Attorney for Trumbull engineer asks for end to probe

Staff report


Atty. Matt Blair, who represents Trumbull County Engineer Randy Smith, asked the Trumbull County Planning Commission Tuesday to end an investigation into the controversies involving Smith and Planning Commission Executive Director Trish Nuskievicz.

Blair said Smith answered questions for 12 hours posed by an attorney hired by the county commissioners, and the investigation has lasted six months.

“I’ve never seen an investigation this long,” Blair said, adding that he thinks it’s time to “put this behind us.”

Nuskievicz went on sick leave in July and has remained off since then except one week in October and blamed her illness on psychological abuse, bullying, retaliation, discrimination and harassment from Smith “and his associates.”

Members of the planning commission did not respond to the remarks.

Meanwhile the planning commission received a recommendation from Nick Coggins, acting planning commission director, that the commission hire MS Consultants of Youngstown for up to $4,500 per month to handle zoning and plats duties until the commission can hire its own employee to fill a vacancy. Plats involves combining or subdividing pieces of land and recording it on maps.

Coggins said he recommended MS Consultants over CT Consultants of Mentor because CT’s price would be higher – up to $5,200 per month. Thomas Fok & Associates did not offer an “up to” price, but it worked out to more than $5,200 per month, Coggins said.

Planning commission member Darlene St. George, who is Howland Township administrator, asked to see written proposals, and a decision on who to hire will be delayed until next month’s meeting, chairman Bob Marino said.

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