Wayne Spicer, the White County animal control officer has been fired. Spicer's termination came after an executive session of the White County Board on Monday, June 10.
The decision to terminate Spicer came after the board declined to approve an agreement that Mr. Spicer presented that would have waived the county's liability for any volunteers that help out at the county dog pound. Specifically, Mr. Spicer's waiver agreement would have covered volunteers who walk dogs at the pound. “I've been walking dogs since February without any problems,” said Elizabeth Taylor, a local shelter volunteer. “Then you got a complaint and here we are.”
Wayne Spicer defended the practice of allowing volunteers to walk dogs in a brief address to the county board. “These dogs need social interaction if they are ever to be adopted out,” Spicer said. “I can tell you that if Sheriff Doug Maier threw an inmate in a cell with absolutely no social interaction – he'd turn mean.” Despite Spicer and Taylor's request to pass the waiver agreement, the issue received only a motion to approve from board member Kenny Usery, but died for lack of a second. Board members were also told that some dogs had been held at the shelter for more than two months. Some on the board questioned the practice of keeping dogs that long.
Reaction to Spicer's firing was swift. On the Facebook account of Friends of White County Animal Shelter, advocates called for supporters to “blow up the phones!!” In a Monday morning post, officials posted the following statement - “Today the County Board fired Wayne Spicer, the best Animal Control Officer the county has ever seen!! Their reason? He causes to much drama – specifically because he wants volunteers to walk dogs.” There's no word at this time who will replace Spicer as the county's animal control officer.
In other White County Board action, members approved a resolution of support and commitment of funds to the Greater Wabash Regional Planning Commission in the amount of $4,986.
A federal aid agreement was approved to replace a bridge two miles southwest of Norris City over Bear Creek Tributary. The project is expected to cost approximately $250,000. The county's share will be $10,000.
A federal aid agreement was approved to replace a bridge over French Creek south of Grayville and north of Calvin. The bridge was actually closed some twelve years ago. The cost to replace and reopen the bridge will be approximately $400,000 with the county's share being between $16,000 and $20,000.
Don Hoffman with Emling and Hoffman Accounting of DuQuoin presented the board results of the county's annual audit. Hoffman told the board there were no major problems noted during the audit, adding that the county had essentially “broken even” financially at the end of the fiscal year.
White County Sheriff Doug Maier presented his report for the month of May. Maier noted the jail is currently housing 65 inmates. As of the date of the report, the jail was housing 22 White County inmates, 31 federal inmates, two inmates from Hamilton County and eight from Edwards County.
Revenue from the jail for the month of May, 2019 was $67,617.40. Training for all officers has been completed, Maier said. He added that Advanced Correctional Healthcare, Inc. is now providing medical services for jail inmates. The company has headquarters in Peoria, Illinois.
Dispatch 911 emergency calls for service during the month of May amounted to 393 with 1,365 non-emergency 911 calls.