may have about my performance or appointment as a medical director should be addressed in open, so the township’s residents can evaluate the information and whether any concerns are credible. Therefore, I request a public hearing.”
Yamarick said that he has yet to hear from Leneghan or given a list of the concerns she proclaims to be hindering the township’s EMS.
Trustee Mike Gemperline motioned during the Dec. 3 meeting for a 30-day extension for Yamarick to continue as the township’s medical director. The motion was approved 2-1, with Leneghan voting not to approve the extension.
Leneghan was authorized on Jan. 7 to be the liaison to the fire chief and fire department, and she was authorized by the board to pursue a contract for the township’s medical director. Trustees have until Jan. 31 to appoint a medical director or lose the township’s EMS, which according to state law can only operate under a licensed physician.
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.