Why Bobby Franklin will win his lawsuit against the City of Mt. Juliet

One of the most despicable things the City did after abruptly terminating Mr. Franklin (without warning or notice) was to attempt to deny him any unemployment benefits. The City notified the State of Tennessee that Mr. Franklin was discharged for “attempting to deceive the State of TN for grant funding.” This was a lie. It was not a mistake. It was a lie. The City — in particular, Linda Elam, Paula Flowers, and Sheila Luckett — knew it was a lie. But they told the lie anyway, in a malicious attempt to deprive Mr. Franklin of unemployment benefits and to further assassinate his character.

Mr. Franklin appealed the denial of benefits, and won quite easily. He called as a witness the GNRC employee who had completed the grant application under dispute. She testified on his behalf and utterly refuted the City’s claim that there had been fraud. What is truly appalling is that the City withdrew from the proceedings and Acting City Manager Sheila Luckett ignored a subpoena compelling her to attend and to bring records.

You can review the documents from Mr. Franklin’s unemployment case by clicking here. Note especially the Finding of Fact from page 7 of the file:

“The accusation was not true. The claimant did not prepare the application. He did not submit any false information, and he did not direct anyone to submit any false information to obtain the State grant. Consequently the claimant vehemently denied the accusations. Despite the claimant’s denial, the claimant was terminated from his job.”

This does not bode well for the City in its attempt to defend against Mr. Franklin’s lawsuit. You can read the text of that lawsuit by clicking here.

– Publius

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51 Comments

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51 responses to “Why Bobby Franklin will win his lawsuit against the City of Mt. Juliet

  1. Butch huber

    Folks,

    All I have to say for now is…Wow…oh, and of course, I have to say that backwards…woW!

  2. Butch Huber

    Bobby,

    All kidding aside, I am truly sorry they treated you this way. From what I can tell all you ever wanted was the best for this city and in return for your dedicated, loyal service to your community you were fired and an attempt to humiliate you was launched. Those of us who know you know better about you than to believe their lies.

    Thank you for your service and I hope you get re-instated and they get removed from office and/or fired.

  3. Glen Linthicum

    Whoa!

    Everyone needs to take the time and read through these documents. The City is going to have a very hard time with this suit. They would be best served by settling this in a hurry.

  4. Common Sense

    Tip of the iceberg. There are at least two more hanging out there as well that are just as bad.

  5. Butch Huber

    I think Hatton Wright could file a huge lawsuit against the city and I also think Rob Shearer could file a huge lawsuit. And from what I understand about how things happened, I am not so sure that Debbie Moss couldn’t file and win a huge lawsuit. That is in addition to the Lawsuit Bobby Filed and in addition to the two lawsuits that Commons Sense is talking about.
    Man, if everyone who should file a lawsuit actually did file, imagine the amount of information that would come out in those depositions.

    And to think that all this got started because of ego, greed and lust for power.

  6. Common Sense

    Don’t get carried away just yet Butch. Although anyone can file a lawsuit, some of the people you were refering to caused some of the previous lawsuits, and they were settled out of court when the lawyers saw what they were up against.

  7. Butch huber

    Common Sense,

    The only lawsuit that I am aware of that was settled out of court was the Sandy Dempsey lawsuit. That lawsuit was brought by a woman who quit her job after bringing what was determined to be an unfounded complaint against Hatton Wright.

    Let’s look at that for just a moment.

    Sandra Dempsey, I believe that is how you spell her name, brought what I believe was a sexual harassment complaint against Hatton Wright. There was an investigation that was conducted by a qualified investigator and that complaint was determined to be unfounded. City Manager Rob Shearer made a decision to reassign Ms. Dempsey to a different position rather than put her back in public works. As I understand it, the position she was reassigned to was the only available position to which she could be assigned. Ms. Dempsey subsequently quit her job due to, as I remember it, the fact that she had to take turns cleaning toilets as part of her new assignment. I for one do not believe that it would have been prudent for Mr. Shearer to have left Ms. Dempsey in her previous position. I say that because she had filed an unfounded complaint against her boss…how on earth would they have been able to work together in harmony after that happened? Hatton was the Department Head of Public Works, moving him because someone filed an unfounded complaint would have been extremely wrong…so the only option was to move Ms. Dempsey.

