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YOUNGSTOWN Sherlock: Action is unfair to clerk



Published: Thu, June 21, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Commissioner Vicki Allen Sherlock said the clerk's proposed suspension is to settle a personal score, which is wrong.

By BOB JACKSON

VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- A five-day suspension for the Mahoning County commissioners' clerk is unwarranted and unfair, Commissioner Vicki Allen Sherlock says.

Commissioners were expected to vote this morning on the suspension of Thomas Smith. Commissioner Ed Reese said Smith was insubordinate during a recent staff meeting in Boardman.

Commissioner David Ludt said he was not at that meeting but plans to vote for the suspension because he won't tolerate insubordination toward any of the commissioners.

Personal matter: Sherlock was ill today and could not attend the board meeting, but issued a written statement regarding the suspension. She would have "vehemently opposed" the measure if she were able to attend and vote, because it is a personal matter, not a personnel matter, she said.

Reese could not be reached to comment before the meeting.

"At no time did Mr. Smith disobey Mr. Reese," Sherlock said. "And the fact that he may have had a difference of opinion with [Reese] makes him a thinking human being, not insubordinate."

Sherlock said she's upset that the commissioners' personnel policy is being used "to settle purely personal problems." She's concerned that setting such a precedent will make it difficult for commissioners to hire competent staff in the future.

"I firmly believe that the suspension of this loyal and highly competent employee is totally unjustified and were I able, I would vote against this ill-considered motion," Sherlock said.

bjackson@vindy.com




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