Perhaps the city commission should reconsider that censure vote

The city commission censured Mayor Linda Elam for calling the city planner and lobbying on behalf of her employer’s project, without disclosing that she was an employee of the developer doing the project.

The city commission took no action on the Mayor’s treatment of Hatton Wright when she publicly denounced him at a City Commission meeting and all but pronounced him guilty of sexual harassment.

Here’s what the attorney who investigated the sexual harassment complaint had to say about the Mayor’s actions:

In my opinion, four specific factors eroded the confidentiality of this investigation:

  • First, the City Manager made the determination that the written complaint itself was a public document subject to disclosure.
    [of course it was!]

  • Second, at the City Commission meeting on April 9, 2007, Mayor Elam publicly disclosed, without specifically identifying the name of the complainant, that an investigation would be forthcoming into conduct occurring within the Public Works Department. The existence of this investigation became public almost immediately upon its filing.

  • Third, the Reitz complaint is based upon many episodes that Ms. Reitz, herself, did not witness nor of which did she have firsthand knowledge. Many of her complaints and allegations were relayed to her by other City employees. As a result, during this investigation the disclosure and/or identification of various other employees was simply unavoidable.

  • Fourth, the interviewed witnesses were asked not to discuss their interviews with other employees in the workplace and not to discuss this investigation in the workplace. Moreover, the City attorney, City Manager, and I held meetings with the Public Works Department discussing the handling of this investigation and again requesting that employees not discuss this investigation while it was ongoing. However, through my witness interviews, it became apparent that some witnesses were not adhering to our admonition and were discussing their interviews with fellow employees.  – page 4

 You can read the full report here, as well as watch the video of Mayor Elam’s attack on Hatton Wright at the city commission meeting of April 9, 2007.

Do the commissioners still think Mayor Elam acted properly?

Do the commissioners still think that the Mayor is above the law? (ie, not subject to the city’s sexual harassment policy?) The city’s personnel manual says a sexual harassment complaint is not to be discussed by anyone, in order to protect both the complainant AND the accused.

I think the commissioners should take another look.

Mayor Elam’s vendetta against Hatton Wright could wind up costing the taxpayers a lot of money.

– Publius


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