Fired County Budget Director Lawyers Up, Says She Was Retaliated Against

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The administration of Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish fired its budget director, Maggie Keenan, last week in an explosive personnel move that could reverberate across the ongoing investigation of county government.

Keenan, in a flurry of emails to Cleveland.com the night of her dismissal, said the county made a mistake firing “the one who knows where all of the bodies are buried.” She characterized the move as retaliation for her whistle blowing regarding deaths at the county jail in 2018. She said she was fired only days after she reminded Budish’s Chief of Staff, Bill Mason, about retaliatory behavior.



“Think that’s a coincidence?” She wrote.

In a follow-up email, Keenan wrote that she was going to “sue the shit out of” the county and didn’t want to provide additional comment. She promptly retained legal counsel and directed Scene’s inquiries to her attorney, Chris Thorman.



Thorman confirmed Monday that he had been retained and said he intended to pursue a wrongful termination lawsuit, among other things, on behalf of Keenan. He said that his client had been given no reason for her dismissal other than that the county wanted to move in a “new direction,” and that the evidence would bear out Keenan’s claims.

“Without question, this is retaliation,” he said. “She stood up to corruption in its many forms and lost her job because of it. She was an accomplished employee with nothing in her personnel record to warrant a firing.”

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