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Article published November 26, 2012
County image suffering
Steven L. Hively Cranberry Township
Butler County Commissioner Jim Eckstein’s ongoing behavior and inappropriate public antics have hurt severely the image and respect for Butler County government. Recently, he was censured by the Butler County Democratic Committee, and published news accounts have documented his 10 ongoing months of disruptive and damaging behavior that includes an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaint and two defamation lawsuits filed against him. During the past several weeks, amid the chaos, both the Butler County solicitor and the county’s chief clerk decided to leave. His disorderly hijacking of the Nov. 8 meeting should have earned him an immediate public censure by the county. Obviously, he is out of control. Focus should be made on several specific events at the Nov. 8 meeting: 1. His recorded verbal outbursts and attacks on other county employees and the public. 2. His disregard for the authority of the chairman plus loud outbursts, recorded, prohibiting the chairman from performing his duties. 3. Recorded personal attacks on other commissioners of a personal nature — attacks that are not county business. 4. Not permitting the solicitor to perform her duties, while shouting her down a total of six times, as recorded, as she tried, unsuccessfully, to render legal advice, as her position requires. The video of the Nov. 8 meeting identifies so many examples of unacceptable behavior; it definitely is a black eye for the county. This documented, recorded behavior by a county commissioner should not ever be allowed to continue. The arrogance of “nobody can do anything to me” is untrue, and this issue of Eckstein’s tirades, rants and rhetoric need to be addressed firmly by the county. At the Nov. 8 session, Eckstein even accused myself and others of being part of a ridiculous “conspiracy.” He said he had photos to prove his ridiculous and fabricated allegations. On Nov. 16, he admitted, in writing, no photos ever existed. A motion of censure should be placed on the commissioners’ agenda to address his most recent meltdown. Why has the county done nothing about his outrageous, unacceptable behavior?