Struthers council honors athletes, addresses harassment
By Graig Graziosi
Struthers City Council convened Wednesday evening to honor award-winning student athletes, announce the reassignment of the fire chief and address a harassment complaint made by Clerk of Council Megan Shorthouse against Councilman-at-large Michael Patrick.
City Law Director John Zomoida was made aware of the complaint last week and advised the lawmakers that they should launch an internal investigation into the allegations. He also suggested developing policies and procedures for dealing with similar situations in the future.
Zomoida provided a letter to council detailing his opinion on the matter.
“However, because federal and state law protects employees from a hostile/harassing work environment, the City and Council, specifically, has a responsibility to investigate the complaint, and if it finds that Councilman Patrick acted in contravention of federal, state and/or local laws, policies and procedures, to impose the appropriate sanctions against him, which very well may only be censure,” Zomoida said in the letter.
Second Ward Councilman Ronald Carcelli asked Zomoida to begin drafting policies addressing harassment for adoption into the city’s laws.
In other business, the lawmakers honored award-winning athletes from Struthers basketball and bowling teams. The annual student athlete recognition ceremony was started by Council President Henry Franceschelli.
Girls high-school basketball players Alexis Bury, Khaylah Brown, Michelle Buser and Trinity McDowell were recognized, as were boys team members Ryan Leonard and Carson Ryan. Girls bowling team member Elizabeth Dragus and boys team member Jared Medvec were honored, as were outgoing high-school girls basketball coach John Gand, high-school boys basketball coach Jimmy Franceschelli and high-school bowling coach Bob Eisenbraun.
Mayor Terry Stocker also announced the appointment of fire engineer William Simcox to serve as acting fire chief beginning today because Chief Gary Mudryk has chosen to step away from his role as chief to return to his former position as fire engineer. Simcox will serve as chief until the city can conduct a promotional exam and make a permanent appointment.