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The Suburbanite
  • Stark State VP placed on paid leave; complaint filed

  • Stark State College’s vice president of human resources Celeste Jones has been on paid leave since early July. A complaint against the school has been filed by Jones with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission.

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  • Stark State College’s vice president of human resources has been on paid administrative leave since early July, with no explanation from the school.
    Celeste Jones was given a letter, dated July 9, from Chief Operating Officer Thomas Chiappini informing her of the leave of absence.
    Meanwhile, Dan Tierney of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office confirmed Tuesday that its employment law section is representing Stark State College in a complaint filed against them by Jones earlier this month with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission.
    Jones has been in the position since July 2010. With benefits, her salary is listed in her personnel file as $155,580.
    Jones’ performance review, given by Chiappini in June 2011, listed favorable ratings in all areas.
    A score of three means “fully competent,” and a top score of four means “exceeds expectations.”
    Jones had a score of four in seven out of 20 areas, and a score of three in the other 13 areas.
    Jones’ absence from work has been the topic of a Blogspot.com blog called “Save Stark State.”
    The unidentified blogger, who suggests he or she is an employee, posted Monday that it was “Day 47” of Jones being “still missing” with “no official comment from the administration.”
    Tuesday’s entry asked school President Para Jones why employees found out the status of Celeste Jones through the media instead of internally.
    Stark State spokesperson Irene Lewis Motts said the college will not be making a statement at this time about why Celeste Jones was told not to report to work.
    “We cannot comment because it is a personnel issue,” said Motts.
    The letter to Jones told her to stay off college-owned property and to turn in her keys. It also said she should refrain from communicating with other Stark State employees and should not hold another job during the hours she is normally scheduled to work. Doing so would require she forfeit her pay and face discipline, the letter said.
    Jones, who lives in Middleburg Heights, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.