May 28, 2016

Mostly sunny

Bob Childers appeals his removal from Veterans Services

ELYRIA — Bob Childers appealed his removal from the Lorain County Veterans Service Commission in documents filed Wednesday with the 9th District Court of Appeals.

County Common Pleas Judge James Burge removed Childers from Veterans Services after complaints were raised about him by the Disable American Veterans chapters in Elyria and Lorain, which he had represented on the Veterans Services board.

Childers had been accused of failing “to keep their chapters apprised of the activities of the Veteran Services Commission and, in addition, that Commissioner Childers has failed to further the stated objectives of these chapters in his capacity as their appointed commissioner,” Burge wrote in his May 14 letter removing Childers.

Childers has denied wrongdoing and said it was a small but vocal group of veterans who had pushed for his ouster.

“Being based on a perception of a few disgruntled veterans, I think is wrong and I think it needs to open a dialogue,” Childers said Wednesday.

He largely declined to comment on the issues involved in his appeal, which he filed without the aid of an attorney. The appeal names veterans Sam Felton Jr. and Jesse Hill as defendants.

Childers’ removal came less than a year after he temporarily took over as Veterans Services executive director after misconduct allegations were leveled against Don Bates, who served in the role until resigning last year.

Many veterans were upset with Childers and his fellow board members for Bates’ removal, although he insisted that he was doing what was in the best interest of the agency.

Felton, Hill and others also have complained in recent years about transparency at Veterans Services as well as concerns that the agency hasn’t done enough for veterans.

A replacement for Childers on the Veterans Services board has yet to be named.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or

About Brad Dicken

Brad Dicken is the senior writer for the Chronicle-Telegram. He covers courts and county government, and has been with the Chronicle since 2001. He can be reached at 329-7147 or Follow him on Twitter.