Worker accused of perjury retires

Date: 2007-03-08

Norwalk Bureau Chief

NORWALK -- David Broehl, an administrator at the Huron County Department of Job and Family Services, said he will be retiring in September. His announcement comes about two weeks after a shake-up in the department's administration, which officials call an audit, was implemented.

Broehl is in charge of the Children Services Division of Huron County Jobs and Family Services and has been with the department since 2002, according to a press release. As part of the audit, Huron County Jobs and Family Services Director Erich Dumbeck handed over daily operations to another employee so he can concentrate fully on the Children Services Division.

The department came under criticism in the past few years for cases such as the Gravelle children, whose adopted parents were convicted of child endangering and abuse charges late last year.

The department is also a defendant in a wrongful death case set for trial next month regarding an 11-year-old foster child, Connre Dixon, who was fatally stabbed by her foster father, Paul Efaw.

Huron County commissioners and Dumbeck have been working together on the audit of the department and have brought in an outside consultant to assist in "management rearrangement decisions," commission Vice President Gary Bauer has said.

Neither Dumbeck, the commissioners nor Broehl were available for comment yesterday.

Broehl was closely connected to the Michael and Sharen Gravelle case and testified against the couple at the trial. He handled funding requests for the Gravelle family and visited their home in the years leading up to the criminal investigation.

In January, following the Gravelle trial, a court advocate for the Gravelle children accused Broehl of perjuring himself during the trial. He refused comment on the matter at the time.

Broehl intends to retire effective Sept. 7, according to the department. His letter notifying Dumbeck stated, "My intention of letting you know of my plans now is to provide ample time to advertise, interview and hire my replacement with some overlap time so I could help in the transition.

"I have had an opportunity to meet and interact with many wonderful citizens of Huron County. Also, it has been my privilege to work with many elected and appointed officials over the past years. In addition, the various non-profit organizations, businesses, service clubs and foundations in Huron County are positive partners in the community and I have enjoyed the opportunity to work with many of them," Broehl stated in the letter.

"Thank you for the privilege of working for you and the Department of Job and Family Services. I wish you, you staff and the citizens of Huron County the best in the future," the letter also stated.

"Dave (Broehl) has brought a lot to our agency and to our county and will definitely be missed by the entire community. His dedication to the children and families of Huron County, along with his knowledge and experience will be very hard to replace," Dumbeck said in a written statement.

The Huron County Job and Family Services will begin advertising for Broehl's position within the next few months, stated the press release.

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