Ex-Rep. Patton reappointed to state board

By David Skolnick



Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, reappointed ex-state Rep. Sylvester D. Patton Jr., a Democrat from Youngstown, to a second six-year term on the state Unemployment Compensation Review Board, a position that paid him $63,643 last year.

“I told the governor I was interested in staying on, and they looked at what I’ve done there,” Patton said. “They made the decision to keep me. They had the choice to get another Democrat or an independent to replace me.”

During his six years on the board, including the past three-plus as chairman, Patton said he led the charge to bring in a director and got rid of people in the office who’d been there for about 35 years and hadn’t changed with the times.

Patton is paid $35.20 an hour to serve on the board that reviews about 300 unemployment compensation appeals a week. Last year he worked about 1,808 hours, and received $63,643 in salary, according to the governor’s office.

“I’d like to get a raise because of the work I’ve done,” said Patton, whose hourly salary hasn’t changed since then-Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat, appointed him to the job in March 2007.

Patton, 64, said he used to spend three days a week in Columbus for the job, but that’s been cut to two days a week in recent years because he and the two other board members can get work done on computers at their home.

“He brings vast experience to the position, and he came highly recommended,” said Rob Nichols, Kasich’s spokesman.

Kasich reappointed Patton on Friday.

When first appointed six years ago, Patton said he was selected because of “my hard work and dedication to the Democratic Party and the Strickland campaign.”

At the time, Patton said the job was No. 3 on his wish list of state positions, behind a seat on the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio board and director of Ohio Department of Transportation’s District 4, which includes Mahoning and Trumbull counties.

Patton, who spent nine years as a state representative, was somewhat concerned he wouldn’t be reappointed so he ran two years ago for the city’s 5th Ward council seat, losing the Democratic primary to incumbent Paul Drennen.

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