Missing tractor could result in serious repercussions for city employee

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By Natasha LaFayette



Allegations about a missing tractor were brought before the LaFollette City Council on Tuesday night.

“Normally we don’t discuss personnel problems out in the public for fear of violating the employee’s right of privacy,” said City Administrator David Young. “In this case since it has become known on the street, I am going to tell you what I have done to rectify the situation.”

Last week, Mayor Mike Stanfield was made aware of a mower, registered to the city, being used on private property since last summer.

After the issue was addressed at the city council’s workshop last week, Young started an investigation into the allegations.

According to Stanfield there were pictures, which showed the tractor being stored in the equipment storage building at the LaFollette Housing Authority.

“This factor was not disputed,” said Young.

Young said he addressed the issue with the Director of the Housing Authority John Snodderly, who also conducted an investigation at his agency.

“After comparing the facts we made a determination that the mower had in fact been stored at the home garage of one of the LHA employees,” said Young. “The mower had been used all summer by both the individuals.”

As soon as Young discovered the whereabouts of the mower, he instructed the employee and department head to retrieve the mower and place it on city property, he said.

“I have reprimanded and disciplined the city employee and made it clear that any more such violations would mean that I would recommend termination of his city employment,” said Young.

Young further stated the employee had been suspended for three days without pay and will be closely scrutinized in the future.

While Young considers the investigation into the tractor and the personnel aspect of the allegations to be closed, Stanfield stated further action might still take place by the city.

“I have a meeting with Mr. Snodderly and he is doing a lengthy investigation of this matter under his housing authority,” said Stanfield. “This is more than a smack on the hand. This is taxpayers’ property that’s been abused.”

Young reiterated the investigation aspect of the incident has been closed and based on his authority he has completed the personnel requirements for violations.

“If anything further than just a personnel matter that directly involved a violation of the personnel policy that would have to be handled by someone in the law enforcement agency,” said Young.