CHARLES TOWN — Practically six weeks to the day that former Jefferson County Administrator Stephanie Grove got here to a separation settlement with the county, the county’s finance director, Michelle Grove, tendered her resignation this week.
The transfer got here after Gordon accepted one other job in Maryland, Fee President Steve Stolipher defined late Thursday. The plan transferring ahead, he mentioned, is to start promoting for the place on the fee’s subsequent assembly, which is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 6.
Within the interim, President Stolipher mentioned he hopes to rent Gordon again on a part-time foundation to assist the county get by its budgeting course of, which is on the horizon. The subsequent county finance director will probably settle in as soon as that course of is accomplished.
Gordon’s departure comes after a pair of controversial months, throughout which Gordon was on the middle of a report from Jefferson County Perspective, a neighborhood watchdog group, on its Fb web page, that she misused funds when in 2013, she served because the finance director in Hagerstown. Along with being accused of misusing metropolis funds, Gordon was additionally allegedly charged with baby abuse in 2000, in accordance with the web site.
Initially taking the majority of the warmth for the allegations was Grove, who the web site repeatedly referred to as out for hiring Gordon within the first place — a notion that has been questioned publicly by council members previous and current. As such, former Commissioner Patsy Noland spoke final month throughout the public remark portion of a gathering to set the file straight.
“Commissioners, and never the administrator, conduct the interviews for the individuals we rent,” Noland defined. “I used to be a part of the county fee that employed the monetary director, and we performed an intensive background verify. … It is an actual travesty what’s taking place on county fee with your personal employees. I feel you have to make a public apology to each Ms. Gordon and Ms. Grove.”
Jefferson County Sheriff Tom Hansen, in the meantime, weighed in on the controversy surrounding Gordon final month when he addressed his considerations concerning her in a press release. Noting that he would make no additional remark past the assertion, Sheriff Hansen targeted on how he believes Gordon’s actions had been “overreaching” previously, and whereas he has expressed his considerations earlier than, he feels they’ve fallen on deaf ears.
“To be clear,” Sheriff Hansen mentioned, “as soon as the county fee approves the funds of an elected official, it has little to no management over how the elected official chooses to spend their funds so long as the official stays inside their set funds. I’ve questioned the actions of the monetary director, who has repeatedly exerted extreme management over my funds.
“As a former member of this division, who labored intimately with the funds earlier than retirement,” he continued, “I discover this overreach troubling, as I’ve not witnessed this sort of management with any prior administration. I’m assured that if a overview of my spending have been performed, it can present it has all been for the betterment of the division and the neighborhood.”
Conversely, the transfer to half methods with Grove final month, together with the allegations made towards Gordon, did not sit properly with everyone on the fee, as Commissioner Jane Tabb defined at a daily assembly final month.
“I feel it is a very unhappy day for Jefferson County that we have reached this level,” she mentioned. “A variety of this assault on personnel has been by misinformation and completely unfair. There is no such thing as a cash lacking from county coffers.
“I do not assume anybody can comprehend how laborious that job is,” Tabb added whereas referencing Grove, “however some of us thought it was a pleasant goal they usually went after her. She will likely be laborious to switch.”
Gordon was unavailable for remark Thursday.