Marchus must choose committee member | SteamboatToday.com

Marchus must choose committee member

Susan Cunningham

Routt County has selected two members to serve on a three-member board that will decide whether the decision to fire ex-chief building official Mark Marchus was appropriate.

Routt County Undersheriff Dan Taylor, who was chosen by Marchus, will not serve on the board, contrary to what previously was reported in the Steamboat Today.

Routt County Manager Tom Sullivan chose Dan Strnad, county finance director, and Routt County commissioners chose Polly St. James, assistant county attorney, to serve on the committee.

Marchus’ attorney Charles Feldmann said Marchus chose Taylor for the third committee member, but Taylor said he declined.

“It’s pretty extensive and (with) the time commitment and things, I’m just not able to do it,” Taylor said. “I’ve chosen not to do that for personal reasons, as well as professional reasons.”

Taylor had no comment on whether his decision not to serve on the committee was connected to investigations into missing county personnel files. The county has said Marchus has the files, but Marchus has denied the claims.

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The county terminated Marchus on Feb. 16 in response to allegations that he did not create a good working environment at the department and violated county gift polices by taking stones a contractor had thrown away, Feldmann has said. Marchus has denied those allegations.

A grievance hearing for Marchus tentatively has been scheduled for the week of April 12.

The grievance procedure begins with a hearing and a decision from the three-member board chosen for the process. That decision can be appealed to the Board of County Commissioners, which will have the final decision.

Feldmann said Wednesday he thought Taylor decided to serve on the board. Feldmann said once a county employee is picked to serve on the committee, the employee should not be able to choose whether he or she wants to serve.

Routt County Attorney John Merrill said the county’s process does not compel a county employee to serve on the committee if he or she does not want to. The county also guarantees that when an employee serves on the committee, there are no repercussions because of his or her decision, Merrill said.

— To reach Susan Bacon, call 871-4203

or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com