    Ms. Dempsey quit her job, then was illegally reinstated and given back-pay. I say illegally because the commission overstepped its authority by agreeing to hire Ms. Dempsey. Only the city manager has that authority. Remember, Ms. Dempsey did not win a lawsuit for having been sexually harassed, Ms. Dempsey won an out of court settlement over having been reassigned after filing an unfounded complaint. There is a big, big difference between the two. I think the city was wrong to settle that case, I thought it then and I think it now. I think Rob did the only thing he could logically and rationally do in the situation…he had to chose the lesser of several evils, and I think he made the right choice…I also think the city should have backed him up in that decision.
    In a very suspicious episode of irony, Mrs. Reitz files a sexual harassment complaint against Hatton the very day that the city was dealing with the Sandra Dempsey lawsuit. Mrs. Reitz’s complaint was determined to be unfounded as well, but only after it was too late to turn the clock back on the Sandra Dempsey settlement.

    Hatton Wright was investigated twice, by two seperate and competent investigators, and both complaints were determined to be unfounded.

    Debbie Moss was fired, as I understand it, for soliciting donations from developers to fund something her daughter was involved with. Wrong thing to do, I agree, but what she was doing was no different than the mayor soliciting donations for Veteran’s day.
    Now, I agree, a lot of things in government are wrong and need to be cleaned up, but to say that Debbie Moss was the cause of a lawsuit against the city is wrong. She was included in Ms. Reitz complaint, but even if she were guilty of what she was accused of, it doesn’t amount to sexual harassment…it might amount to inappropriate behavior (if what she was accused of were true), and it might even create a hostile work environment, but it wasn’t sexual harassment and it didn’t bring a lawsuit, unless you are referring to a future lawsuit. It will require a process in order to connect the people I mentioned to the cause of a successful lawsuit.

    Regardless, I don’t think there is a doubt that Hatton would win a lawsuit against the mayor and against the city…I mean, you gotta admit, a man that has gone through not one, but two, exhaustive investigations and come out with flying colors, who had what appear to be false accusations of sexual harassment brought against him while he was dealing with a very ill wife at home and who recently died of her illness, and who was publicly shamed, embarrassed and humiliated in public, against city policy, by none other than the leading public official herself, has a very, very strong case. Remember as well, the mayor was deeply involved in Mrs. Reitz filing a complaint, and by Mayor Elam’s own admission she “encouraged” Mrs. Reitz to turn a six page writing into a sexual harassment complaint, She even provided guidance to Mrs. Reitz on how to file the complaint. Now, if you go to the personnel manual for the city and look under sexual harassment policy you will see that the mayor should not have involved herself, but rather should have referred Mrs. Reitz to the city Manager. The mayor’s involvement and not following city policy provides tremendous advantage to Hatton in litigation…if he were to file a lawsuit. I don’t know what Hatton will do, but as for me, if I were him, I would want to remove any dark cloud that had been cast over my reputation and I would want a little payback.

    Now, in light of law, whether he committed any wrongful act or not, the investigations against him turned out that he hadn’t…in fact, if I remember properly, the investigating attorney seemed astonished that Mrs. Reitz filed a complaint against Hatton. She submitted a separate work product to the city regarding her findings that I have yet to see, I am however curious to know what was in that work product.

    As far as Rob is concerned, I think he has an absolute slam-dunk major lawsuit on his hands if he wants one. I wish he would file…a lawsuit filed by Rob would absolutely rip the lid off what has been going on in city hall…and I don’t think he has a thing to hide.

    No, I don’t think that Rob or Hatton would have a problem winning lawsuits against the city and against the mayor. Debbie might have a more difficult time winning her case, but if the others were to file and win she would certainly have a much stronger case.

    I do know this, if there are several lawsuits being filed there is a strong likelihood that we will eventually find the truth in the matter…and that is what I am after…the truth.

    In the end, all I hope for is that those that have been wronged are able to see justice served upon those who wronged them and that this city government finally recognizes that it has to stop all the games and antics.

    I realize that there is more than one side to these issues, but we should all be able to agree that truth and justice prevailing is the most important matter. After all, up until now, public officials seem to be above the law…and that ain’t right.

  8. Common Sense

    The first investigation into Wright was a joke. If you have read it, you would know that. It wasn’t even proofread, and I think it is safe to say that the investigation was as poor as the report. I have seen better writing from sixth graders.

    The second investigation was conducted by the attorney who had just lost the Dempsey case for the city. Can you seriously say that she was unbiased? It was apparent to me when I read it that she was biased. Reread it with that thought in mind, and see what you think.

