GIRARD Clerk of courts resigns; lips are sealed as to why
Girard's clerk of courts was being paid $46,000 a year.
By TIM YOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
GIRARD -- Municipal Judge Michael A. Bernard says his clerk of courts, Mary Jo Orr, has resigned -- but neither he nor Orr wants to talk about it.
Judge Bernard signed a journal entry Friday accepting the resignation, effective at the close of business that day.
The entry notes that Orr, who was being paid about $46,000 annually, tendered her resignation Feb. 8.
By contrast, Mayor James J. Melfi is paid $40,132 a year.
"I really don't want to discuss personnel matters," the judge said when asked why his clerk decided to leave.
Orr would only say she would not comment until after she retains a lawyer.
The city pays 60 percent of Orr's salary, and the county pays the rest.
She has earned $22,318 in severance pay in unused sick leave, personal days and vacation time, the judge's entry says.
Won't fill position: Judge Bernard said he will not fill the position for about a year.
"I'm going to run a little short-staffed," he said, adding he wants to stay within his budget and save the city money.
The city has been under a state-imposed fiscal emergency since Aug. 8 because of debt and its inability to pay its loans.
A recently completed performance audit by the state auditor's office recommended the court reduce its 16-member staff by the equivalent of 41/2 employees.
Orr, who was a deputy clerk, replaced clerk Renee Szabados-Bornemiss, who was fired Aug. 31, 1998, by Judge Bernard for insubordination and neglect of duty.
Irregularities: Orr found irregularities while she was organizing the clerk's office in preparation for her new duties.
On May 10, 1999, Szabados-Bornemiss was sentenced in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court to 30 days in jail and ordered to pay back $24,147 she stole from the court.
She pleaded guilty to felony theft, was sentenced to three years' probation and ordered to get counseling and perform 100 hours of community service.