COLUMBIANA COUNTY Board weighs options in dispute

There are no longer any jail jobs for workers to come back to, the county pointed out.
LISBON -- Columbiana County officials are weighing their options after learning the Ohio Supreme Court won't hear the county's appeal regarding laid off county jail employees.
Commissioners said at their meeting Wednesday that they had just been informed by the court that it will not hear the county's appeal, filed this summer, because it poses no constitutional questions.
The county is disputing a 7th District Court decision in May upholding an arbitrator's 1997 award regarding 42 county jail employees laid off in Feburary 1997.
Arbitrator's ruling: The arbitrator's award called the layoffs improper and ordered reinstatement with back pay.
The workers had argued that the furloughs violated their labor contract. County officials deny that is true and point out that there are no longer any county jail jobs for reinstatements. The county privatized its lockup in 1998.
Commissioner Jim Hoppel said he's disappointed with the court's decision not to hear the appeal.
County officials will consult with legal counsel to decide what to do next, commissioners said.
Basement flooding: In other matters, commissioners authorized the county juvenile court to seek bids for a job intended to stop flooding in the court's basement, where records are stored.
Estimated cost is $24,000, which will come from the court's building and maintenance fund.

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