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Council holds closed-door session to discuss discipline of public employee

By Leigh Ann Rutledge
FPS Reporter

Carrollton Council met in executive session for nearly an hour Monday evening to discuss the discipline of a public employee.

Mayor Frank Leghart told the media he was the one who requested the session, but as mayor he cannot make a motion to go into executive session. He told the media he was “on board with all of council,” by letting them know what he wanted to discuss prior to the council meeting.

Council Woman Mary Ann Miller made a motion to go into executive session. In addition to council, she asked Solicitor Clark Battista, Leghart, and Clerk-Treasurer Judi Noble be included in the closed door session. 

When council began to leave chambers for the session, Leghart told members of the public and media, “They can’t take action.  This is for discussion and consideration.” 

When asked if the issue and request for an executive session came out of a committee meeting, Leghart replied, “No,” adding it was at his request and he was allowed to do that.

After returning to session, Leghart was called upon to break a tie vote when council was informed two Carrollton Police officers submitted their resignations.  Kyle Trisnar turned in a brief letter of resignation and a motion was made and approved by council to accept it.  However, Lisa Ellington’s letter stated, “Due to other obligations and a full-time position in the Sheriff’s office I am unable to work the mandatory one day a week shift.”  Ellington noted she had filled in at wrestling and basketball games, prom and extra details when no one else wanted them.  “It has been a pleasure working for the village of Carrollton for the last 19 years and it is with great regret that I need to resign,” she wrote. 

When asked to accept Ellington’s resignation, Miller said, “No, let’s leave her hang and see what happens.” 

Leghart told council he did not want to interfere with her commission with the Sheriff’s Office.  Councilman Andy Gonda made a motion to accept the resignation and a roll call vote was taken.  Councilmen Miller, Chris Barto and Dan Locke voted no and the remaining three members voted yes.  Leghart was asked to break the tie and voted to accept the resignation but said he would talk with Ellington’s husband (who is an employee of the Carrollton Police Department) about the issue.

Trisnar and Ellington are the second and third part-time police officers to resign recently.  At the Oct. 25 council meeting, Leghart told council he received a verbal resignation from James McConnell of Dennison, whom Leghart had hired Aug. 13.

Earlier this year, the mayor included a stipulation in work duties for part-time officers that they must work one shirt per week. 

Council approved Leghart’s request to hire two part-time officers to replace those who resigned. 

Leghart asked for permission to hire two auxiliary officers on an “as needed” basis.  Battista recommended emergency legislation be drafted to create the position before hiring anyone.  Council directed Battista to draw up the legislation.  It was noted that at a previous meeting, it was decided auxiliary officers would be paid the same rate of pay as part-time officers.  The work schedule for officers of the Carrollton Police Department is created by Leghart. 

In other business, council:
-CLARIFIED the area to be painted yellow and designated as a “no parking zone” at the intersection of N. High and 5th Streets.  The west side of N. High St. from 5th St. to the first driveway will be the designated area.

-AGREED the definition of “residence or domicile” stipulate anyone residing in the village for 30 consecutive days will be considered a village resident and required to pay village income tax.

-VOTED to cover parking meters to allow free parking during the holiday season ending Jan. 1, 2013.  The two-hour parking limit is still in effect for the parking places on Public Square.

-SET a late filing fee of $25 for anyone filing village income tax late or refusing to file by April 15 or the date noted by the Federal Government.  Tax extensions through the government apply to village income tax filing dates.

-HEARD monthly reports from department superintendents.

-GRANTED a request from Sue Henderson for a donation for the Carrollton Friendship Center.  Council voted to donate $1,500.

-SCHEDULED a Zoning Board meeting for Dec. 5 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss a variance for the Alan Walter property near 12th St. and the Julie Shuman property on 3rd St.

-SET a Street and Alley Committee meeting for Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. to discuss paving.

-HEARD Denny Roudebush, village administrator, thank all involved in decorating the village for the holiday season.

-PAID bills totaling $205,112.73 for vendors and $36,788.37 for payroll.
-SCHEDULED the next council meeting for Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. in council chambers.

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