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City of Ironton investigating worker conduct

The future of two Ironton union employees remains in limbo.

Ironton city leaders confirmed Monday that two employees, both members of the AFSCME union,

are under investigation for misconduct regarding separate policy and perhaps criminal violations.

Mayor John Elam confirmed that one city worker is being investigated for "theft of city resources" and one is being investigated for "misuse of city equipment" and has been suspended for five days, though it may last longer pending a final decision after the investigation is completed.

Elam declined to identify either employee pending the outcome of the investigation.

"There is an administrative investigation," Elam said. "Once the investigation is completed, proper disciplinary action will be taken. … We're not ignoring complaints we receive. I don't like what has happened but it does happen and we are addressing it."

Elam said the disciplinary review process should be completed by Friday afternoon. He said reports that the city worker accused of theft had been already fired were untrue. The police department is also involved in the

investigation on at a least one of the cases, authorities said late last week.

The mayor declined to speak about specifics until the cases have been fully reviewed, but sources close to the investigations reported that a city worker took a city-owned "hole hog," a piece of equipment used to drill holes in the ground, for his personal use and then damaged the equipment trying to drill a hole under the Norfolk & Southern railroad tracks in the former Ironton Coal property.

The city purchased a "hole hog" a few years ago for approximately $5,000 dollars.

The city worker accused of stealing city resources allegedly used the city's gasoline account to fill up his private vehicle.

That employee is also alleged to have stolen other pieces of municipal equipment.