Summit County daycare owner arrested

NORTHFIELD -- Summit County sheriff's deputies say a Northfield day care owner, in charge of the care of two dozen children, was drunk on the job.

Inspector Bill Holland says Dana Gruszka of First Class Preschool and Child Care Center is now facing 24 counts of child endangerment, one for each of the kids inside when deputies arrested her.

A concerned mom called 9-1-1 around 7:45 Monday morning when she noticed Gruszka was acting strange.

"She had the odor of alcohol on her. Her speech was slurred. She was acting sluggish and erratic," said Holland. "She refused five field sobriety tests by the deputy."

Gruszka, the owner, was supervising two other teachers at the time. Deputies arrested her and booked her in the jail after she refused to cooperate. A report says she would not comply with a search warrant for a blood alcohol test.

She was also charged with obstructing official business, and could face additional charges for providing officers with a false address.

No one would answer Channel 3's questions at the facility Thursday.

State records show First Class has had issues with Ohio's Department of Job and Family Services in the past.

An inspection in December found the child care center noncompliant on several counts, including the criminal background checks on its employees and administrators.

The report says the criminal record of an employee on the center's license should have prohibited his or her employment. Gruszka's name is one of two names on that license.

"She's not been on our radar," said Holland. "She told the deputy she hadn't had a drink in a couple months. Apparently that was not correct."

Our digging found Gruszka has been charged in other alcohol-related crimes. In 2008, she pleaded guilty to a physical control charge. In 2012, she pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct.

She entered not guilty pleas to all 25 counts Wednesday, and is out on bond. No one answered at her home address.

For now Holland says she's allowed at the daycare center but not in direct contact with children.

"(The charges) are misdemeanors, but when you run a day care center and you've got 24 charges of child endangering, that pretty much puts you out of business," he said.

The day care is still operating as normal this week. Holland says the Summit County Sheriff's Office contacted ODJFS officials.

Greska will be back in court Jan. 24 for a pre-trial hearing.

Check Your Child's Daycare


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