Hamilton County Commissioner Dumas Taps Hilton as Chief of Staff

High-profile pastor and civil rights activist Bishop Bobby Hilton will assume the role vacated by Stephanie Summerow Dumas' controversial former chief of staff

Jan 21, 2020 at 3:56 pm
Stephanie Summerow Dumas - Provided
Stephanie Summerow Dumas

Hamilton County Commissioner Stephanie Summerow Dumas will have a high-profile new chief of staff pending approval by the full county commission. 

Following the departure of her former chief of staff Paul Sohi, Dumas has tapped Bishop Bobby Hilton for that role. Hilton is a well-known Forest Park pastor and outspoken civil rights activist in Cincinnati. 

"His vast experience and background in finance, nonprofits, social justice, and many other areas will support the vision of our office and fulfill our mission to continue to move the county forward," Dumas said in a news release about her choice.

Hilton's predecessor left after a turbulent year on the job. Sohi, a dentist who served in the top staff role for Democrat Dumas, tweeted late last month that he would leave his post due to family matters.

In early February last year, Sohi filed discrimination complaints against the commission's two other members, Democrats Denise Driehaus and Todd Portune. Sohi said both were verbally abusive to him — a charge both Driehaus and Portune have strongly denied. 

“I was advised that being yelled and screamed at is part of the job, for which I stated I will not allow it," Sohi wrote in his complaint. 

After Sohi's allegations, Dumas at one point directed him not to meet with the other commission members in person.

The Ohio Civil Rights Commission dismissed Sohi's allegations in October after finding no evidence to support them.

Sohi didn't mention the complaint or his allegations of a hostile work environment in the brief tweet he posted today announcing his resignation. That tweet included an image of his written and signed resignation dated Dec. 26. 

The chief of staff job pays $65,000 a year. The Hamilton County Commission will vote on approving a resolution hiring Hilton at its meeting tomorrow.