WARREN – Trumbull County Engineer John D. Latell Sr. has hired a third relative to work for the engineering department.
Atty. Kurt Latell of Girard, the engineer’s nephew, takes over the position of Atty. Donald L. Ford Jr., who died in June. Ford was paid $35,000 annually for the part-time position. In addition, Latell said, Ford was provided benefits that included health insurance, retirement and longevity that totaled an additional $20,00 a year.
John Latell said Kurt Latell will be paid $100 an hour on an as-needed basis and $120 hourly for in-court work. He will not receive benefits.
There is no prohibition against an office holder hiring a nephew because the Ohio ethics laws doesn’t consider the uncle-nephew relationship immediate family.
According to the commission, a government official cannot hire a spouse, children and grandchildren. It also includes any other person related by blood or by marriage and living in the same household.
Kurt Latell, 40, is the son John Latell’s brother, Anthony Latell Jr., former state senator from Girard. Kurt is a 1993 graduate of Capital University Law School and is a member of the Girard Civil Service Commission.
Latell said he realizes he will “take a hit” when the hiring of his nephew is made public, but says he doesn’t have a problem because his nephew is part of his extended family rather than immediate family.
“I’m not hiding behind anything,” John Latell asserted. Latell said he thinks “there’s no appearance of impropriety” in his hiring of his nephew.
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