LISBON - Eric Moore's return to the Columbiana County Courthouse security staff was short-lived.
Moore resigned two weeks after county Sheriff Ray Stone hired him to be part of the revamped courthouse security operation following a dispute between county commissioners and Judge C. Ashley Pike over who was in charge. The dispute was resolved when Pike agreed the judges would limit their oversight authority to the second floor of the courthouse, where the courtrooms are located.
The dispute came to a head in late June, with commissioners voting to rescind the security policy adopted in 2009 and replacing it with a new policy that leaves the judges out of the process.
Commissioners maintained they were just trying to bring the policy into compliance with state law, which states the sheriff is responsible for courthouse security but under the direction and control of commissioners, with judges retaining authority over their courtrooms. Commissioners interpreted this to mean the judges can set security for the second floor, while the sheriff and board are responsible for the rest of the courthouse.
Stone said Moore told him when hired he would likely only work until the end of the year because he intended to also pursue working as an occasional fill-in security guard at county municipal court.
In his resignation letter, Moore thanked Stone for the opportunity to return. Moore, a retired Salem police officer, was serving as chief of courthouse when he quit last year.
Moore said the changes "seemed adequate measures for my re-employment. However, that proved not to be the case."
Jordan Reynolds, who is a part-time police officer for Perry Township and the part-time police chief of Hanoverton, is scheduled to be hired to fill Moore's position. The other new hire is Brandon Ericsson.
The hiring of Moore was never approved by commissioners, and Stone said he advised the commissioners' clerical staff they need to approve the employment of Reynolds and Ericsson, both of whom have already started working.
While the sheriff is in charge of security under the new policy, the security staff will be commissioner employees.
This was done to avoid any problems with the union representing sheriff's deputies, whose contract prohibits part-time positions.