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Finance-director dispute impacting city paychecks



Published: Fri, April 16, 2010 @ 12:04 a.m.

By Jeanne Starmack

starmack@vindy.com

CAMPBELL

Today is supposed to be payday for city employees, but the mayor has blocked the signing of paychecks by the city’s finance director, whom he suspended.

It’s unclear when employees will get paid. Mayor George Krinos said Thursday they can be paid tonight if city council agrees to appoint who he wants as finance director at a special meeting at 7:30 p.m. at the city building.

He wants to appoint Stephen O’Dea, who was the city’s finance director in the 1980s and early 1990s.

The Vindicator asked city Administrator Lew Jackson on Thursday how O’Dea could sign checks Friday if his signature isn’t yet cleared by the city’s bank.

Jackson acknowledged that could be a problem. “I don’t look for anything to happen before Monday,” he said.

But a short time later, Krinos told The Vindicator that he has “made arrangements with the bank” that if O’Dea is approved, he will have the ability to sign checks. He said the checks will be signed after the special meeting. “It’ll be handled internally.”

If council doesn’t approve the appointment of O’Dea, it isn’t clear what steps will be taken to ensure employees are paid. Council has resisted appointing a new finance director, supporting Miles through repeated efforts by Krinos to oust him.

Krinos has maintained that he has the right to appoint whomever he wants as finance director, and he doesn’t want to work with Miles.

Council has the final say over the appointment, according to the city’s charter.

Council woman Juanita Rich, who is acting president, said she doesn’t believe O’Dea is qualified. “I don’t believe he’s up to date with all the processes,” she said. “Things have changed since the ’80s.”

She said she doesn’t know what will happen with the checks if there is a stalemate. “He [Krinos] needs to come to his senses and do the right thing.”

Krinos put Miles on unpaid leave after an April 7 council meeting got out of control, and police saw Miles arguing with O’Dea. He was restrained by an officer then left the meeting room, but the situation didn’t end there.

Police pursued charges against Miles, which Law Director Mark Kolmacic decided by Tuesday he would not authorize.

Kolmacic also told Krinos that his April 8 appointment of O’Dea as assistant finance director was void because Krinos didn’t consult with council before making the appointment.

Even if O’Dea could be an assistant, Krinos acknowledged at a council caucus meeting Wednesday, only a finance director can sign the checks.

Kolmacic recommended that Krinos and council appoint a finance director at the caucus meeting, but that did not happen.

“I’m not going to go through this process this evening,” Krinos said, adding that they could call a special meeting Friday and not miss payday.

But council wasn’t sure there was time to advertise for a special meeting. Members took a recess and called Kolmacic, who said there is nothing illegal about Miles’ signing checks. He agreed to do so on his own time, and the matter appeared to be settled.

But Thursday morning, Krinos said he’d only agreed to allow Miles to sign the checks if that didn’t interfere with Miles’ suspension.

He said he contacted an attorney after the meeting, which he paid for himself, and that attorney told him that a suspended employee should not perform any of his daily activities. Krinos would not tell The Vindicator the name of his attorney, saying that he is from Columbus and his legal expertise is in “municipalities.”

Jackson said employees were told about the situation at a meeting Thursday morning.

Rich said she thought everyone was in agreement to let Miles sign the checks, and it was “a resolution to a bad situation.”

“When I heard this today, I thought, ‘you’ve got to be kidding,’” she said.


Comments

144girl(14 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

And Krinos continues....until he gets his way.

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2jimc51(58 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

I agree with Juanita Rich: "you've got to be kidding"

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3Ctown(115 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Is there any way to impeach this mayor or do we have to wait 20 more months to send him on his way? Do you really believe that he paid for an attorney out of his own funds to get advice on this issue? What funds?......just ask the caterer or any of the other entities/people who he owes money to.

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4mrblue(965 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

City council and the Mayor are setting a perfect example on how Not to run a city. They are never going to work together because of their massive egos. Everyone has a personal agenda and it is not the welfare of the city. Just look around. Slums in each ward, pot holes that will swallow your car, and the list goes on. This was once a very proud city. The entire city administration needs to go.

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5kornersburgkid(57 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

The mayor sounds like he is qualified for the funny farm

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6jimc51(58 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

I hope he paid that attorney by cash :)
this guy went in like gangbusters..he should have tried to work with the present council..he has an agenda, in my opinion. He's spending more time fighting than he is running this city..get him out!

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7theword(342 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

I agree w/ ctown no way did he pay for an attorney with his own money.

Isn't it interesting that the mayor's secretary is the police chief's wife and that the police pursued charges against miles but the prosecutor declined to charge him.

wonder if the police chief is using his office for political gain?

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8jimc51(58 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

so if the city workers don't get paid, who will they blame?

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9havinmysay(155 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

There should be some back up plan for issuing paychecks. Very poorly run town, it sounds like.

(Vindy.com there should be no hyphen in Finance Director.)

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10mrblue(965 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

How does Mrs. Rich know that Mr. O"Dea has not kept up with the changes in the law?? Did she ask him or just assume? Her man is Mr. Miles and that is all there is to it. This latest squabble reminds me of children fighting and saying that if I don't get my way, I will take my ball and go home.This whole situation is making Campbell the laughing stock of the valley.

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11jimc51(58 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

and how does Mr. Krinos know Mr. Miles can't do the job? Give the guy a chance..i gave krinos a chance and now i'm done with him and his politics as usual way.

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12Ctown(115 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

C'mon Mayor, let Miles sign the checks so that the people can be paid prior to the weekend. Better yet, why not just resign and have another mayorial election.

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13moretosay(2 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

What's making Campblell a laughing stock is the fact we have a Mayor who will stoop to anything to get his way including the attempted Blackmailing of City Council to appoint O'dea or the workers don't get paid & puts the spin on it blaming Council for his actions. Looks like he doesn't get along with Council & doesn't take the advise of the Law Directror, the one he should be listening to not some unnamed Columbus attorney. Like Juanita Rich said, let's hope he comes to his senses, but that appears highly unlikely considering his Trackrecord thus far. Your now playing with peoples Lives to get your way Mr. Krinos!

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14theword(342 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

The employees deserive this, they are the ones that are backing Krinos.

Keep drinking the kool-aid it will be over very soon!!!!

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15Ctown(115 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Does anybody know if the payroll checks were signed today before the workers left for the weekend?

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16tangotred(3 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Like george or not, he had the stupid Sherman pegged right did he not??
Amen

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