The McDuffie County Commission voted 2-1 Tuesday night to uphold a three-day suspension given public works employee Susan Smith.
County Manager Don Norton suspended Smith in late April for changing an employee's pay record at the direction of her supervisor. The change was made to reconcile what the employee was being paid with what he had been promised he would be paid.
The supervisor, Public Works Director Eric Reisinger, has since been fired, and Norton said the pay record incident was a factor, but not the only one, in his dismissal.
Smith appeared before the commission in May to appeal the suspension, but the board decided after a closed-door session to delay a decision because Commissioner Sammie Wilson was hospitalized.
It delayed a decision again in June because Commissioner Fred Favors was absent.
Favors was absent again tonight, but Commission Chairman Charlie Newton urged the board to act.
"I think we need to uphold our county manager so that he can do his job," Newton said.
Commissioner Bill Jopling disagreed.
"If I tell an assistant of mine to do something wrong, it falls on me, not on the assistant," said Jopling, a dentist.
He made a motion to reverse the suspension, but it died for lack of a second.
Commissioner Paul McCorkle then made a motion to uphold the county manager, and it was approved with Jopling voting no.
After the vote, McCorkle noted that Smith had taken county equipment home for personal use, and he suggested that the county manager research that and advise the board on whether further disciplinary action against Smith was warranted.
Norton said he had taken Smith's use of a county-owned pressure washer into consideration but believed that the three-day suspension was sufficient.
During the discussion, Smith rose to say that she had Reisinger's permission to take the pressure washer home.
"I won't be called a thief," she said.
McCorkle's motion died for lack of a second.
Smith said after the meeting that she had no comment on the board's action.