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Employee frustrated over inaction on appeal

McDuffie County public works employee Susan Smith said today that she just wants an answer to her appeal of a three-day suspension.

For the second consecutive month the county commission removed the appeal from the agenda at its June 21 meeting.

Commissioner Paul McCorkle asked that the board not consider the matter because of the absence of Commissioner Fred Favors. Last month, the commission delayed ruling on the appeal because of the absence of Commissioner Sammie Wilson, who was present at the June 21 meeting.

"On matters like this I would like to see the full board involved," McCorkle said.

County Manager Don Norton suspended Smith in late April for changing another employee's pay record. She has said she did so at the direction of her supervisor, Public Works Director Eric Reisinger, who has since been fired. Norton has said that Reisinger's order was a mitigating factor but that it did not excuse Smith's action.

Commission Chairman Charlie Newton urged commissioners to take action at their next meeting, even if the full board is not present.

"This has been before us for too long," he said. "I think we need to get back to where we can let the county manager handle things and get us out of the middle of it."

Smith said in an interview today with The McDuffie Mirror that she appreciated Newton's comments.

"He and the commissioners both know this has just gone on too long," she said.

"In my 16 years working here I've never known them to do anything like this."

She said she simply wants an answer to her appeal.

"All I want is a yes or no. I've said my piece."

She said she was told by Norton the afternoon before the meeting that the issue would be resolved that night. McCorkle's request to remove her appeal from the agenda caught her by surprise.

"Now I've got to wait probably another month," she said.

She said she continues to work through chemotherapy treatments - she was recently diagnosed with cancer.

"I'm doing my best for McDuffie County. I just wish McDuffie County would do its best for me."

Web posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

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