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Huron Co. mechanic suspended for 15 days

Scott Seitz • Dec 16, 2013 at 11:12 PM

Huron County mechanic Lon Burton will return to work next week after being suspended for 15 working days without pay.

According to Burton’s personnel file, he has committed six “group offenses” while being employed for the county. These offenses involve the neglect of work, contributing to unsafe or unsanitary conditions and the willful disregard of county policies.

Burton is an employee of the county commissioners, with Commissioner Joe Hintz being his direct supervisor or contact to the board.

Burton’s suspension was due to an incident which took place Oct. 22.

The mechanic was given the task of preparing a 2003 Chevrolet pickup truck for road readiness. The vehicle was used by the transfer station/recycling center.

Burton’s disciplinary report notes he didn’t grease the ball joints, tie rods or U-joints on the truck.

The tail light, front marker light and license plate lights were also out and not repaired.

The windshield wipers were left worn and torn and the washer fluid was empty.

The battery terminals were not clean and the tire pressure was low.

The oil filter was also not “secured,” the report stated.

Burton’s suspension was set for Nov. 25 to Dec. 16.

The mechanic was also given a verbal warning on Oct. 5, 2012 for “not working on sheriff’s office vehicles.”

These 15 suspended days cost Burton $2,355 in wages, at an hourly rate of $19.63, according to the auditor’s office.

As part of the suspension, Burton was required to surrender his office and garage keys for the duration of his time off.

In December 2012, Burton was placed on administrative leave by the commissioners after being stopped for DUI by the Highway Patrol near Cambridge.

The commissioners could not legally say much about Burton’s  current suspension.

“The board acted according to the county’s personnel policy manual,” Commissioner Tom Dunlap said.

Dunlap said during Burton’s suspension, department heads and office holders were instructed to “contract out” vehicle work to the garage of their choice, which cost the county money.

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