Olen Martin accepts reinstatement, returns as safety-service director

At Tuesday night’s Port Clinton City Council meeting, former safety-service director Olen Martin accepted an offer by Mayor Hugh Wheeler Jr. of reinstatement to his former post. Martin had been fired by Mayor Wheeler on March 8. Martin was reinstated following an intervention in the matter by Law Director George Wilber.

Mayor Wheeler was not in attendance at Tuesday night’s Port Clinton Council meeting.

Martin was fired shortly after his testimony in Ottawa County Municipal Court on March 6 that Mayor Wheeler threatened to kill a city worker on New Year’s Eve in Port Clinton.

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office has reportedly been investigating the case.

Olen Martin made this statement to Port Clinton City Council:

Good Evening and Thank you Madam President and all of council for this opportunity to publicly address you.  As you are all keenly aware, I was terminated 18 days ago by Mr. Wheeler on March 8, 2019. It was my request of the Law Director through legal counsel that I have an opportunity to address you in an executive session.

Unfortunately, I was informed that Mr. Wilber indicated he would not be recommending my request, but I could address council publicly.

Therefore, I wish to publicly state my utmost desire to continue my work as Safety Service Director with Council on behalf of the Citizens of Port Clinton.  I truly value and have enjoyed the working relationships I have developed with each of you, our City employees, and our community.  I feel we had made significant strides and positive progress on many fronts.  Ultimately, it has been my desire to return to the City, move forward and heal the damage and embarrassment of all of this to the City in the timeliest fashion.

It was my desire to provide you with a briefing of the timeline of events since January 1 through my termination; to speak with and to you in an executive session.  I feel strongly that there are facts that you have not been made privy to, and I do not feel that much of the information at least with relevance to my termination has been shared with council.  On March 13, just five days after my termination, Mr. Wilber delivered a letter to me from and signed by Mayor Wheeler. This letter was an offer to reinstate me to my position of Safety Service Director with no break in service or employment benefits, and with the same salary benefit package and other terms and conditions of employment I enjoyed on March 8, 2019, with a requested start date of March 14.

As a result of that letter I retained legal counsel, who have had on-going dialog and correspondence of negotiations with Mr. Wilber and Mayor Wheeler since March 13.   Last Friday, March 22, 2019 I received what is now the final offer of reinstatement to my position which included a deadline for my response “on or before” noon, tomorrow, the 27th of March.

I am pleased to announce that I am hereby accepting reinstatement to my position of Safety Service Director under the unconditional offer of reinstatement without release of any existing claims against Mr. Wheeler or the City of Port Clinton and the terms and conditions contained in the March 22, 2019 letter from the City of Port Clinton. I have a signed copy of my response letter and I will be delivering to Mr. Wilber now.   I look forward to continuing our work together on behalf of those we serve and moving forward with all of you!

Thank you.

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