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More insights from a former dog pound employee



Editor:

This letter continues to share an exit interview letter from a former pound employee who resigned in good standing. As I stated previously, the letter gives credence to some of the questionable activity that I believe Dog Warden, John Silva, is involved in. Although I am not naming the ex-employee and some current employees, here are some more excerpts from the letter:

I would say the saddest event I witnessed was after (a female employee) was screamed at by Silva. After this occurred he started cutting her hours, having her come in later in the day, and told her that he had planned on hiring her full time, and even told me the same, but then retaliated against her after she filed a formal complaint. He told her in a review that she did not respond to enough calls, but I was there when there were calls, and he would not allow her to go. The major complaint I had was when she was hired part time, and we had the same exact job, but she was given more money per hour, and my pay remained the same.

I know this is rather lengthy, but I am trying to give a clear picture about the operations. I am also aware of when Silva discharged a Taser by mishandling it behind the counter and nearly hitting (a male employee), which ended up in the chair where (the employee) was just sitting and now standing beside. I know there were members of the public present, along with the Humane Agent for the Humane Society.

I want to make it clear that I loved my job and almost felt that I had to leave, or things would just keep getting worse and worse. When I submitted my resignation letter, Silva did not make any acknowledgement to me, but rather (an employee) said that he had sent it to all of them, which I found a copy on the desktop of a front desk computer for all to see. Even on my last day, he never said but a few words to me and tried to send me on an errand to fill up a van that was already full of gas.

When I walked out the door that day, I turned all my items in and he never even had the decency to tell me thank you or good bye. Not that I needed to hear that from him, but after a little over a year, a thank you would have been nice.

I felt that while working in the agency, I was in a hostile work place, and it was clear among the staff who walk on egg shells when he is there, and have completely different attitudes when he is not. They are all afraid to speak out and complain because they have families.

As a taxpayer, I cannot believe that Silva has kept his job this long, and question those officials who allow him to keep this job. Maybe they do not know, but I at one time planned to wear a hidden camera just to document this so they could see the true operations of this pound. There was never mistreatment of animals, but the public and staff are well abused.”

This “exit interview” was released to me by an Asst. Prosecutor on Februrary 14, 2015. I then asked if there would be charges or reprimands against Silva since there seemed to be significant claims/accusations against him. The Commissioners’ response to me was:

“The Licking County Board of Commissioners, in response to comments made in an exit interview by a former employee of the Licking County Animal Control department, met in executive session on January 15, 2015 with John Silva, Licking County Dog Warden. The Board of Commissioners believes strongly in the prompt review of complaints against county employees who are subject to the direct authority of the Board. The Board’s policy is to review complaints against county employees in executive session pursuant to O.R.C. 121.22(G)(1). The Board will continue to insure that county policies are adhered to, and that the best interest of the citizens of Licking County are served.”

This response is, in my opinion, typical double talk from Commissioner Tim Bubb. But Commissioners’ Clerk, Bev Adzic, says the response is from all three commissioners (Tim Bubb, Duane Flowers and Rick Black). It was a slap in the face of the citizens when I read that the commissioners recently approved for John Silva (who rarely, if ever, goes out on animal calls and certainly does NO care for the animals) to spend another $375 to go to New Orleans next month on an “Animal Care Expo.”

It is more than clear to me that the “best interest of the citizens of Licking County” are NOT being served! Silva’s disregard for people is bad enough but using expired drugs is absolutely NOT ACCEPTABLE!

Bonnie Mansfield
Buckeye Lake



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