Trego apologizes, keeps his job

By Jim Sewell Record-Courier staff writer Published:

MANTUA With Councilwoman Marcie Zorn abstaining, Village Council voted 5-0 to reinstate Village Administrator Ed Trego, who apologized for the exchange earlier this week that led to him being put on paid administrative leave.

Acting at a special meeting Friday, council's action ended a controversy which erupted when it placed Trego on paid leave Monday following an exchange between himself and Zorn.

"This is an important time in the village we've got a lot of things to do," said Councilman Phil Sage following the vote Friday. "We clearly do not want to go back to where we've been. We want to move forward in a positive light."

After the meeting Zorn said that she "didn't agree with the outcome" and that Trego "should get more than a paid vacation." She had sought his termination.

Although Friday's meeting contained little of the tension that was a feature of Monday's session, the 25 residents attending the meeting did hear Zorn call on Trego to apologize for his comments.

"I am totally outraged and upset by his actions Monday," she said. "I feel personally violated and I would like to hear him apologize for what he said."

Trego, acknowledging that Monday's public meeting was an "inappropriate forum" to air his complaints, apologized to Zorn, council and his fellow village employees.

"My conduct during last Monday's council meeting was totally inappropriate," said Trego. "I apologize deeply for any public embarrassment I might have caused you (Zorn)."

Zorn had asked for Trego's "termination" prior to an hour-long executive session in which council his fate. Coming out of executive session council voted 5-0 to reinstate Trego as Zorn abstained.

The councilwoman's husband, Gary Zorn, denounced the vote.

"You've said you want to run the village like a business," he told council. "In any business when an employee steps over the line and does something wrong he is punished. You are the employer and he is the employee. All you've done is give him a paid vacation."

Sage acknowledged that some form of punishment for Zorn may be a possibility. But he added that he hoped the furor over the incident would subside and that Trego's apology and record as administrator would make punishment unnecessary.

She also said that now that council has voted to reinstate Trego she will work to develop a "professional' relationship with him.

Trego said that he is anxious to get back to the business of the village. "I want to work with everyone on the important issues here. I want to show that the vote of the council to reinstate me was not a mistake."

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