    Whether or not Wright was guilty, in my mind, has not been proven even to this date. I really don’t know, but neither of those cleared his name nor proclaimed his innocence.

    The other lawsuits that are in the pipe, are just as credible and have just as much (actually a lot more) documentation as what you have read in the Franklin case. Sad, but true.

    It would appear that you stand up for anyone who might have an issue with the mayor. We all know what that office has done over the last few years, but not everything came directly from Elam. There were and still are some other issues that have not been taken care of. Some of this stuff will shock your conscience. The retaliation that some employees have endured under Elam is going to cost US, the taxpayers. The retaliation that Elam had nothing to do with will cost us as well!

  9. Uncommon Sense

    Common Sense?

    Last time I checked this was America. You are innocent until proven guilty. Hatton Wright was twice charged and twice found not guilty. You may not like Mr. Wright, and he may have his flaws, but he has never been found guilty of sexual harassment.

    The Attorney did not “lose” the Dempsey case. It was mediated. The City lost its very strong position in that mediation due to having to disclose the second complaint against Hatton Wright. That complaint was filed the day before the scheduled Dempsey mediation. And it was a bogus complaint.

    Not many people in the community could have known about that scheduled mediation. Fewer still would have the legal education to know that another complaint would have to be disclosed and would damage the city’s position. That narrows the field of possible suspects who could have coordinated the “day before” filing of that bogus complaint – probably a lawyer with inside knowledge of city lawsuits. Hmmm

  10. John Reitz

    Thank you common for seeing the truth.
    It’s funny how when the city attorneys drop the charges
    of hatton you cheer but when they drop the charges
    of the mayor you scream. Shameful.

  11. surfer

    Who is it that Hatton Wright is supposed to have sexually harassed? And what, exactly did he do?
    Anybody know?

  12. Uncommon Sense

    The Mayor was publicly censured for pressuring Bobby Franklin to withhold information from the Planning Commission. Hatton Wright has never been reprimanded, suspended, or censured for sexual harassment because he was found not guilty – twice.

    Realty is what it is.

  13. Butch huber

    There is a huge difference between what occurred with Hatton Wright and what occurred with Mayor Elam.

    Hatton Wright was investigated twice and it was found that the complaints against him were unfounded. On the other hand, despite Paula Flowers’ attempt to shield Mayor Elam from censure or prosecution, she was found to have violated the law.
    If Hatton Wright has actually done something wrong he should have to answer for it. However, until someone presents some credible evidence that would prove he has done something wrong I should consider him to be innocent, as should anyone else who doesn’t have positive first hand knowledge of his guilt.

    Mayor Elam has done things and said things that I do have positive first hand knowledge of and so do you if you have been paying attention. Her own sworn testimony proves she violated the law!

    I get the impression that the attacks against Hatton Wright are because a group of people dislike him more than they are because of anything he has done wrong. Being someone people dislike is not a crime nor is it a violation of the city personnel manual.

    So what you have here is two very different things…you have a mayor who has been censured for wrongdoing and who has said and admitted to having done things that are a violation of law and you have a man who has been investigated twice and has been found not guilty.

    If Hatton Wright actually has done something wrong and the city couldn’t prove that with two full investigations, when you have the mayor herself attacking the subject of the investigation, then the problem is much, much bigger than what Hatton Wright has done.

  14. common sense

    I’ll say it again. Please pay attention and stop wandering off with thoughts. Both of those investigations were a joke. Read the report from the first investigation and you will see that for yourself. I have never met Hatton Wright, I don’t have an issue with him and neither of those investigations prove he did or did not do anything wrong. The sexual harassment complaint appears to have ben a vehicle used to bring other allegations forward, and the second report even states that some of that appeared to have taken place, but was not within the scope of the investigation. The first report says that it is subjective and not easy to prove. Either way, neither prove much.

    What I can say for sure, is that I have seen some of the documents that are part of the other lawsuits, and they all show retaliation against employees who were not of the same mind.

    Seriously, Elam has done a lot of good for this city. I think the best way to put it is to quote what someone said about Don Sundquist. He wanted to be governor in the worst way, and he was. Although Elam has done a lot of good for the city, She has been a mayor in the worst way! Havign said that, she was and is not the only person who has created some of the issues that we will end up paying for in the long run.

