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Rumored move comes to pass

Mayor’s exec secretary gets debated job in law department

WARREN — The former executive secretary to Mayor Doug Franklin and former Safety Service Director Enzo Cantalamessa has been hired to become the newly created legislative aide / projects and grants coordinator in the law department.

Rachel Hathhorn, hired in 2014 to be Franklin’s executive secretary, will earn $52,000 in the new position. Her long-rumored move to the law department was announced last week.

Cantalamessa, who is now the city law director, said in November he wanted to create the position to assist the city in digitizing its records and prepare the legislative requests made by council members.

He emphasized that an assistant law director position, which was not filled since he was elected, was being eliminated to help pay Hatthorn’s salary. That position paid $64,259 annually. At the time, Cantalamessa said the law office had five lawyers, including himself.

COUNCIL DEBATE

Warren council debated the creation of the position in December, with some council members debating its need, and others suggesting Cantalamessa should not eliminate a lawyer position. During the debate, Cantalamessa said he would advertise the post and he did not have anyone in mind for it.

Cantalamessa said on Wednesday the position was advertised in the city and it was posted on social media job networking site LinkedIn. The application period was Jan. 15 to Jan. 22.

Councilman Ken MacPherson, however, on various social media posts during council’s debate about the position said it would be given to Hathhorn.

The position required candidates to have an associate degree in a legal field or the ability to obtain a degree within one year of hire, with intership hours completed prior to the hiring.

Four candidates, including Hathhorn, applied for the position, according to Cantalamessa. Hathhorn’s former position was advertised for application on Feb. 12 and the application period will end on Friday, according to the city job posting. It has an annual salary of $49,983.72.

OTHER MOVES

In other moves, Shalee Carney, who worked as an executive secretary in the the city’s human resources department, transferred to an administrative assistant position in the mayor’s office. The position was formerly held by Kisha Jackson, who was fired by Safety Service Director Eddie Colbert in March 2020 after she was accused of stealing funds from the non-profit Christmas on the Square committee.

Although the organization is not part of the city, Jackson was charged with theft in office. She appealed her firing. On Dec. 21, Jackson pleaded guilty to a felony count of theft in office during a hearing before Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Peter Kontos. A pre-sentencing investigation was ordered by the court and has not yet been completed.

Carney will earn $23.61 per hour in her new position, which is the same that Jackson earned. Carney previously earned $20.85 per hour.

Jodi Fridley, an executive secretary in the law department, transferred to the human resources department to take over the executive secretary position vacated by Carney. Her hourly salary will increase from $19.22 per hour to $20.85 per hour. Fridley’s position has not yet been filled.

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