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Odessa fires Jaynes over conduct

ODESSA—Timothy Jaynes was released from his position of public works superintendent, Monday, Oct. 5, at a special Odessa village board meeting.
Odessa Mayor Keith Pierce said the process has been going on for a year and a half now. He said Jaynes was suspended July 23 for what was supposed to be 30 days. He explained that Jaynes was brought back on the books to take care of a couple of things. Pierce said Jaynes was let go because nine of 27 charges were found true by Robert J. Halpin, hearing officer. According to Halpin’s findings, those charges of “incompetence and/or misconduct” were proved at two hearings, Aug. 14 and 28.
The nine charges are:
• Failure to provide information regarding a trench box to the board as requested.
• Insubordinate comments to a board member at a public meeting.
• Failure to submit mileage logs as requested in October 2008 and November 2008.
• Purchasing tires in violation of the village’s procurement policy.
• Failure to follow instructions regarding placement of sandbags for water diversion.
• Using a village truck to pull out a private vehicle, and allowing a private citizen to use the village-issued cell phone.
• Mowing around the municipal building on a Friday, contrary to instructions.
• Submitting a time sheet with two hours of unauthorized overtime.
• Removing fire department flags from the flag pole without authorization.
According to Halpin’s report from the hearings, the nine proven charges were based on evidence and Jaynes’s own admissions. Pierce said it was Halpin’s recommendation for further disciplinary action, but not dismissal. However, he added Halpin said the village was within its legal rights to fire Jaynes. Halpin’s report stated that individually, the charges warranted no further action, but all nine together did.
“It was the next logical step,” he said.
Pierce said the process took so long because it was covered by Section 75 of the Civic Service law disciplinary procedures, which applies to veterans. He explained the village was previously told over a year ago that to follow the Section 75 procedures, the veteran had to be disabled. Pierce said the village found out recently that it applies to all veterans, as long as they served, which is Jaynes. Pierce added Jaynes was also dismissed under Section 75 in the 1980s when he worked for the town of Montour.
Now the village will be considering how to replace Jaynes. Pierce said one idea is to share a public works superintendent with Montour Falls. The same topic came up at the Montour Falls village board meeting, held the same night as Odessa’s special meeting.

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