Position to be reviewed by new law director

Published: Tue, December 31, 2013 @ 12:05 a.m.

By joe gorman



The city’s board of control agreed to retain an attorney who has been helping the city prosecute housing-code violations.

In its last meeting of 2013, the board agreed Monday to keep Robert Rohrbaugh on as an attorney who works with defendants who are violating the city’s housing code.

Outgoing Mayor Charles Sammarone said he talked to incoming Mayor John A. McNally several weeks ago about the position, and it was agreed to have it continue until incoming Law Director Martin Hume can take office and decide whether he wants to keep the position.

When Sammarone took over in 2011, one of his priorities was improving city neighborhoods by enforcing the city’s property code. He said Rohrbaugh has done a good job since he started handling the cases for the city more than a year ago, especially because sometimes the threat of prosecution forces people to repair or demolish their own properties.

The board also voted to award $5,418 in severance pay to Sammarone’s former chief of staff, DeMaine Kitchen, who lost the general election in November to McNally and who also was accused of sexually harassing an employee of city council. He resigned Dec. 2.

He was given 35 percent of his accumulated sick time, which was $2,208, and also pay for just over 90 unused vacation hours, $3,210.

The board also agreed to pay $2,600 to a computer-forensics lab that was used when an investigation of the complaint against Kitchen was done by an outside investigator.

Later, council had a special year-end meeting to recognize its 2013 budget, where Sammarone thanked council members for working with him as mayor. He will be back on council as president in 2014.

Council approved minor changes to the budget to reflect changes during the year, such as if less money or more was spent on a particular budget item. The changes represent about 2 percent of the city’s overall $140 million budget for 2013, said Finance Director Dave Bozanich.

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.