For Sandusky supervisor it's one strike, you're out

Matt Westerhold
Feb 13, 2013

Scott Miller, the city worker fired by city manager Nicole Ard for alleged "dishonesty" after 21 years with the city with an unblemished record, thinks he got a raw deal.

He did, in my opinion.

The city manager, who has been on job for about 14 months and has apparently failed to achieve every job goal she was assigned, took this small mistake and blew it up way out of proportion.

Scott Miller has a record as a good employee that spans more than two decades. He's the employee who turned in another city worker who was stealing gas from the city for his personal vehicle. Miller did not turn a blind eye to that incident. 

Ard would better serve the city if she'd focus on her own job goals and try to keep things in perspective. The city's anticipated $500,000 deficit budget for this year seems to be a much higher priority  than documenting a mistake that cost the city less than $900. And city commissioners would better serve the city by holding her to those worthy goals.

Remember how self-righteous city manager Matt Kline was when he fired former Sandusky police chief Kim Nuesse for her "alleged dishonesty." In Register editorials and in this blog/column, we suggested from the very beginning that Kline was not providing an accurate description of his motives and of what had occurred to prompt him to fire Nuesse. It took city commissioners a year or more, however, before they saw the serious flaws in Kline's performance and fired him by a unanimous vote.

Of course taxpayers spent upwards of $1 million to defend Kline's actions before they fired him.

This situation is much different than that debacle, but does anyone have Judge Joseph Cirigliano's phone number? 



How do you know who knows what? I believe the Law director was informed. I haven't read the report since this morning, but I believe he was informed of what was going on. It isn't as if this was a one time thing. And it isn't over ONE load of sand either. It goes much deeper. There are taped depositions from people who had given bids he changed, paperwork he falsified and other things he did. How many other times has he done this so his brother's business could get the work? How many times did he falsify records and have someone else sign for it? You just do not do things like that to hide it. You call that a fine upstanding person? I don't. He may be a nice guy. But when it comes to his job, he cut corners, lied to his superiors and gave his brother work, when in fact, that work should have gone to people in this town, not from VERMILION. He broke rules he full well knew he needed to follow. He wasn't stupid, he just broke them. He was asked one simple question. Did you ever notify the City of Sandusky that this was your brother's company so they could put it in your personnel file? He said no. That would have made everything ok. He CHOSE to hide that one simple fact. Why is that?

If you go to work and break rules, lie, disrespect your boss, circumvent what you were told to do and simply ignore the chance you are given to make it right, what do YOU think is going to happen to you? A second chance? Heck no, you get fired. They walk you out the door.

In this day and age there are 20 people waiting for every one working. No boss cares how long you worked there or what you THINK you did. They care if you do your job, follow the rules and are honest and upstanding and don't screw up. I don't know what job you do, but I do know that now, with work being what it is NO ONE can afford the luxury of being a smart mouth, a screw up or a know it all when it comes to work. And Heaven forbid if you are sneaky, underhanded or a rule breaker. Because the first time you get caught is the last day you work. Most employers have a zero tolerance for that kind of employee. Those days are over for good.

Sorry, but it is what it is. This man may be the salt of the earth in every way possible. But this one thing just cost him his job.

Frankly, I am surprised that Ms Ard isn't firing the other guy right along with him. He deserves to go as well. He signed his name and I am wondering if that was allowed or not?

fanatic's picture

Very well said, wiredmama222.




Ethics doesn't get a second chance, ethics is serious business. Had Ard given a second chance, it would have been sending a bad signal to the rest of the employees. Have the taxpayers gotten so complacent about ethics? Our society just cannot tell the difference anymore between what is right and what is wrong. Ard is in charge and I am sure firing an employee is a difficult of which no one wants to do but it is part of the job and the city always must weigh the legality of it all becuase no one wants to get sued.


Exactly....well said


Based on my experience in the private sector with employee conduct, or rather, misconduct, and again, this is just my opinion based on my experiences over the past 25+ years, Mr. Miller would have been given a written warning. There's plenty of "red flag" issues in the written documentation .pdf files. One in particular is the 'Conclusion/Opinion' section written by Sgt. Dana Newell,
"Mr. Miller knew that doing these acts were not proper, and by doing these acts, Scott Miller was trying, for some reason, to deceive the city of Sandusky." is only fact if somewhere in the report Sgt. Newell it reads that Mr. Miller was asked if he knew performing the acts was not proper, and that Mr. Miller answered in the affirmative that he did indeed know it was not proper. But I didn't read that in Sgt. Newell's report. And Sgt. Newell stating Mr. Miller "...was trying for some reason, to deceive..." is pure speculation, opinion and personal bias on the part of Sgt. Newell.

There is much information in the investigation, and unless I somehow missed it, I did not read anywhere in the report that Mr. Miller agreed-to or admitted knowingly or willingly violating city policy. This doesn't mean I agree with what Mr. Miller did. Everything points to him violating 'conflict of interest' by awarding a city service to a family member, but the investigation is fraught with errors.