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April 2, 2014

Warden's job in flux

MALONE — Franklin County will have a new warden at its jail once the job description is rewritten and legislators approve filling vacancies created by promotions.

Bruce Bannon retired on Dec. 26 after serving as the only warden at the Bare Hill Road facility since it was built in 1994, Sheriff Kevin Mulverhill said. 

“His experience and expertise will be dearly missed,” Mulverhill said, adding that Lt. Ed Work has been named acting warden until a permanent replacement is hired.

“Then we’d have to backfill the lieutenant position with a sergeant, then fill the sergeant position with a correction officer and then fill the correction-officer position.”

All of that takes time, but the jail still has to be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Mulverhill said.

‘RIPPLE EFFECT’

Recently, legislators approved the hiring of two correction officers for other openings in order to comply with State Commission of Corrections staff requirements.

But the other shuffling of staff is being held up by Civil Service rules that the County Personnel Office must follow as far as updating the duties of the position and finding a compromise with the sheriff on proposed changes to the qualifications.

“We want to revise the job description, and that takes time,” said Personnel Director Paul Duffee. “We asked them to come up with a new one, and we’ll look at it and the old one and negotiate the duties.

“I’m responsible for setting the job descriptions,” he said, adding that it is not only changes to the warden’s job but other adjustments that make the situation more complicated.

“It can cause a ripple effect.”

Sergeants as well as lieutenants can qualify to be named warden, Duffee said.

“It’s a difficult process, but it is my No. 1 priority,” he said. “I’d like to have it resolved.”

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