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Berkeley County officials defend decision to eliminate position

Former geographic information system technician Dennis M. Drummond criticizes way situation was handled

October 18, 2012

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Berkeley County officials maintained their decision to eliminate an employee’s position was handled properly after the affected employee publicly criticized them Thursday.

In prepared remarks, Dennis M. Drummond said the county failed to adhere to its own procedures when his geographic information system technician position was eliminated last month.

County officials cited a lack of work in deciding to eliminate the job last month. Drummond had been paid $25,448 in salary plus benefits, according to county officials. The funding for the job was paid through the 911 fee revenue, officials confirmed.

Drummond cited procedures outlined in the county’s employee termination policy that he said weren’t followed, but county officials maintained that the policy wasn’t applicable because the position he held was eliminated and his termination was only a result of a reduction in the work force.

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Council President William L. Stubblefield said Drummond’s job performance had no bearing on the county’s decision to eliminate the position.  

Drummond specifically lamented not having the opportunity to speak to county council members in executive session to discuss the situation before they voted to eliminate his job. Drummond indicated he wasn’t notified of the council’s decision on Sept. 20 until about 90 minutes after it was made.

“County employees and citizens of Berkeley County are ill-served by the opacity of your current way of doing business,” Drummond concluded in his 2 1/2 page statement.

— Matthew Umstead

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