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Court: Gianangeli Filed Appeal Too Late

Gianangeli

Former Belmont County Department of Job and Family Services director and former county commission candidate Vince Gianangeli tried an appeal to be reinstated at his prior job, but the appeal was dismissed for filing late.

According to the Seventh District Court of Appeals, the notice of appeal was filed June 16, one day late. This follows a judgment in his suit against the Belmont County Board of Commissioners, in favor of the board.

In 2019, Gianangeli had retired as director and was rehired back to ththat post, allowing him to draw on his pension. However Gianangeli also took a cut of $30,000 to his yearly director’s pay. He was later terminated in February of 2020 by the board after he “disregarded a vote by the commissioners,” according to a release.

Gianangeli also released a statement, saying that two commissioners voted to terminate an individual within the DJFS whose resignation Gianangeli already had accepted.

His suit argued that Gianangeli should have been reinstated to his prior job as fiscal business administrator. He had held positions within the department since 2004.

The case hinged on whether Gianangeli forfeited consideration for reinstatement to the fiscal post when he retired as director and was rehired.

The issue is covered by Ohio Revised Code section 329.02, which states “if a person holding a classified position in the department is appointed as director on or after that date and is later removed by the board … the person so removed has the right to resume the position the person held in the classified service immediately prior to being appointed as director.”

On May 16, visiting Judge Linton Lewis dismissed the case after Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder Co., representing the commissioners, submitted a motion for summary judgment in the commissioners’ favor. The commissioners argued that Gianangeli had lost his “fall back rights” when he retired.

“(Gianangeli) was not a classified employee when he was appointed by the board. He was a retired county employee and the position he held immediately prior to retirement was the unclassified position of director,” Lewis wrote.

The suit had been active during Gianangeli’s campaign to unseat incumbent Commissioner Jerry Echemann as the Republican candidate for the seat during the primary election in May. Echemann defended his seat in a close race.

“I just appreciate the hard work that was done by the team that advised the county in this situation,” Commissioner J.P. Dutton said. “Because of the litigation, we were forced to bring on some legal expertise to assist the county. … I’m glad to see some resolution.”

“I think it’s good for the county,” Echemann said. “It’s good for the county taxpayer in the sense that we won’t have to spend additional money to defend that appeal.”

Gianangeli was contacted and declined to comment.

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