  15. Butch huber

    Common Sense,

    I agree that she has been mayor in the worst way. And while she may have done some good for this city, the bad that see has created far outweighs the good.

    In time all of this will be brought out into the open and we will see once and for all exactly what has been going on.
    You being privy to what is contained in lawsuits does not make Hatton Guilty of anything. I get the impression from your posts that we will once again travel down the road that leads to an investigation into Hatton Wright’s conduct. Perhaps during a lawsuit the attorney for the plaintiff will be able to ask the questions you and your friends want to have asked. Again, if something Hatton Wright has done is a violation against someone I hope the person having been violated receives justice….however, if all this is nothing more than an attack against a man who has done nothing wrong I hope his attackers get their just rewards as well.

    This whole matter disgusts me. Had the powers that be done their jobs all along most of this would not be an issue. This is what happens when public officials play politics and don’t maintain law and order.

    Regardless of whether or not this costs us as a community, setting things right is more important. We need to drag things out in the light of day. Maybe, just maybe, we will all learn a lesson from all of this and maybe we will begin to hold our government officials accountable for their actions.

    As far as retaliation against other employees that were not of the same mind…retaliation is never okay…equity, justice, fairness, and reckoning are what we should seek…and we should do so with ample amounts of grace and mercy.

  16. Uncommon Sense

    I will say this again. This is America. You are innocent until proven guilty. Hatton Wright was charged twice and investigated twice. Once by a Mt. Juliet police detective (it was not his first sexual harassment investigation). Once by an attorney whose entire practice is devoted to municipal law. Both times the charges against him were deemed to be “not founded,” both by the investigators and by those who reviewed the investigations. Spelling mistakes in the report don’t establish Hatton Wright’s guilt. Hatton’s enemies and any employee’s with axes to grind had ample opportunity to produce any evidence they had that would establish his guilt. Nobody did. If those investigations don’t establish that he didn’t sexually harass employees, what exactly would? Affidavits from NOW and Hillary Clinton? He was investigated and cleared – twice. He is presumed to be innocent until somebody proves he’s guilty. He’s been found not guilty twice. Perhaps he would need to be proven innocent in Brazil, Cuba, or Iran but not here in this country.

    It occurred to me years ago that people who continually struggle with reality will always struggle.

  17. Common Sense

    Are you guys hell bent on turning this into a Hatton Wright issue? I have said, and will say it again, the two investigations were a joke. The first investigation is chocked full of errors in the writing. If the investigator can’t put a sentence together when he has spell check readily available, how good of a job did he do during the investigation? I am not attacking the investigator’s person or credibility, just giving the facts.

    I do not know of anything that Hatton Wright did that would be a topic for this discussion.

    How hard is it for you to believe that the same thing that went on with Franklin went on elsewhere. Follow the leader maybe???

    Now, you want something good to talk about? I have copies of the same document from the city with different dates attached to it! Is it possible that documents have been changed over there? Absolutely, and I can prove that. Does it matter what the mayors personal notes say vs an ordinance? Not one bit and if she wants to change an ordinance, trashing it won’t work. Do it right and if you get the votes, then it will pass. Are you ready to buy a membership to the new YMCA? You will be paying for it whether you join or not. Those are some good topics to get you guys stirred up for a while.

    What about it Butch? Do you dislike the idea of us paying for a YMCA as much as you dislike Elam?

  18. Butch Huber

    Common Sense,

    I have just reviewed the attorney’s findings in the Reitz complaint. Don’t you find it odd that this complaint was brought against Hatton Wright and, according the attorney’s own words, turned into a complaint against Gary Gaskins? Additionally, it appears as though this complaint was crafted in such a way as to become a sexual harassment complaint rather than a complaint under section nine of the city personnel policy as it should have been? It really seemed to be a stretch to make this a sexual harassment complaint…but I can see why one might want it to become a sexual harassment complaint. Turns out a sexual harassment complaint allows for the utilization of an outside investigator and a complaint brought under section nine does not. If you remember Mayor Elam’s words during the meeting when she divulged this complaint she moved to remove the handling of this complaint from the city manager’s hands (The commission had no legal right to do that.) and put it in the city attorney’s hands and then the mayor moved that instead of the city attorney handling the complaint personally that she contract an independent investigator to conduct the investigation. Coupled with the Mayor’s own admission that she “encouraged” Mrs. Reitz to file her complaint, Mayor Elam’s obvious anger toward Hatton Wright regarding an unrelated matter, the Mayor’s improper handling of the receipt of a six page writing from Mrs. Reitz, and other matters concerning this investigation, such as publicly embarrassing Hatton Wright, the timing of the filing of the complaint, the reduction from a six page writing involving many people to a one page writing targeting Hatton Wright, one has to wonder exactly what happened here….don’t you agree?

