The Columbus Dispatch
911 boss quits over sleeping operator
Call involved 2008 bathtub drowning
LEBANON, Ohio — The director of emergency management in Warren County resigned yesterday in the wake of an investigation of his depar tment after a 911 dispatcher was accused of sleeping just before answering a call in a high-profile murder case.
Frank R. Young, 53, had worked for the county for more than 20 years. His resignation takes effect Tuesday.
Young was not in the office yesterday and could not be reached for comment.
His resignation came two days after county officials revealed that dispatcher Ron Kronenberger apparently came out of a sound sleep and wasn’t making sense when he answered the 911 call of Ryan Widmer repor ting his wife Sarah’s drowning in their bathtub in 2008.
Widmer was convicted of murder for killing his wife but was granted a new tr ial for reasons unrelated to Kronenberger’s actions.
County Co mmissioner Dave Young, who is not related to Frank Young, was irate this week when he found out that dispatchers might have been sleeping on the job and especially that the Widmer case was involved.
He questioned why it took nearly six months for communication-center officials to investigate the allegation against Kronenberger when it sur faced in a training session in Apr il.
Frank Young notified county Administrator Dave Gully about the investigation in late August, according to county records. Commissioners didn’t lear n about it until Gully shared a repor t of that investigation this week.
“ They told Gully they were investigating disciplinar y problems inside of there, including with Ron Kronenberger. But no one said, ‘And by the way, it relates to a murder tr ial call,’ ” Dave Young said. Commissioners have since called for hir ing an independent consultant to conduct a management review of the communication center and to install secur ity cameras at the dispatch center.
Gully said Frank Young, who made $ 76,141.26 a year, will be paid about $12,000 for accumulated sick and vacation time. The county also has agreed to continue his health and life insurance benefits through the end of the year.