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Article published February 25, 2013
Irene Stacy board boots executive director
BUTLER TWP — Still in the middle of ongoing financial issues, the Irene Stacy Community Mental Health Center Board of Directors fired its executive director. Center solicitor Andrew Menchyk said the board met Thursday and unanimously voted to relieve Steve Laubacher of his duties immediately. Menchyk declined to say why Laubacher was fired less than a year after being hired and tasked with returning fiscal health to the center. However, Menchyk said, “The board’s expectations as to financial stability for the center have not been reached ... There were financial issues facing the center. There still are financial issues facing the center.” Laubacher was hired in February 2012 to replace retiring executive director of 38 years Roger Kelly. At that time, officials said the center had been operating in a deficit for several years. Laubacher said at that time that he expected his proposed changes would save enough money to pay back by the end of 2012 a $650,000 loan it had taken to cover expenses. Then last fall, Laubacher was suspended with pay for about a week while officials investigated allegations of mismanagement raised by fellow employees. Two of the administrators who raised the concerns, the center’s chief financial officer and the clinical director, were fired when the investigation into Laubacher was complete, and he was reinstated in October. Laubacher, who reportedly is an Ohio resident, did not return a telephone message. Laubacher, who was paid about $70,000 a year, came to Butler from Portland, Ind., where he had served a year as executive director of the Community and Family Services agency. Laubacher has worked in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Illinois and Indiana since 1975. Menchyk said the board will form a search committee to find a new executive director. Meanwhile, the board appointed Natalie Ross, director of programming, as the interim executive director.