Second city worker suspended Friday

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 29, 2005

A second Ironton city worker has been suspended indefinitely without pay

for alleged misbehavior but the employee says he is being singled out for following orders.

Todd Davis, a 15-year employee now in the flood department and former American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 771 president, is accused of theft for putting gas in his personnel vehicle and charging it to the city.

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Mayor John Elam declined to identify Davis but said the employee waived his right to the hearing and was notified of the suspension. Elam

also did not specify the length of the suspension, though when contacted at home Davis said he had been notified of a 5-day suspension.

Elam said other action may be taken against the employee in the future.

The employee is represented by the AFSCME and could opt to fire his own volley in the dispute.

"The union has the right to file a grievance if they are not in agreement with the disciplinary action," Elam said.

Davis said he intends to file a grievance and sees the entire situation differently, in what he called unfair treatment since he is being singled out for something that many employees are instructed to do.

"It has always been the general policy that if you use your personal vehicle while working for the city that you can fill it up with city gas," said Davis, who contends that he drives his own truck because the 1985 flood truck doesn't run. "For years I have had to use my vehicle because they won't buy us trucks."

Conflicting with the mayor's opinion, Davis said he did not waive his hearing, and in fact, waited two hours but was not given the opportunity to present witnesses.

"Not one time has the mayor come to me and asked me about this," Davis said. "… I intend to fight this every step of the way.

I am not going to let them ruin my reputation and good name with these lies and accusations."

Davis believes his outspokenness in defending the union may be behind the matter.

"All this boils down to the fact that I have stood my ground for the union," Davis said. "(The city) can't beat me so they are going to try and fire me."

Another city employee and former AFSCME president Joe Johnson was suspended Monday for alleged misuse and damage of city equipment.

Johnson allegedly took a hole hog, a device used to drill large holes, for his personal use and damaged it trying to drill a hole under railroad tracks.

Johnson has been suspended for 5 days and must pay for the equipment. Additional action may be taken, Elam said last week.

Attempts to contact Johnson were unsuccessful.