Commissioners fire HR coordinator

By Aimee Hancock

ahancock@aimmediamidwest.com

TROY — The Board of Miami County Commissioners voted Tuesday to fire Human Resources Coordinator Teresa Gross, claiming Gross violated county personnel policy. Gross is accused of using her county email to send documents containing confidential information to her personal email account.

According to documents from the Commissioners Office, on Feb. 8, 2021, Gross sent at least eight separate emails to her personal email address, which included over 100 pages of documents that contained confidential information including, but not limited to, information regarding pending county insurance claims, documentation involving a county unemployment claim, health benefit information and financial information. Gross then allegedly deleted her “sent” files. Documentation also claims Gross deleted additional emails from her county account, and further, attempted to permanently erase the items in her “deleted” folder.

The emails in question were discovered by HR Director Angela Lewis on Feb. 20, 2021, when she accessed the Miami County computer assigned to Gross in order to review pending files and emails. Lewis was able to recover approximately 2,000 emails, including those sent to Gross’ personal email account on Feb. 8.

On March 21, 2021, Gross attended an investigatory interview led by Jeff Busch, director of the Miami County Communication Center. When asked why she sent each document from her work email to her personal email, she said “to cover my a—.”

“During the interview, Ms. Gross stated she sent herself the emails to have proof she was performing her job duties,” a Miami County Communication Center memorandum regarding the incident states. “Ms. Gross admitted that she did not make a public records request to retrieve and release the documents.”

Gross subsequently waived her right to a pre-disciplinary conference, which was to be held on April 8, and stated in writing, “This does not give me time to get my attorney here or prepare.”

Gross was employed as the county HR coordinator since July 2017.