Former engineer weighs in on record

Dear Editor:

I am writing in response to a letter to the editor from Jack Simon, an employee of current Trumbull County Highway Engineer Randy Smith. Mr. Simon’s letter was published in the paper on June 1, 2014.

In that letter, Mr. Simon defends County Engineer Smith’s hiring of 14 people who were either former political officials (including himself), or related to political officials. Mr. Simon defends Smith by claiming that there are 24 other employees of the engineer’s office that Smith inherited with political connections, either directly or by family relation, as well as those employees hired through relatives either currently or formerly employed there.

Let me set the record straight by stating that there are only two employees currently working at the engineer’s office that I hired while serving as county engineer; they include engineer Gary Shaffer and secretary Jennifer Bindas.

Neither Gary Shaffer nor Jennifer Bindas are related to me in any way. Neither Gary Shaffer nor Jennifer Bindas, to my knowledge, are related to any elected officials. Neither Gary Shaffer nor Jennifer Bindas supported my election campaign. And finally, neither Gary Shaffer nor Jennifer Bindas were referred to me by any past, present or prospective elected officials.

If Mr. Simon’s statements are correct, it is likely that former county engineer John Latell hired mostly all 24 of these politically connected employees, and possibly some by former county engineer Jim Fiorenzo. Let’s not forget that current County Engineer Smith served as both Mr. Latell’s and Mr. Fiorenzo’s deputy engineer. Given Mr. Smith’s hiring track record as reported in the Tribune Chronicle, I just wonder how many of these additional 24 politically connected employees of the engineer’s office were handpicked by Smith while he served as deputy engineer.

David DeChristofaro


DeChristofaro is a former Trumbull County Highway