FOX19 Investigates: Council relaxes residency requirement rules - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

FOX19 Investigates: Council relaxes residency requirement rules

Tony Parrott (FOX19 file) Tony Parrott (FOX19 file)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

New developments in FOX19 NOW'S investigation into Cincinnati department directors living outside city limits. City council passed an ordinance that relaxed the residency requirements of the Cincinnati Municipal Code.

On Wednesday, city council passed by a 6-2 vote that would only require the City Manager, Assistant City Managers, City Solicitor and Police Chief to have to live within the city limits.

This vote allows Metropolitan Sewer District Director, Tony Parrott, to continue to live in his Butler County home.

It was a FOX 19 Investigation that uncovered Metropolitan Sewer District Director Tony Parrott lied about living within city limits. The city took away 40 hours of his vacation pay and gave him 6 months to move into the city. The deadline is up and Parrott is still refusing to move and now it may not matter anyway. That has one city employee furious.

"Now, you want to make an exception for him? Are you going to go back to the city employees who lost their job over the same issue and offer their position back?" said Jeff Harmon, Vice President of Code.

Harmon told the Rules and Audit committee Tuesday as a city employee he would be fired if he lied about where he lived yet MSD director Tony Parrott still has his job and is still breaking the rule.

"He's a director so he should be held to an even higher level and we just, we're not seeing that,” said Harmon.

Cincinnati's residency ordinance requires all department directors to live within the city. Parrott said he lived at an address on Westwood Avenue which we found to be an empty lot. FOX 19 Investigates actually found him living in Butler County.

"I don't like what happened. I don't like the idea that someone can thumb their nose at a rule and get away with it,” said Councilman Kevin Flynn.

Flynn believes Parrott's lie shouldn't go unpunished but now Vice Mayor David Mann wants to change the rule entirely. Mann is proposing to remove residency requirements for everyone except the mayor, city managers, council members and the police chief.

"That's just not right. There is a reason for these rules. If there is not a reason for the rule, get rid of the rule then you need to abide by the rule,” said Flynn.

City council will likely review the proposal on Wednesday. If it passes, Parrott could remain living at his residence in Butler County. If it fails, the city could be looking for a new MSD director.

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