ELO health commissioner on medical leave

EAST LIVERPOOL The city health commissioner is on a medical leave, with the date of her return unknown at this point.

Health Commissioner Jelayne Dray had been declared “unavailable” for work by Mayor Jim Swoger in July, although the reason for her unavailability was not divulged.

Consequently, the board of health on July 24 approved a resolution to hire retired city health Commissioner Gary Ryan on a temporary, as-needed basis to replace Dray.

On Wednesday, Swoger confirmed that Dray is on medical leave and being treated by a physician and is not being paid while off work. Ryan is being paid with funds budgeted for Dray’s salary, Swoger said.

He said Dray’s return date is uncertain but said, “Gary is on the job,” saying he has been conducting inspections and other work normally performed by Dray.

At a meeting Wednesday evening of the Civil Service Commission, Ryan’s temporary appointment as health commissioner was approved at a $21 per hour salary.

In other commission business last night, the permanent appointment of Mark Deets as a laborer in the Refuse and Recycling Department was approved, effective June 10 at a $10 per hour salary.

The commission will meet again in regular session at 5:15 p.m. Sept. 4.