October 22, 2014

Elyria
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County worker suspected of scrap theft resigns

ELYRIA — A longtime Lorain County maintenance worker resigned Monday while under investigation for allegedly stealing scrap metal from county buildings and selling it to local scrap yards.

County Administrator Jim Cordes said he had been preparing to hold a disciplinary hearing for Joe Renaldo when the resignation was submitted.

Cordes said county officials learned about the alleged thefts from a local scrap yard where Renaldo had sold old equipment used by county Auditor Craig Snodgrass’ weights and measures staff.

An investigation was launched by county sheriff’s deputies, and Cordes said that probe turned up video and other “damning evidence” against Renaldo.

Cordes said there is also evidence that Renaldo had taken scrap metal from other county buildings, but the county is still reviewing what might have been taken. He said Renaldo received about $40 or $45 for the scrap metal that the county knows about.

The weights and measures equipment has been recovered, Cordes said.

Don Kovacs, president of United Steelworkers Local 8845, which represents county maintenance workers, said he was surprised when he learned about the allegations against Renaldo.

“He’s been here 19 years, and he’s become a friend to many,” Kovacs said. “I don’t want to believe it.”

But Kovacs said that Renaldo resigned before he could look into the alleged thefts.

In an email informing the commissioners of Renaldo’s resignation, Cordes wrote that Renaldo is taking vacation time that will serve as his two-week notice.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @BradDickenCT.


  • Mark B

    Don’t forget to VOTE NO on the upcoming county levy !!!!

  • golfingirl

    So, will he still receive a pension?

    • Bill

      Just a guess but if they go ahead and prosecute him it will only be a misdemeanor unless they can come up with proof of further theft and I think a misdemeanor wouldn’t be enough for him to lose his pension.

  • GreatRedeemer

    So if he did this will he be charged and brought to justice ? Who cares if he is working or not.

    • golfingirl

      So if he resigned, I am assuming he has lost any union protections.