Port Clinton bosses linked to missing scrap metal

PORT CLINTON Two Port Clinton administrators placed on unpaid leave Tuesday have been connected to a
JACOB LAMMERS
May 24, 2010

 

PORT CLINTON

Two Port Clinton administrators placed on unpaid leave Tuesday have been connected to an investigation into missing scrap metal.

City officials were at first mum on why Safety-Service Director Rich Babcock and Service Department Supervisor Kenneth Heschel were placed on leave, but some details were revealed Thursday.

"The investigation is centered on the scrap metal issue, and the two people put on administrative leave are part of the investigation," Councilman Glenn Chapman said.

The missing scrap metal is from the old Water Works building, a facility owned by the city, Chapman said.

"I've heard workers say there was a lot of copper and brass there," Chapman said.

Mayor Tom Brown also confirmed a connection between the two administrators being placed on leave and the investigation into the missing scrap metal.

Brown said former Auditor Nancy O'Neal consulted with Law Director George Wilber on June 28 concerning receipts for recycling scrap metal.

Marshall & Melhorn, LLC, a Toledo law firm, headed up the investigation on behalf of the city around mid-July. Roman Arce, the lead investigator, started interviewing city employees last week to gather more information for the investigation. Brown said about seven employees have been interviewed.

Brown said the city is paying Arce $175 an hour, which could amount to $5,000-$10,000 when the investigation is complete.

"Inevitably, it's going to come from the taxpayers," Brown said, regarding the money paid for the investigation.

Chapman said the city usually goes through Burns Iron and Metal Co., Fremont, to recycle metal. The company's manager, Rich Farmer, could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Brown said the investigation wrapped up Wednesday and a report will be ready sometime next week.