SALINEVILLE - Village Council voted Monday to hire Terry G. Weyand Jr. as a patrol officer for the village's understaffed police department.
In a meeting which was dominated by discussions of a recent plague of burglaries, council was swift to hire Weyand, citing an immediate need for an increased police presence in the village. What appeared to be unknown to council at the time was the fact Weyand had had a recent run in with the law.
While considering Weyand's application, Mayor Mary Smith asked council members if they wished to go into an executive session to discuss Weyand's prospective employment with the village, as they usually do when discussing hiring or firing of a village employee. However, several council members expressed a desire to avoid going into an executive session, and opted instead to discuss Weyand's prospective employment during the regular session of the meeting.
"Do we need to go into an executive session for a hire, because I don't think we have to." said Councilmen Rick Beadle.
Mayor Mary Smith responded, "Do you want to do it (the hiring) now? Nobody knows anything about him."
Beadle then asked Smith to pass around a copy of Weyand's resume among council. Beadle also inquired whether anyone had interviewed Weyand. Smith replied Police Chief David Hilliard Jr. did and gave him his approval.
"We must be awful picky about who we want to recommend," said Hays. "When we were paying $9 an hour we had applications constantly, we're paying $11 an hour now and we can't get applications except from (applicants) two hours away."'
"We're not the only the ones experiencing problems." said Smith "Other townships and villages are experiencing trouble hiring."
After Smith read aloud to council a few lines of Weyand's resume, council decided it had heard enough and motioned to hire Weyand. The vote passed unanimously.
After the meeting, an Internet search of Weyand's name turned up local news reports of an April 14 incident in which he was arrested and charged with OVI, OVI above .08, failure to yield to an emergency vehicle and a marked lane violation.
According to highway patrol reports, Weyand was northbound in a SUV on state Route 7 when he failed to move over from the right lane for trooper D.M. Brown who was in the middle of a traffic stop. Brown pursued the SUV and initiated a traffic stop on Shadyside Avenue, just outside of East Liverpool.
When Brown approached the vehicle and asked if Weyand had been drinking, the patrol reported, Weyand said he had had a couple of beers and claimed to be driving for a female passenger who Brown reported appeared highly intoxicated. A breathalyzer test was administered and registered .081, according to the patrol.
While being placed in cuffs and arrested by Brown, Weyand reportedly asked for leniency from the trooper, saying that he too was a police officer. Although no record could be found that Weyand was working as a police officer in April - court records then listed his occupation as a loss prevention manager with Kmart in Steubenville - Weyand's resume, which was furnished to council members at Monday's meeting, states he is currently employed full time as a police officer and has worked for several local departments in the past, including Salineville.
When Weyand's case came to trial in July, court records indicate a judge amended his original charge of OVI above .08 to reckless operation and found him guilty, sentencing him to 30 days in jail with 27 days suspended and an additional three days suspended for DIP credit. Weyand was also found guilty of failure to yield for an emergency vehicle, for which he was fined $50. Charges of OVI and marked lane violation were dismissed and Weyand was placed on two years of supervised probation.
When reached for comment, Salineville Police Chief David Hilliard Jr. said he is aware of Weyand's past legal problems and does not think it will impact Weyand's ability to perform his duties. "I think he'll be an asset," said Hilliard, adding "He's worked here before, he has experience and he knows the area."
When reached for comment, Smith said she too was aware of Weyand's past problems with the law but nonetheless feels comfortable with Weyand being part of the village police department.
Weyand was contacted following Monday's meeting and declined to comment on the specifics of the incident but did issue a general statement about the situation
"The situation that occurred on that night was just a bad situation and a lot of things got misconstrued and a lot of things that were stated were not true," he said without elaborating. "I've moved on and used the negative to push me further in my career."