    While I agree that the investigating attorney discovered issues of concern, and perhaps grave concern, those concerns were not addressable under the sexual harassment policy and therefore should have been addressed under section 9…so the question begs to be asked….why wasn’t a section 9 complaint filed to address those concerns? Could it be that the damage that was sought by a certain politician (Hatton Wright’s exit from city government) had occurred and further pursuit was not needed? If the problems were as they were stated to be the concerns should have been addressed. In fact, I believe I in fact attempted to have these issues followed up with, but I am not certain…I do know that when I read the six page report Mrs. Reitz wrote I was very concerned and I believe I addressed those concerns with the commission or at least members of the commission.

    The more I look into this the more it looks like a put up job to attack Hatton Wright…not to say that there are not issues that need to be addressed…but that this was used as an attack rather than a proper grievance procedure.

  19. Uncommon Sense

    Go ahead and struggle with reality, Common Sense.

    You are making the claim that Hatton Wright is not innocent because of the quality of two separate investigations. I disagree with the premise that those investigations were conducted to prove his innocence. Short of a constitutional amendment or a change of venue to Brazil, Hatton Wright is innocent until proven guilty. And he has not been found guilty of anything. I am stuck on defending the honor of an innocent man.

    Now I agree that the city shouldn’t be buying land with taxpayer money and giving it to the YMCA. But I don’t think it is against the law for elected officials to be stupid. We have plenty of overcrowded prisons without that law.

    There is a big difference between the use of power and the abuse of power. Voting for bad policy is not illegal, just stupid.

  20. Butch Huber

    Common Sense,

    I think my position about the Y has been stated again and again. I don’t think that we should have to pay for a YMCA.

    As far as turning this into something about Hatton Wright…you are the one who seems to be turning this into something about Hatton Wright. You come across as though I (WE) should accept that because I (we)believe the mayor has done something wrong and I (we) want to see the issues regarding her conduct addressed that by default I (we) should accept that Hatton has done something wrong also…even though two investigations (However they were conducted) failed to implicate him in wrongdoing.

    You speak in nebulous terms that leave a lot to the imagination..if you have a point to make why not just make it?

    As far as documents being changed…I can believe just about anything about this government now. I wouldn’t put anything past them.

    Common Sense…your comments about my dislike for Mayor Elam are out of place….I have stated again and again that if Rob or Hatton or Bobby have done something wrong they should have to answer for it…I just haven’t come across any credible evidence that they have in fact done something wrong. However, until recently there was a lot of chatter on here that I should leave the mayor alone lest we return to the days before Mack…I find it ironic that people would suggest that the mayor not be held accountable for her actions while at the same time a group of people are trying to attack, and have attacked, Hatton Wright, Bobby Franklin and Rob Shearer.
    Perhaps you are the one who should get it straight…when you are trying to clean up a corrupt organization a great way to do it is to start with the most powerful corrupt person and work your way down the list. Basic organizational behavior models would prove that where there is long-standing corruption at the top of an organization there is usually corruption through-out the organization. The best way to root out wrongdoing is to take away the power base that could provide cover.

  21. common sense

    Butch,

    Ask Wright why an employee was assaulted and it was subseuently covered up while he was in PW? Then ask HR or the City manager if that employee was able to recieve any workmans comp claims. Ask him why his truck was on the rack at PW long after he was no longer employeed by the city? It should not have been there at any time. Ask him why they held a reception for him at PW and only certain employees were allowed to attend, even though it was after lunch and during working hours. Ask him if he ever tried to demote an employee to the position of clerk, and why there was not one single problem listed in the file as far as job issues with that employee. Ask him why PW employees were not allowed to go to City Hall. They aren’t supposed to waste time right, but they can go to a reception for him…

    I have a better idea. Call PW, and ask for the Stormwater inspector, or the Chief Building Inspector. Don’t get in a hurry for your call to be returned. Ask to speak with the HR department. See how quick that call gets returned.

    And even better, ask me to meet you sometime with all of the documents that will prove to even you, that the mayor was not the only person who retaliated against employees.

