LACONIA — Belknap County Commissioners voted unanimously yesterday afternoon to turn down a request from the director of nursing at the Belknap County Nursing Home to reinstate Mathew Logue as administrator of the nursing home.
''Somebody else is going to have to do that,'' said outgoing commissioner Ed Philpot (D-Laconia), who said that commissioners think they had good reasons to terminate Logue in late August and recently filed an appeal with the New Hampshire Supreme Court of his reinstatement by the county convention's Personnel Committee.
Last week Beknap County Nursing Home Nursing Director Diane Roberts asked the commission to reinstate Logue as soon as as possible, maintaining that it is only a matter of time before he is reinstated by the new commissioners when they take office next month and that not having an administrator puts the nursing home at risk.
She made her plea shortly after Belknap County Administrator Debra Shackett said that the state Department of Health and Human Services called her office recently to verify who the administrator at the home is. She said that she told the state that Logue is currently listed as the administrator and is on leave ''but will likely be back.''
Three weeks ago the commissioners filed an appeal with the New Hampshire Supreme Court of the Belknap Convention's Personnel Committee's decision to reinstate Logue as administrator of the Belknap County Nursing Home.
The appeal, filed on Dec. 11, maintains that the Personnel Committee, which at the time of its decision in October to reinstate Logue was composed of Rep. Coltette Worsman (R-Meredith), Rep. Robert Greemore (R-Meredith) and Rep. Richard Burchell (R-Gilmanton) ''ignored limits on its statutory authority as well as overwhelming and uncontroverted evidence,'' which the commission had introduced at a hearing held by the committee on Logue's appeal of his dismissal.
The filing of the appeal took place despite the expressed intention of incoming County Commissioners Burchell and Dave DeVoy (R-Sanbornton) to pull the plug on an appeal of the Logue personnel matter. The pair will take office on January 7 and will constitute a new majority.
Logue is currently on administrative leave, with pay, pending the outcome of an appeal of the committee's decision.
Commissioner Nedeau, who earlier this month announced his decision to resign effective Jan. 1, said he was not impressed with Logue's work since he was first hired by the commission late last year.
''With all respect to car salesmen, we don't need a car salesman for a director.'' said Nedeau.
In late August the commission terminated Logue for what it termed willful insubordination, lack of cooperation and inability to perform his duties in a timely manner, claiming that he was "untruthful and unreliable'' in dealing with county officials. Logue appealed his termination to the Personnel Committee, which held a day-long public hearing on October 6, at which attorney Mark Broth of Manchester presented the case against Logue and Logue spoke in own defense.
Four days later the committee voted unanimously to reinstate Logue, after finding his defense of the charges against him to be "credible and persuasive.''
A motion for a rehearing filed by attorney Broth was denied by the Personnel Committee.
The appeal to the Supreme Court will add to the legal bills faced by the county, which were the subject of much discussion by the county convention's Executive Committee when it met two weeks ago week to take up requests for budget transfers and turned down a request by the commission for $33,000 to pay unpaid legal bills.
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