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Mercer County Veterans Affairs director let go

The Herald - 1/14/2024

Jan. 14—MERCER — County commissioners confirmed a separation from employment with Bradley Alan, who was director of the Mercer County Veterans Affairs office for more than four years.

When Alan took over in August 2019 after Larry Scheetz retired, he said the role of his office is to advocate on behalf of veterans to help with their benefits and other needs.

County Commissioner Bill Finley Jr. said the separation was an issue with performance.

"We're just looking to get the most out of the office," Finley said. "It was an evaluation of performance."

Before accepting the position in 2019, Alan, of Hermitage, was an engineer. A Marine veteran and former gunnery sergeant, Alan remained in the reserves where he served as a Marine for Life Network representative.

There are 10,000 veterans in the county, almost 10% of the population.

The commissioners said the change will not affect service to veterans.

"Commissioners are committed to making sure that our veterans are cared for," Commissioners Chair Ann Coleman said. "We have a plan in place. Our qualified staff in the interim is here and ready to serve."

All three commissioners said the decision to let Alan go was unanimous.

"Our primary concern is for veterans to know that there are people in the courthouse available and willing to serve them," Coleman said.

Commissioner Tim McGonigle said that a new director will be appointed in a quick and transparent fashion.

"I would ask for patience from all our veterans and the community that we serve during this interim," McGonigle said. "This office is one of the most important in our county and we will see to it that whomever we choose to take the reins has the same passion for helping our local veterans in Mercer County as those who previously held this important position at the courthouse."

Finley said commissioners have every intention of filling the position as soon as possible.

"It is of the utmost importance to us that the office is fully staffed and prepared to handle the needs of the veterans," Finley said.

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