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TRUMBULL COUNTY Commissioner candidate calls for the administrator to resign



Published: Thu, September 23, 2004 @ 12:00 a.m.



The county administrator responded with a two-sentence statement.

By STEPHEN SIFF

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- A Republican candidate for Trumbull County commissioner is calling for the resignation of county administrator Tony Carson, citing what he says are examples of financial irresponsibility and conflicts of interest.

Philip "Rusty" DeCapito is running against Democrat Daniel Polivka for a seat on the three-person board.

DeCapito criticized Polivka and the board for failing to plan for the $5 million budget shortfall projected for next year.

At a press conference Wednesday, however, he spent more time attacking the appointed county administrator than his election opponent.

Maintenance hiring

DeCapito criticized Carson for recommending that commissioners hire four new maintenance workers over the past few weeks, despite the strong likelihood they will be laid off within months.

He said the cost of the new employees would be between $250,000 to $400,000 annually. Figures from the county auditor's office suggest the expense to employ the four, who will earn about $9 an hour, will total about $100,000 a year.

One of the new hires already is receiving a pension from the city of Warren, DeCapito said.

"When we have people who are looking for work in Trumbull County, who are without jobs, why are we hiring people who are already collecting a pension?" he said.

Carson refused to answer questions. He issued a written statement instead.

"I will not respond to a desperate candidate's attempt to obtain free publicity," Carson wrote. "The voters of Trumbull County are intelligent and will respond appropriately to a candidate who must utilize negative and misleading information rather than having solutions and ideas to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Trumbull County."

None of the commissioners could be reached for comment.

DeCapito said that Polivka is a career politician who has done little for the county in the eight months he's been in office.

But his focus, again, was on Carson.

Carson, who was appointed county purchasing director in 2001, should have noticed the hundreds of thousands of dollars for janitorial supplies being stolen from the county maintenance department, DeCapito said.

The head of the maintenance department, Tony Delmont, pleaded guilty to bribery, theft in office and money laundering in 2003.

Courthouse ownership

The Republican candidate also brought up Carson's ownership of the Central District County Courthouse in Cortland, which he leases to the county for about $54,000 a year, and his former ownership of a private jail program, which accepted county inmates.

Carson sold the Warren Alternative Sentencing Program in January soon after he was appointed county administrator.

siff@vindy.com




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