MAHONING COMMISSIONERS Vote on suspension of clerk scheduled

Commissioners are recommending five days off without pay for the clerk.
YOUNGSTOWN -- An argument during a staff meeting will apparently result in a suspension for Thomas Smith, Mahoning County commissioners' clerk.
Commissioners are expected to vote on the measure during their meeting Thursday. Smith could not be reached to comment.
Commissioner Ed Reese said the board discussed the matter in executive session last week but took no action afterward. They are recommending a five-day, unpaid suspension for Smith.
The action is apparently rooted in a fight between Reese and Smith during a commissioners' staff meeting some two weeks ago in Boardman. Reese would not say what the argument was about and would not elaborate on what happened.
He said the fight was verbal, not physical, and the suspension is for insubordination.
"He overstepped his authority, and it just wasn't right," Reese said. "He crossed the line as far as what his authorities and responsibilities are."
Smith is aware that the suspension is coming, Reese said.
Other comments: Commissioner Vicki Allen Sherlock was at the meeting but declined to comment until after Thursday's vote.
"That's really a situation between Ed and Tom," she said.
Commissioner David Ludt said he did not attend the staff meeting due to illness, so could not comment on what happened. Ludt said he'll vote in favor of the suspension based on what Reese and others told him happened.
"I don't want any employee being insubordinate, I don't care whether it's to me, Ed Reese or Vicki Sherlock," Ludt said. "I don't care who it is, you have to respect the job."

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