    Butch, if you want to complain, keep on complaining. If you want the truth, come see me and I will hand you the documents that prove what I have said!

    And if you BELIEVE you don’t have an issue with ELAM, go to websters.com and look up denial.

    Have you heard back from the TBI yet???

  22. Common Sense

    I guess everyone is waiting on the calls to be returned…

  23. Butch Huber

    Common Sense,

    I have no issue with the prospect of meeting with you and discussing what you have to talk about.

    I do have an issue with the mayor, my point was that my involvement is not “because” I have an issue with the “Mayor”…my involvement is because I dislike seeing public officials abusing their positions of authority.

    Commons Sense,
    There is a vast difference between a public official abusing their authority and violating the law and/or public policy and an employee abusing their authority and violating the law and/or public policy. An employee can easily be handled by the city manager, department head, immediate supervisor and/or city attorney…however, a public official is a little more difficult…it takes 3 or 4 out of 5 votes of the board of commissioners to remove a public official from office but only one city manager or department head to remove an employee. There is a difference.

    Common Sense, you seem to be as adamant that Hatton Wright has violated the law as I am about how I feel about the mayor…but there is a difference…I “encourage” you to do your best to seek justice and you seem to not want me to do what I can to seek justice. I am willing to consider the facts and if you are able to present me with evidence that someone has committed a crime I am willing to stand with you to seek justice…I don’t get the same vibe back from you.

    As far as the TBI…I have not re-approached them yet. However, I am confident that there will soon be so much evidence available that they won’t be able to overlook the issues. It does no good to talk to the TBI as long as they are going to say “if General Thompson is unwilling to prosecute there is no reason for us to investigate.” There is going to have to be such strong evidence that General Thompson has no choice but to prosecute…the good news is that he did recently go after a city manager…perhaps there is a limit to what he will put up with from public officials and government employees.

    I don’t think I ever said that the mayor was the only person to retaliate against employees…how would I know that to be true? However, I do believe she has retaliated against employees and I think the lawsuits that are forthcoming will bear that out.

    So, how do we arrange to meet? I think you will find that I am very open minded and willing to consider other sides of an issue…will I find the same about you?

    I am of the mind that when an elected public official commits an offense it is more grievous than when an employee of government commits the same offense…you may disagree…but that is how I feel about it. I just think that an elect official should be held to a higher standard…it goes back to the patriotic thing, the tradition, and the public trust thing. I am sure that a lot of people will disagree with me…that’s fine…but I feel the way I feel. However, that is not to say that a violation by either shouldn’t be dealt with…it is just to say that one carries more weight in my eyes.

  24. Common Sense

    Butch, you said “Common Sense, you seem to be as adamant that Hatton Wright has violated the law as I am about how I feel about the mayor…”

    Where have I written that he violated any laws? I did say that some stuff could be considered unethical, but reread the entire post and show me where I have said that. I have not said anything was illegal. That seems to be the word you throw out there all too often. You sir, seem to make up your mind first. I went and pulled the documents and then made up my mind.

    What I have said, over and over, is that there were more than just Franklin who were retaliated against, and that the others were not retaliated against by the mayor but by others. And again, the report by the detective, is a joke. It does not prove anything, on either side. It does prove that the detective spent very little time on it. Given that it was sent as it was, I can only imagine what type of investigation took place. The report is most likely why Elam insisted on an outside investigator the second time around. It is sad. Have you read it?

    And before anyone starts in again, I have never said that Wright sexually harassed anyone either. If you read back through there, I said it was a vehicle that was used to get other complaints out there. After all, this is the city where an HR director makes $31 an hour with nothing more than a high school diploma, and didn’t realize that she was supposed to take action when someone came to her with a complaint about sexual harassment. Then a few months later, it was written down, and sixteen women said they were victims of the that person.

    By the way, I am on the way over with the first investigation and anything else you want to see. Don’t shoot.

  25. John Reitz

    As suggested by the attorney did Amy Rooker and Gary
    Gaskin every attend a class on sexual behavior in the work place or is this accepted behavior with the city?

  26. Butch Huber

    Common Sense,

    Having read through the information you provided to me, and based on my knowledge of other information, I am going to attempt to reason with you on the matter…but to “reason” will require both of us being willing to consider the other’s point of view.

