September 30, 2014

Elyria
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Should county employees be allowed to bring guns to work if it’s left in their cars?

Poll Gun Rights

Lorain County Commissioner Tom Williams wants county employees to be allowed to bring their guns to work and leave them in their cars.

ELYRIA — Lorain County Commissioner Tom Williams wants county employees to be allowed to bring their guns to work and leave them in their cars.

The county bars employees from having guns, even if they have a concealed carry license, on county property. But Williams said under state law citizens are allowed to bring guns on to county property, but must leave them in their cars.

“There should be no difference between a public employee and a private citizen,” Williams said.

Commissioner Lori Kokoski said she hadn’t been aware of the policy until recently, but she doesn’t object to changing it.

“I don’t see any harm in it, as long as it’s locked up in their glove box or trunk or wherever and not brought into the building,” she said.

But Commissioner Ted Kalo said he doesn’t support Williams’ proposal.

“I don’t think there’s any reason to allow the employees to have guns on the property,” he said.

Williams is a Republican. Kokoski and Kalo are both Democrats.

Kalo said the idea of allowing county employees to keep guns in their cars comes after one county worker had a gun stolen from his personal truck earlier this year.

CountyAdministrator Jim Cordes said county maintenance worker Richard Reiman was reprimanded for bringing the gun to work and leaving it in the truck. Williams said Reiman said he wasn’t aware of the policy barring him from keeping a gun in his vehicle.

Reiman was placed on paid leave in 2009 after allegedly threatening to shoot the commissioners. Although Kokoski had wanted to leave Reiman off work longer because an investigation wasn’t completed, the other two commissioners at the time, Kalo and the now-retired Betty Blair, voted to bring him back because it came down to Reiman’s word against the other county worker who leveled the accusation.

Reiman was suspended for 30 days in 2008 for making a noose and hanging it in the Maintenance Department, where several workers, including a black county employee, saw it and took offense. Reiman later said he made a mistake.

Williams, who said he doesn’t have a concealed carry permit although he’s taken the class required to get one, said he doesn’t think county workers keeping guns in their private vehicles will increase the likelihood of workplace violence.

He also said it likely wouldn’t increase the risk of someone breaking into cars in search of weapons because there would be no way for a would-be thief to know if a gun was in a glove compartment or a trunk.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.


  • Robert Ives

    I glad our commissioners are concerned about the important things in our county! Next will be where they can put their names in public view

  • dnoice

    I think anyone with a CHL, employee or not, should be allowed to carry on ANY public property.

    I am okay with excluding areas where ‘escape’ may be an issue, such as the non-public areas of jails, courtrooms, police stations and state mental hospitals.

  • SandyLey

    Like the Government all across this country…This is a perfect example of thier total lack of Commom sense. “They can bring thier guns to work but have to leave them in thier cars?” Isn’t there anyone to tell these people how stupid that sounds? I wonder how many County employees will have thier cars broken into now by all the upstanding citizens we have running the streets in Elyria looking to steal thier guns? If this were not so sad it would be funny.

    • BriKuz

      What is common sense is NOT making a person who chooses to carry go home first to rearm, THEN run errands and do chores after work.

  • Logdog39

    As usual, Democrats are far more concerned about controling the GUNS than they are the CRIMINALS that use them !

    • BriKuz

      You missed the fact that one of the DEMOCRATS also appears to be leaning towards allowing employees to carry in the vehicle… try READING the article.

  • Arietta Sullivan

    if you are in all legal rights to own a gun then you should be able to carry it anywhere.i thought that was the whole purpose of owning a gun,the legal way,is to protect yourself&or others who are in danger.how is a gun going to protect the owner and others if it’s locked up in a glove compartment,out in their car,with a good distance from inside a building?makes no sense to me.once an attacker is in your face&you feel threaten..your gun is not in reach.there’s no purpose for this controversy.

  • Tom Williams

    This a policy clean up. An employee was reprimanded for having a gun in his car while it was parked on county property. The state law allows citizens to leave their gun in a car while on government property but prevents them from taking a gun out of the car while on government property.
    The policy change would eliminate the threat of employees getting reprimanded for an issue that is legal for the general public.

  • GreatRedeemer

    Oh just pass it and send the memo to the departments, I’m
    sure they will all get the word.

    Then the Commissioners can turn their attention
    to the county sick pay policy. Specifically what is the source of this private account at the auditor’s office that was used to pay Mark Stewart 1000 hours of sick pay? What is it used for and how is that made accountable to the taxpayers of Lorain County

    • JustTheFacts

      I believe the use of the term “private account” is misleading. Per review of the County’s 2012 online CAFR (which I noted was audited by Dave Yost, State of Ohio Auditor) this appears to be an account deemed a Special Revenue account (1 of many) and it appears that it is a fund that is mandated by the Ohio Revised Code. It also appears that this fund has salaries, wages and benefits recorded in it. One can assume that this fund pays for the activities of the Board of Revision, of which the previous article stated was what the former County Auditor was paid 4 hours for.

  • Harley1949Vet

    Keep It Front Page News ! Let It Be Known That County Employees Can Keep Their Guns At Work , As Long As It’s Locked Up In Their Vehicle ! Watch The Increase In Vehicle Break-In’s !!!! You People Amaze Me !!!!

  • The Chronicle-Telegram

    Thank you for sharing your opinions. Be sure to take a look at the comments left on our Facebook page as well on this story: https://www.facebook.com/ChronicleTelegram/posts/10152241805273242