City Officials Comment on Police Hiring Rumor

The chairwoman of the Steubenville Civil Service Commission said she is “disturbed and upset” about allegations on the Internet that a city police officer was hired as a favor to Jefferson County Prosecutor Jane Hanlin.

Delores Wiggins made her comments during the City Council meeting Tuesday night.

“The comments on the Internet said our county prosecutor had maneuvered to have a certain candidate hired for the police force. … Our Civil Service Commission is very fair and very honest. We try to be as fair as we can be. Our commission tests for 14 city departments, and we use Case Western Reserve to do our Civil Service Tests. I have been on the Civil Service Commission for 26 years. I had to say something because this allegation offended me,” Wiggins said.

“Fifteen people took the police officer entrance exam and six passed. One of them passed on the job, leaving five candidates. The police chief hired the fifth-ranked candidate because he had experience as a police officer in another community. When a second vacancy occurred, the chief hired the No. 1-ranked candidate,” said Wiggins.

Police Chief Bill McCafferty confirmed the hiring process and said he understood why Wiggins was offended.

“This is one of those Internet stories that is not true. No favors happened,” said McCafferty.

Commission member Jerry Barilla stood with Wiggins during her comments and said the first thing she told him when he joined the commission was “we go by the book.”

“I am proud to be part of the Civil Service Commission with Delores,” he said.

Hanlin, when contacted, declined to comment on the issue.

“I am also from Steubenville and I say let the court do its jobs,” noted 1st Ward Councilman Gerald DiLoreto.

In other business Tuesday, council approved a resolution commending Patti West for her role on the Canadian television documentary on Calvin Jones.

The documentary, “The Crash,” detailed the life of a young Calvin Jones who played sports at Steubenville High School before joining his two best friends from high school at the University of Iowa for an outstanding college football career.

Jones, a 1952 graduate of Steubenville High School, was killed in a plane crash on Dec. 9, 1956, over the Canadian Rocky Mountains while playing for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

“I know how hard you worked making this documentary happen. It is a wonderful testimonial to Steubenville and Calvin Jones,” said 4th Ward Councilwoman Angela Suggs.

And Health Commissioner Patty Reda reported 11 people have been hospitalized in Jefferson County with the flu.

“We are still providing flu shots every Tuesday and Wednesday. We have an ample supply of the adult vaccination, but our supply of pediatric flu shots is running low. We have ordered an additional shipment of pediatric flu vaccinations from the state,” said Reda. “And as always, I encourage everyone to practice handwashing, cover your mouth when coughing, avoid crowds, get plenty of rest and if you are sick, stay at home.”