    You have been quite vocal about your opinion of then Lt. Mullin’s findings in the first investigation into the conduct of Hatton Wright. I will start off by telling you that I have the utmost respect for now Capt. Mullins. I know him and have spent a considerable amount of time with him on a professional level while I served on the payroll committee. I found him to be intelligent, bright, self-assertive, professional, intuitive, and insightful. He has a strong personality and is not afraid to speak his mind. So when I read through the findings in this investigation I was a little perplexed over the quality of the writing: The quality of the writing does not match the quality of the author. However, I understand that not everyone is a wordsmith so I gave him the benefit of the doubt and I dove in for answers and insight. You and I differ in that I did not throw the whole document out the window just because it is not written well. I figure that this was not a writing test, but rather this was an investigation…and while you have a point when you say that when you “look at the quality of the writing and wonder how well the investigation could have been conducted”…I have the advantage of actually knowing Capt. Mullins and I don’t doubt his ability as an investigator…in fact, I am certain he has very good investigative skills.

    So, instead of throwing the report out, I actually read it for content. What I learned was that with the exception of a very small number of people ever deposed in either investigation against Hatton, everyone seems to respect, like, and appreciate Him. There seems to be little to no basis for the assertion that he created a sexist or hostile environment, nor does there seem to be any merit to any claim against him of sexual harassment.

    There seems to be some merit for an assertion that he can be explosive or hostile under certain circumstances, however I believe that anyone evaluating this assertion must also consider the sensibilities of the person making the assertion. In other words, Hatton wouldn’t scare me, but he might scare my wife (Well, not my wife…if he tried to scare her she’d smack his face off…but you get the point.). That having been said, I think Hatton agreed that he was a little more aggressive in his speech and gestures than he should have been. That does not necessarily translate to having created a hostile work environment…and it certainly does not translate into a case of sexual harassment or a sexist environment.

    Mrs. Dempsey states that she overheard Hatton Wright threaten to shoot Ray Justice in the face. Hmmm. Ray is a lot of things, but a wimp he is not. I find it hard to believe that Hatton Wright made a serious threat to shoot Ray Justice in the face and there wasn’t a brawl going on right then and there.

    I know that you want me to perceive some form of retribution in all of this, but I simply don’t see it. Maybe I am missing something, perhaps I have overlooked the obvious, maybe I am naive or obtuse or perhaps my subconscious just doesn’t want to see it, or perhaps I don’t see it because it doesn’t exist, but based on the information I have observed, I just don’t see a case of retaliation under which those who worked for him were retaliated against. I see examples of the administration of discipline brought about because of conduct of inappropriate behavior by certain parties; perhaps that is what you are calling “retaliation”.

    I cannot say that I think everything Hatton did was correct or proper. I think he has made some bad decisions and has done some things that had he given more thought to them he would have done otherwise. I think Hatton was a man with too much stress, to much pressure, too many worries, too few employees, two or three too many enemies in his command, too much work, and I think he had a person of power gunning for him. I think the retaliation that occurred here was against Hatton Wright. I also think the investigations and depositions that have occurred and that are about to occur will prove that as well.

    All of that having been said, I do believe that there were, and still are, problems in public works that need to be dealt with, and dealt with severely. However, until we settle the political issues I don’t believe the organizational issues will be settled. I say that because the employees are using political power-plays to serve their own purposes and there is a political will to oblige them.

    Common Sense, I am glad that you are concerned…I just think your focus is on the wrong level. Work with me, not against me, to hold the politicians accountable…I promise you that if we can ever get the politicians to stop playing politics, and act like servants, the rest of this government will take care of itself.

    It really isn’t that difficult:

    The city manager is the administrative head of the government…his responsibility is the day-to-day operation of government. He is to be held ultimately responsible for everything that occurs in his administration. He has to have the latitude to conduct himself in such a manner so as to fulfill all of his duties without interference or inter-meddling of any kind by either the commission as a body or by the individual commissioners. He is kind of like the President of the city.

    The Commission is there to pass ordinances and resolutions and that is about it. If they don’t feel the city manager is doing an adequate job they have the right and responsibility to hire a new city manager.

    The city attorney is there to look into any complaints of wrongdoing or injustice, and if there is reason to believe a person has violated either the United States Constitution, the Constitution of the State of Tennessee, the Laws of the state, the Ordinances and Resolutions of the City, or the policy of the city government, bring the person, or persons, believed to be guilty to account for their actions.

    The city manager is the person who should be held accountable if the government organization is not being run properly. If the city manager knows that his head is on the chopping block if he doesn’t run a tight ship than he will run a tight ship…and if he doesn’t…whack, whack, whack!

