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CRS director quits board

October 29, 2002|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

Community Rescue Service Director Ron Horn on Monday announced his resignation from the CRS Board of Directors, making him the third board member to leave CRS following the removal of J. Michael Nye as executive director.

In a three-page resignation letter addressed to CRS President Terry W. Gearhart, Horn called the action of the board to remove Nye from the post "immature ... and slanderous."

The CRS board voted 6-2 on Oct. 16 to ask Nye to resign within 24 hours or be terminated with two weeks' notice. Nye was not present at that meeting.

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At that same meeting, Gearhart was elected president of the board, a post Horn had held.

"If you want to blame, you need to blame the entire board," Horn said. He compared the Oct. 16 board meeting to a "lynching party."

Horn and Hagerstown City Councilwoman Penny Nigh, an ex-officio CRS board member, voted against ousting Nye.

Board member Kenneth R. Smith, who was CRS treasurer, was out of town and not present when the vote was taken.

Since then, Nigh, Smith and Horn have resigned from their posts. Nigh and Smith announced their resignations by letter Friday afternoon.

Horn, who was CRS president for seven years and has been with the organization for 36 years, said Monday he was "embarrassed to be associated with them any longer."

He said he feels new members came in with hidden agendas to uproot a board that was working well together and working toward financial stability.

Nye said Horn was a dedicated, experienced and seasoned professional whose presence will be missed on the CRS Board.

Nye said the CRS board now has just enough members - seven - for a quorum needed to conduct business. The board originally was designed to have 15 members representing different agencies within the community.

CRS board member and Hagerstown Mayor William M. Breichner said he's disappointed that Horn resigned along with Nigh and Smith, but doesn't feel responsible for their resignations by voting to seek Nye's resignation.

"It's the decisions that they had to make," Breichner said.

In his resignation letter, Horn said Breichner was not present at seven of 11 meetings at which issues that were later given as reasons for requesting Nye's resignation were discussed.

Breichner said he may not have been at those meetings, but other board members who were also voted on Oct. 16.

"I appreciate (Horn's) support in taking a stand on what any reasonable person would call inappropriate behavior," Nye said.

Gearhart did not respond to an e-mail message on Monday. His home phone was disconnected, according to a recorded message.

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