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Commissioners due to approve hiring of new liquor investigators


Carroll County's commissioners are expected to approve hiring at least three liquor investigators today.

Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy confirmed yesterday that the administrator of the Board of License Commissioners, James Norvell, had recommended creating three or four positions and filling them on a contract basis.

Until yesterday, investigations had been done by Gene Dayhoff, a part-time county employee, and James Brown, who worked on a contract basis.

"This [hiring more investigators] is being done to improve the past track record of the board," Mr. Lippy said. "Mr. Norvell said we weren't winning many cases that had been contested in court and we could stand to improve that."

Mr. Lippy said Mr. Norvell also wanted to give the investigators "revised instructions to have a more effective force."

"He said we have some redundancy in local regulations," Mr. Lippy said. "He said some should be removed from the books because the state has similar laws that take over."

County commissioners decided to reorganize the office after J. Ronald Lau, former liquor board administrator and investigator, retired in March, said board Chairman Russell Mayer.

At that time, the commissioners decided Mr. Norvell, administrator for the Board of Zoning Appeals, should fill both the liquor and zoning positions.

"This is what the commissioners wanted all along," Mr. Mayer said. "It's just taken some time to get it all done."

Mr. Dayhoff's part-time investigator position was eliminated yesterday, Mr. Mayer said.

"He [Mr. Dayhoff] can reapply for one of the contract positions," Mr. Mayer said. "But they don't have any part-time positions in that office now."

Mr. Brown resigned June 22, Mr. Mayer said.

"He wanted a full-time job and the commissioners did away with that position," Mr. Mayer said. "He wanted to replace Ron Lau."

Former board investigators earned about $12 per hour, Mr. Lippy said. The new hires would probably earn about $15 an hour and split 40 hours per week among them.

"This is going to be an increase," Mr. Lippy said. "The intent is to get more effective performance and win more cases in court."

The job involves working nights and weekends inspecting restaurants and taverns with liquor licenses and investigating complaints of violations, Mr. Mayer said.

All applicants should have at least 10 years of law enforcement experience, he said.

"Jim Norvell, along with the personnel department, will be doing the hiring," Mr. Mayer said. "They will answer to him."

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