Former W-B Official Hired For New Role
WILKES-BARRE — A former city administrator with a suspended law license has been hired to work in a newly created position in the city health department.
Jim Hayward, who served as administrator during former mayor Tom McGroarty’s administration, has been hired as a health educator, city Administrator Ted Wampole confirmed Friday.
Asked if the position had existed previously or was one that Mayor Tony George created, Wampole said the position was “created by a grant.”
Wampole said Hayward’s was one of two recent hires in the health department; the other was Matthew Engel, who has been working as a parking enforcement attendant. Engel, a union member, will fill an existing vacant health department position.
He said Engel has “more job security” in his new position than Hayward because there’s no guarantee Hayward will keep the job if the three-year state grant that provides the funding for the position isn’t renewed.
Wampole said Hayward’s position will pay $26,050 annually; Engel’s will pay $36,562.
He said both positions were advertised, but after the city received no applications for the health educator position, several people were asked if they were interested and were subsequently interviewed for the position.
Hayward, who is now either 66 or recently turned 67 based on archived information, practiced law in Pennsylvania from 2004 until his license was suspended for one year in January 2011, according to the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.
He then received a four-year suspension in October 2011 that was supposed to run consecutively with the first suspension.
According to the AOPC, Hayward did not immediately take the bar examination following his graduation from law school in 1996, and instead obtained employment with the City of Wilkes-Barre.
He was a Wilkes-Barre city firefighter for 13 years and later worked in City Hall as deputy administrator and director of the city’s Office of Community Development.
He became city administrator in 2001 and lost that position in 2003 when then mayor Tom Leighton was elected.
Attempts to elicit comment from Wampole later Friday on Hayward’s and Engel’s qualifications for their positions and whether he had any concerns about Hayward’s suspended law license were unsuccessful.
Wampole was out of the office and Verizon cell phone towers along the East Coast, including locally, were reportedly down Friday evening.
Neither the mayor, Health Department Director Hank Radulsky, nor Human Resources Director Nicole Ference had returned calls to their offices seeking comment late Friday afternoon, and the mayor did not immediately return a message left on his cellphone voice mail.
Wampole had said Hayward’s hire to the health educator position becomes effective later this month.
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