Western Reserve Land Conservancy John Leech defended burial of car!

By: Chardon Resident

This letter was published in one of the local papers.


In answer to Mr. (John) Leech and others who are shocked and very angry about the termination of Tom Curtin as the executive director of Geauga Park District, I say that you should get your facts straight.

The park district Board of Commissioners chose not to renew his contract when it expires on Dec. 31. He was placed on paid administrative leave through the end of his contract; he was not terminated.

In the year that I have been a park commissioner, my eyes have been opened to several examples of wrongdoing, some of which may have happened under Mr. Leech’s watch.

I attempted to get to the bottom of one such matter when I opened an investigation into the handling of the Felkin Estate by the executive director (Curtin). I had begun to hear what I thought were wild allegations about cars being buried and firearms misplaced.

None of the storied added up and I suggested that the board should have an impartial, independent investigation done by someone outside the county who had no vested interest in the matter. The investigation yielded astounding information and was a large factor in our decision not to renew Mr. Curtin’s contract.

Some of the findings were that a car with its tires still on it was ordered buried by Tom Curtin at the Felkin property on Bradford Drive in Munson Township. The Felkin’s personal property, which was left to the park district by Donald and Dorothy Felkin, was never probated and the estate could have been contested. Firearms, including a Thompson submachine gun, that were part of the estate were negligently mishandled and to this day have not been adequately accounted for.

The park districts legal counsel advised the director to rectify the probate issue in 2008 but was ignored. Federal, state and local laws, as well as park regulations, were broken.

This happened several years ago and was not corrected until after the investigation was just recently completed. 

Mr. Curtin did not feel that any of these issues were serious, but two of the three park commissioners did.

After much thought and consideration, Mike Petruziello and I voted not to renew Tom Curtins contract after its expiration, as we felt it was in the best interests of both the park district and Mr. Curtin himself to end our relationship.

Mr. Leech’s opinion that there were no grounds for this action is ridiculous. Public officials must be held to a high ethical standard. As park commissioners, it is our duty to uphold these high standards on behalf of the taxpayers of Geauga County and not try to simply sweep such issues under the rug.

Nicholas Fischbach, GPD Commissioner, Burton

Nicholas Fischbach
GPD Commissioner

7 thoughts on “Western Reserve Land Conservancy John Leech defended burial of car!

  1. Pat and John Leech absolutely raped Geauga County when they sold swamp land to the Western Reserve Land Conservancy/Geauga Park District, and were paid $12,000 an acre.

    Pat and John Leech are total hypocrites, not philanthropists.

    And I’m tired of seeing them at the Geauga Fair, being transported around on golf carts. It looks like they could use a good long walk.

  2. The Western Reserve Land Conservancy’s payroll is outrageous. But don’t ask them to divulge, they would not respond…. I would not give them a nickel, not a penny!

  3. Protect Geauga Parks has their hand in the support of the WRLC. They are bullies, and their letters to the editor are so voracious and nasty, I would not be surprised if they cause a suicide. They are not a conservation group, but a political hate group. If someone kills themselves because of their letters, the blood would be on their hands.

  4. This is the reason our taxes are so high, and going higher! It’s people like John Leech who took advantage of the sale of his land and because he was the Chair of the Park Board and the Chair of the WRLC, he construed the huge payout for his swamp over at the Rookery. He is not the only one…, Landis, Petersen, Babcock, Patterson and the family who owned the property on the site of Sunnybrook…, they all took advantage of Geauga County residents.

  5. I support our parks, but not this big land money grubbing. It looks like the “leaders” of Geauga are all out for themselves, at the expense of the taxpayer.

  6. Interesting post. Was Amy Brennan on the WRLC too?
    From what I remember they found a car and had to extricate it too, a rare Cadillac.

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