December 21, 2014

Elyria
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Sex offender resigns as deputy clerk

William Montgomery

William Montgomery

ELYRIA — William Tyrone Montgomery has resigned as a deputy clerk for Lorain County Clerk of Courts Ron Nabakowski, who had been under fire for keeping Montgomery on the job after he pleaded guilty to charges of gross sexual imposition last month.

Nabakowski said Montgomery told him during a meeting Monday that Friday would be his last day. He said he didn’t ask Montgomery to resign.

“We talked about it and he decided it was best,” Nabakowski said.

Montgomery, 52, was indicted last August on rape, gross sexual imposition and sexual battery charges that accused him of molesting a girl he knew beginning when she was 8 years old. The sexual abuse continued until the girl was 18, according to prosecutors.

The rape and sexual battery charges were dropped by prosecutors last month when Montgomery pleaded guilty to the gross sexual imposition charges. Montgomery could receive prison or probation when he is sentenced later this year by county Common Pleas Judge Mark Betleski. He also will be required to register as a sexually oriented offender.

Following Montgomery’s plea on March 11, Nabakowski said he needed time to review what he would do with his longtime employee, who had remained on the job while the charges were pending.

Last week, Nabakowski said he would likely keep Montgomery on the job if he received probation in the case. He said he would make a final decision once the sentence was handed down.

Nabakowski’s reticence to fire Montgomery prompted the county commissioners to begin investigating whether there was a way to force the issue, possibly by banning Montgomery from county property. But a review by county Administrator Jim Cordes and Assistant County Prosecutor Gerald Innes hadn’t turned up a legal way to do that.

“People were upset about it and I think rightfully so, and I’m glad the individual has resigned,” county Commissioner Tom Williams said. “I’m just sad that Mr. Nabakowski didn’t see that what he was doing was wrong by trying to keep this individual on.”

As an independently elected public official, Nabakowski is in charge of hiring and firing the deputy clerks who work for him.

Nabakowski called dealing with the situation the “toughest choice” he’s faced during his lengthy career in public service.

He said he had drawn up an agreement for Montgomery, who works on computer systems, which would have kept him out of the public eye if he had stayed on the job. Nabakowski said although he thought Montgomery had engaged in behavior he found reprehensible, it had happened more than two decades ago and he wasn’t the same man as he was then.

“He’s repented,” he said.

Although Nabakowski said he received only two phone calls urging him to fire Montgomery, he was well aware of the public outcry over the situation. He said that Montgomery also was aware of it.

“He’s getting a lot of pressure,” he said.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.