CROMWELL >> The Town Council has reduced a three-day suspension imposed on a public works department employee to one day.
The council overrode the discipline imposed by Director of Public Works Louis J. Spina Wednesday on building maintainer Kevin McKnight in May. At least initially, it appeared a majority of the council was prepared to support Spina’s decision. But then, the tone and tenor of their remarks changed and the majority shifted to choosing the more lenient action.
McKnight, who has worked for the town for the past 3½ years, is a Portland resident. His family is well-known in town: His father, Bill, is a member of the Cromwell Fire Department, while his mother Lori is a civilian clerk for the police department.
The suspension was imposed after Spina determined McKnight put a bucket of rocks on the chair of Mike Conant, the supervisor of buildings and grounds. McKnight left a note atop the pile of rocks: “Here’s your rocks. Love, Kevin” with a heart drawn next to his name.
It was either a prank gone wrong — McKnight’s defense — or, as Spina contended, a deliberate act of insubordination. Compounding the issue, when Spina questioned McKnight about the matter, Spina said McKnight was less than honest in his responses.
McKnight, who is paid $23.27 an hour, served the three-day suspension in July. Those days off without pay cost him $558.44, according to figures provided Friday by the town’s finance department.
McKnight then appealed his suspension through his union, United Electrical, Radio and machine Workers UE Local 222. The union argued Spina had failed to “apply…
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