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Commissioners Hire Jacob Roberts as New Clarion County Public Defender

Wednesday, February 26, 2020 @ 12:02 AM

Posted by Ron Wilshire

5ED64E7A-8208-430E-813A-4E13F90A1745_1_201_aCLARION, Pa. (EYT) – Clarion County Commissioners Wayne Brosius, Ted Tharan, and Ed Heasley on Tuesday morning hired Jacob Roberts to fill the vacant position of Clarion Public Defender.

Roberts previously served as an assistant public defender in Allegheny County and replaces Erich Spessard who was hired as assistant District Attorney in January.

Spessard also served as an assistant public defender in Allegheny County before working as Clarion County Public Defender.

Roberts will receive a salary of $70,000.00, effective March 9.

Commissioners also hired Heather A. Deloe for assistant public defender effective February 25 at a cost of $36,000.00 per year, along with a $500.00 reimbursement for expenses related to continuing legal education.

Three separate requests for hotel tax projects were approved based on recommendations from the hotel tax committee.

Projects approved include:

  • Once Upon a Christmas in Sligo, $2000.00 for advertising.
  • Clarion County United Way Annual Bluegrass event, $4,335.00 for expanding the festival and bringing the bands into the downtown area.
  • Purchase of Tribune Live media ads, 30 days and a run 250,000 times/impressions for $999.00 on the Trib web page.

A consent agreement on behalf of public safety with JH consulting, LLC for commodity flow study at a cost of $10,000.00 to be reimbursed by the state. The term of the contract is February 3 to October 1.

The flow study looks at what types of substances are transported through Clarion County, including I-80, according to Denny Logue, deputy director of public safety.

A contract on behalf of CYS with CONCERN Professional Services for foster care services was approved at a cost of $24.68 to $212.97 per day, with a County match of 20 percent and a term of January 1 to June 30.

A contract with the EADS group was approved for engineering and technical consulting services associated with the Grand Avenue DCED multi-modal grid at a cost of $100,000.00. The grant includes the rehabilitation of the road, sidewalks, and lighting Related to the Miles Brothers Glassworks Business Park project on the site of the former Owens-Illinois Glass Plant. Completion is estimated in 2022.

Several individuals were hired, but Ted Tharan noted that all such hires should first go through human resources. Tim Cochran confirmed that none of the Corrections personnel were reviewed first by HR.

Personnel actions approved by the commissioners included the following:

  • Corrections. Richard Shimp to fill the vacant position of part-time corrections officer a salary of $12.00 per hour, effective February 26.
  • Resignation of Kaitlin Nichols (Corrections) effective March, Lauren Elder (GIS) effective February 28, and Denise Stephanie (CYS) effective February 12.
  • Public Safety, 9-1-1. Shelby Collett to move from full-time to part-time effective February 27 at no more than 29 hours per week at a salary of $13.59 per hour.
  • Public Safety, 9-1-1. Shane Smerkar to receive a 2.5 percent salary increase after successfully completing his probationary period as a supervisor at a salary of $17.32 per hour effective February 20.

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