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Cavanagh: You snooze, you lose -- your job

| Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2003

A Fayette County custodian allegedly was caught sleeping on the job for a second time, prompting Commissioner Sean Cavanagh to call for the unnamed employee's dismissal Tuesday.

When Commissioner Vincent Vicites objected to discussing the alleged offense in public, Cavanagh objected.

"What is this, three sleeps and you're out• When you start work at 3:30 (p.m.) and you're asleep at 4:10 (p.m.), there's a problem there. If somebody wants to sleep on the job then sue me (for discussing it publicly), then let them sue me," Cavanagh said.

Vicites said he would move to discipline the individual but didn't want to discuss it in public.

Commissioner Ronald Nehls agreed. "We have the option to discuss that back at the office, and that's what I'd rather do," he said.

In another matter, Cavanagh accused Vicites of improperly asking the county's architect to wait to advertise for bids for construction of a new $3 million building for the Fayette County Mental Health/Mental Retardation offices until after the election.

Both Vicites and architect Michael Molnar said this was not the case.

"I have nothing to say about that," Vicites said.

Cavanagh said it is wrong to delay construction of a needed office building, which he claimed is an attempt to interest more potential campaign donors.

"This project is missing valuable construction time," he said.

The commissioners also awarded a $315,000 contract for earth moving -- the first phase of construction on the county's $3 million Fayette Area Coordinated Transport bus garage and maintenance center next to the Connellsville Airport.

Director Michelle G. Shumar said the center is expected to open next fall.

In a split vote, the commissioners hired a former custodial worker to be the county's first records archivist.

The new employee was hired 15 months after interviewing for the position, which Vicites said was problematic.

"I have nothing against the individual; I just think this will result in a grievance," he said.

But Cavanagh and Nehls combined to outvote Vicites.

The new person currently is assisting Register of Wills Donald Redman with office duties.

Though the records committee, made up of row officers, has ordered shelving and other equipment, it has not been delivered because the commissioners have yet to approve the use of the basement of the old Uniontown Federal Building for the archives.

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