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Article published April 19, 2013
Eckstein won’t change
Itzi Meztli Slippery Rock Borough
On April 16, the Butler Eagle ran a letter to the editor from Mary Codispot, who criticized me for asking Butler County Commissioner Jim Eckstein, at a public meeting, to resign from office. Eckstein deserves to go, mainly because of his treatment of female employees in the county Government Center. The county has spent large amounts of taxpayer money for Government Center fifth-floor security. Cameras and panic buttons were installed, and armed-deputy patrols were initiated — all because of Eckstein’s documented threatening behavior against fellow employees. In short, Eckstein is a bully who picks on women, not only females in positions of power but rank-and-file workers as well. At one point, a key county employee was asked how many formal and/or informal complaints (male or female) against Eckstein had been lodged with county management. I was shocked to learn that at least 100 complaints have been lodged against Eckstein in the last 16 months. That’s an average of six per month, or more than one a week. In fact, two business days after Eckstein was required to take sensitivity workshops because of his public thrashing of the Children and Youth Services’ female director, he did it again. This time he left a secretary in tears after another verbal attack. Since a leopard can’t change its spots, Eckstein will never reform. Thus, he needs to resign and spare the county future liability court judgments resulting from sexual harassment lawsuits. It’s not a matter of if, but when.