Mayor’s sons hired as summer help

Port Clinton city officials say they followed ethics rules
Tom Jackson
Aug 22, 2013
Port Clinton officials say they followed the rules when the city hired three of Mayor Vincent Leone’s sons as temporary summer workers.

Ohio’s Ethics Commission rules say a public official’s family members can work for the same government agency. They also say a public official cannot hire his or her family members for a job.

Leone and Port Clinton safety service director Tracy Colston both said the decisions on hiring for the temporary summer worker program were made by Colston.

A list released by Port Clinton’s auditor, in response to a public records request by the Register, shows that David Leone, Michael Leone and Nicola Leone are among 10 people hired for the program. Leone said he didn’t ask Colston to hire his boys. “You don’t go there. That’s not the thing to do,” Leone said. Colston said the mayor’s children applied like everyone else. Colston said he made the hiring decision, and there was not a big rush of applicants. “I didn’t have 20 people apply for it,” Colston said. “If you wanted a job, you pretty much had it.”

The rules for hiring relatives of public officials are spelled out on the Ohio Ethics Commission’s website. “A public official or employee is absolutely prohibited from hiring his or her family members,” the website states. “The official or employee also cannot use his or her public position in any way to get someone else to hire his or her family members.”

Under an agreement with the city’s union, the city is allowed to hire a few temporary workers each summer for various outdoor maintenance jobs. The union has said it prefers the city hire high school or college-age workers, Colston said.

Usually the city has seven to eight summer workers, although this year the city had enough money for 10, he said. The summer workers earn $10 an hour if they have a driver’s license, and $9 an hour if they don’t.

They work from May 1 to Sept. 1, maintaining baseball fields, mowing the grass in all parks, taking care of cemeteries, going on trash runs, doing brush pickup and helping with the blacktop hot-mix program, Colston said.

Comments

Contango

It ain't "know how," it's "know who."

Wald

If the rules were followed and there weren't many applicants, how is this news? Typical Register trying to make something out of nothing, and with kids, no less.

arnmcrmn

Summer help...doing work that most others wouldn't do.

2cents

“If you wanted a job, you pretty much had it.”

That sums it up for me as long as the offer was posted for the public to know they were hiring. Nepotism occurs in most businesses as well as government. If they are slackers than dump them like anyone else, if they are hard workers, then good for them.

Contango is correct as well, so a little rubbing noses never hurts either, this is one thing my college student said they should have a class on : )

Contango

Re: "they should have a class on."

I taught business people how to network - hence my phrase.

I told 'em, I'll use you. And if you do a good job, I'll let others know.

You do a lousy job...

Basics:

Tell 'em who you are,

What you do,

And how to contact you.

Memorize a three min. (or less) presentation about yourself and your business.

And ALWAYS have plenty of business cards!

reporter54

It might have been on the up and up in this case but I would bet many a buddy or relative was hired elsewhere as a favor to another public official. In PC it's pretty much who ya know whether you get a city or county job or not. I am sure the person has to be qualified but you know everyone gets around the 'rules' in small towns.

richrs

Who cares, at least they are working.

Finn Finn

Inappropriate. These three kids couldn't find jobs on their own?

local observer

If somebody files a complaint with the Ethics Commission, the Mayor has a big problem times three. This is felony! Curious what the Law Director and County Prosecutor think of this? A Public Official can't hire an immediate family member or delegate their hiring to a subordinate employee, like the Safety Service Director.

Mayor Leone is apparently another public official who thinks the rules don't apply to him. Are you going to stand for this Port Clinton?

arnmcrmn

Did you not read........Ohio’s Ethics Commission rules say a public official’s family members can work for the same government agency. They also say a public official cannot hire his or her family members for a job.

Leone and Port Clinton safety service director Tracy Colston both said the decisions on hiring for the temporary summer worker program were made by Colston.

Finn Finn

What else would you expect them to say?

Webster

Sad part of this story was the lack of enough people wanting to work these jobs, "I didn’t have 20 people apply for it,” Colston said. “If you wanted a job, you pretty much had it.” at least the mayor's kids had the ambition to apply, typical Register trying to create a story where it doesn't' exist. Maybe Register employees should have applied, probably under qualified.

Contango

Re: "Register trying to create a story where it doesn't' exist."

Got your point the first time.

It obviously also depends on where and how the positions were advertised.

I ain't begrudging 'em, but I definitely would expect the mayor's kids to be "in the information loop."

Webster

Maybe they did it the Chicago way.

Contango

Re: "Maybe they did it the Chicago way."

You're arguing against yourself.

The Big Dog's back

Did you apply winnie?

Webster

It was sarcasm, don't get your panties in a bunch.

Finn Finn

There were 10 positions filled. Curious why Colston said he didn't have "20" people apply for them. Makes one think there were more than 10 applicants, as high as 19 applicants, yet all three of Leone's kids get hired? As usual with public employees, be vague, don't define, and you'll be just fine.

Lil DAB

and you're not going to get applicants if no one knows the jobs existed. Were they advertised to the public?

Finn Finn

Who knows. This story will die after a few days and they know it. They'll just keep quiet until it all simmers down.

grandmasgirl

It has always been like this. If a human resource person needs to hire someone, and they have someone they know (or know the family), they will almost always get hired before some "nobody". It was like that at Whirlpool for years. It was like that at Ford. It has been like that most of the time. I don't know however, if I would believe that out of all the college kids looking for summer help there were only 20 applications. The only way this could happen is if it was a word of mouth thing.

Webster

So much knowledge, yet they depend on so few facts. So many people who need to get a life.

Pterocarya frax...

Hey Sandusky Register:

If you want to investigate a real ethics violation/nepotism claim, do a public records request on Rick Hodges and his wife. Kasich's turnpike commission director's wife has been hired for one position after another, each with increasing pay.

Or better yet, ask Ohio Inspector General Randy Meyer for the several year overdue Coingate report.