Officials to appeal ruling favoring fired jail guard

Two other men were disciplined for the jail matter.
MERCER, Pa. -- County officials are preparing to appeal to common pleas court an arbiter's decision in favor of a fired county jail guard's grievance.
Bill Boyle, the county's director of administrative services, said Wednesday that county officials will meet with Atty. Richard Miller of Pittsburgh to discuss the appeal. Boyle said the arbiter's decision and reasons for it will not be made public at this time.
The grievance was filed by Sgt. Walter Weir Jr., who was fired last June after an incident in which jail guard Wayne Steen accidentally brought tobacco into the jail. Tobacco is considered contraband and forbidden inside the facility.
The tobacco was then stolen by an inmate and Steen reported the theft to Weir. Cells were searched and the tobacco found.
But jail officials considered the report prepared by Weir misleading and also faulted him for failing to follow proper procedures during and after the incident.
Weir filed a grievance through Teamsters Local 250, which represents jail guards.
Other guards
Another guard, Thomas Schaefer, also was fired, and a third guard, Matthew Ray, was suspended 30 days without pay. But both men were probationary employees and could not file grievances because they were not yet union members.
County commissioners plan to hire a sixth sergeant in charge of correctional officers at their meeting today, bringing the jail guard staff up to its full complement of six. Commissioners would not comment Wednesday at their agenda meeting on what will happen if Weir eventually wins his case and is ordered reinstated to his position.

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