Judge: Suspension of finance director by Krinos illegal

Staff report


A recent ruling by Judge Lou A. D’Apolito of Mahoning Common Pleas Court confirmed Sherman Miles as the “duly appointed” director of finance in the city.

“It’s good news for the city of Campbell and Ohio Revised Code,” Miles said of the decision.

The case stems from an attempt by former Mayor George Krinos to suspend the finance director without pay after a shouting match at a council meeting in April 2010. Krinos alleged Miles displayed behavior unbecoming to a public official when he got into an argument with Stephen O’Dea. Krinos had announced in the meeting that he was appointing O’Dea, a former finance director, to the post of assistant finance director.

Both sides agreed to submit briefs to the court to resolve the issue.

Krinos, who resigned in January, also tried to fire Miles from his position Nov. 30, 2009. Judge D’Apolito noted that Miles had been appointed to the position on Oct. 7, 2009, and his appointment was approved by city council as required by the city charter.

In his ruling, Judge D’Apolito wrote that under the charter, the mayor cannot remove a finance director unless a successor is approved by a majority of council, which means three votes. “The mayor’s purported action was illegal and legally void,” Judge D’Apolito wrote.

Council, which did not want to replace Miles, never voted on the matter. “City council did not want me removed,” Miles said.

Along the same line, Judge D’Apolito wrote that an assistant finance director could not be appointed because city council had not authorized it. Judge D’Apolitio again cited the city charter, which states that city council must approve any assistant positions.

Judge D’Apolito’s ruling also noted that city council “in no way joined or endorsed the illegal attempt of former mayor Krinos to ‘suspend’ plaintiff Sherman J. Miles,” and he also said that the mayor “improperly deprived city council of its legal right and ability to receive much-needed financial information and advice to which council members are entitled” under the city charter.

Mayor William VanSuch is filling the unexpired term of Krinos.

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