The Columbus Dispatch

911 boss quits over sleeping operator

- By Sheila McLaughlin

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.

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