Willoughby Hills Mayor Robert Weger on Oct. 11 vetoed the Sept. 28 ordinance appointing attorney Stephen Byron as the acting law director for the city.
Weger said that according to Ohio Revised Code, the actions taken by council were illegal and it doesn’t have the authority to appoint a department head.
“I can make the appointment and they can confirm a full-time law director, but they don’t have to confirm an acting one and they can’t appoint,” Weger said.
According to an ordinance passed earlier in the year, council is responsible for confirming department heads, including those in an acting position.
Weger also said that he didn’t approve the salary for Byron’s appointment and at $10,000 a month plus $250 for extra hours, that compensation was too high.
Byron was appointed after the resignation of previous Law Director Thomas Lobe.
Weger acknowledged that he was asked by council if he had someone to bring forward to appoint prior to their appointment of Byron, and that he had no one.
“I will appoint because I’m the person that appoints the law director and I will appoint one later today,” Weger said in an Oct. 11 phone interview. As of 7 p.m. Oct. 11 he had not announced the appointment.
Weger said he had a list of 10 possibilities that he was considering for law director but refused to disclose their names.
Council President Nancy Fellows said in an Oct. 11 phone call that a motion would be made at the Oct. 12 City Council meeting to override the mayor’s veto and reappoint Byron as acting law director.
In an Oct. 4 letter to Byron, the mayor informs him: “This veto is my privilege as mayor with the best intention of our residents in mind.” The mayor further explains in the letter that if council should choose to override his Oct. 11 veto, he will seek legal action against them.
Byron noted that according to the city’s charter, the mayor has the legal authority…