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Hubbard appeals over police chief's pay



Published: Fri, January 21, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The chief and the safety director have been at odds over work hours.

WARREN -- The city of Hubbard has gone to court against its civil service commission and Police Chief Martin Kanetsky.

At issue is the commission's Dec. 28 decision ordering the city to reimburse the chief for 20 hours of compensation.

The money had been withheld by the city as a result of the chief's "improper and unapproved use of vacation leave," the suit states.

The city wants the commission's action to be overturned.

The appeal was filed Friday in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court and assigned to Judge W. Wyatt McKay.

The city contends that the civil service commission doesn't have the jurisdiction to hear and determine Kanetsky's Nov. 29 appeal of the city's withholding of 20 hours of compensation. A dollar amount of the compensation wasn't noted.

Background

Kanetsky was a veteran police sergeant until he was named chief March 15, 2003, by then-Mayor George Praznik. He received a pay increase from $39,158 to $49,500 a year after threatening to resign.

According to an exhibit attached to the suit, the chief had appealed Safety Director William Jugenheimer's Nov. 22, 2004, letter taking 20 hours of wages from his salary.

The chief submitted to the commission documents supporting his position that he should be allowed to set and regulate manpower hours within the police department, including his own, without loss of pay or undue harassment.

Law Director Gary Gilmartin advised at the time that this matter was not for the commission to decide, but rather an appeals court. Gilmartin said then he believed Jugenheimer's action was not disciplinary and not a reduction in the rate or total of the chief's pay.

After an executive session, the commission unanimously reimbursed Kanetsky the 20 hours of pay. Commission members are Jack Berlin, chairman; James Hanrahan and John Nittoli.

The city says the commission's decision was unreasonable and not supported by the evidence.

Disagreement

The chief and the safety director have been at odds over work hours.

Last August, Kanetsky appealed to the commission a three-day suspension without pay handed him by Mayor Arthur U. Magee. The suspension was for insubordination by Kanetsky toward Jugenheimer.

The suspension stemmed from a shouting match Kanetsky had with Jugenheimer, the mayor said at the time.

The problem began when Kanetsky was being paid $20 hourly by contractors working on the downtown sidewalk and resurfacing projects. Magee and Jugenheimer questioned the practice because Kanetsky is a supervisor working for the city and is always on duty.

The chief maintained that he should be able to work extra jobs because it doesn't matter when he performs his administrative duties as chief.




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