WILMINGTON — A travel request was put on hold Wednesday until county commissioners get a clearer picture of the reasons for sending a coroner’s office staffer to a seminar.
Clinton County commissioners did not act at Monday’s session on a coroner’s office request to authorize the trip, which has estimated expenses of $1,500 for lodging, mileage, registration and meals. Clerk of Commissioners Diana L. Groves was asked Monday to gather some information and report back Wednesday what she learned.
Groves said she spoke to the coroner’s office administrator who would attend the three-day seminar. On Wednesday, Groves reported to commissioners she was told the class is for educational purposes, and that the coroner’s administrator would be used as a backup investigator if Clinton County Coroner Investigator Gary Garrison is not available or would suddenly decide to retire.
Clinton County Administrator Mary Ann Foland said she wonders whether a three-day seminar would fully qualify the coroner’s office administrative assistant to serve as a backup coroner investigator.
The fee for the three-day course is $200.
On Wednesday, Clinton County Commissioner President Mike Curry said, “I’m not comfortable with this size of a travel expense for somebody that’s just going to be trained, and we know nothing about what’s being planned, and what Gary’s [Investigator Garrison’s] plans are.”
Clinton County Commissioner Patrick Haley responded to hearing that the coroner’s staffer who would go to the seminar currently has a job function of clerical support.
“So it’s clerical support? This [backup coroner investigator] is totally outside that realm, and I’m not comfortable with that either.”
Curry asked Foland to speak with Clinton County Coroner Ronald Seaman, M.D., in an attempt to clarify the matter so the travel request can be presented to the commissioners for a decision.
Among the business commissioners conducted Wednesday:
• Designated Clinton County Commissioner Kerry R. Steed as the Board of Clinton County Commissioners’ official representative for the County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO) membership meetings in 2016. The alternate is Haley.
• Authorized the clerk to advertise four times, as required, for the sale of a Dwiggins Road communications tower owned by the county but no longer needed. The opening of sealed bids for the tower will be held 10 a.m. Aug. 24 in the commissioners office on the second floor of the courthouse.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.