    The payroll committee ended up having to address much more than just “payroll”. We had to look into things like retirement, benefits, laws, and evaluations. One of the difficulties of the city government was that there was no really fair evaluation system in place, especially for the city manager. The commission needed a mechanism to be able to advise the city manager as to whether they felt he was doing a good job or not. The lack of documentation makes it difficult for a commission to fire a city manager for cause. The lack of constructive, documented, official feedback to the city manager concerning the commission’s opinion of his performance was, in my opinion, one of the biggest contributing factors in this whole mess. I personally advised the mayor on this matter.

    Had the complainants followed city policy, rather than trying to turn a regular section 9 grievance into a section 14 sexual harassment complaint, it would have forced any required corrective action necessary to remedy the situation or Rob Shearer would have been held responsible. The commission could have asked for a report of whatever actions he took concerning the complaints, and if they were not satisfied they could have either directed him by resolution to take further corrective action or they could have fired him. However, that is not what happened. Somehow somebody wanted to get cute and file this as a sexual harassment issue…perhaps it was because that is the most damaging thing they could have done to Hatton’s reputation or perhaps it was because someone (I won’t mention names) wanted to take this matter out of Rob Shearer’s hands. No matter why they elected to use sex as a basis for their complaint, their election caused their complaint to be tossed out. I still don’t know why neither complainant returned with a proper complaint under section 9. Had they done so the city manager would have been obliged to handle this situation, and had he then not dealt with the problem (if one actually exists) he could have been fired for cause.

    Rob is my friend, everyone should know that by now, but with that said, if he didn’t do his job he should have been fired for cause (I believe he did his job, I am just saying that “IF” he didn’t do his job, he should have been fired for cause and the cause should have been documented.). Everyone needs to understand this very clearly; there was a lot of game playing going on to try to avoid paying Rob’s severance package and to avoid fulfilling his contract. The game playing that went on to try to get out of paying him his severance package and to get out of fulfilling his contract is ultimately going to cost this city millions of dollars. Had they either left him alone or just paid him his severance package and fired him without cause the city wouldn’t be in the pickle it is in right now…it would probably be in another pickle (these people can’t seem to help themselves), but it wouldn’t be the same pickle…and what a pickle it is!

    What I find most disgusting is that the power play going on may have left innocent people in unacceptable circumstances, working under unacceptable conditions, or it could have enable people with nefarious and sinister intentions to inflict harm on otherwise innocent people; In reality, you and I don’t know with absolute certainty which occurred, all we really know is that something happened. You believe your point of view and your perception, I believe mine…until the evidence is fully collected and all the questions are asked and answered we won’t know the whole truth…will we?

    Even though we don’t know the whole truth, we do know parts of the truth with sufficient certainty to know that a full investigation is warranted and necessary. What is the matter with dragging the whole truth out into the light-of-day?

  27. Common Sense

    Any chance you want to touch on any of the other issues I raised? You really need to look at the big picture, and not just the former director of Public Works. Then you might just see it. At this point, you are focused in and have tunnel vision.

  28. Butch huber

    common sense,

    Please, if you have something to say just say it. I am interested in the truth no matter what it is. I am focused on a big picture, it may just not be the one you want me to be focused on. The tunnel vision I have is the vision for law, order, civility, justice, equity and peace in this city.

    I cannot see from what I have been presented how anyone other than Bobby, Rob, Hatton and perhaps Debbie Moss have been a victim of retaliation. I tried to see it, I just don’t see it.

    If you are talking about the accusation of Hatton’s personal truck being on the lift at public works after he retired and Mrs. Scott having her benefit pulled after she retired and others who have retired still receiving a benefit, I see that as people possibly receiving benefits they are not allowed more than I see it a case of retribution because everyone else doesn’t get the same disallowed benefit.

    I agree that there are things that need to be investigate, I just don’t quite agree with the way you seem to perceive things.

  29. Common Sense

    Allegations. Butch threw out the word allegations…

    Come on Butch, run for mayor. Being on the payroll committee makes you more than qualified, and if you spent as much time being mayor as you do writing posts on here, you could shape this city up in no time. Of course, could your ego handle it if you were to get beat as bad as say Linberry did a few years ago? But if you were to somehow win, at some point you would show up for a commission meeting all out of whack from not getting enough sleep due to the blacked out helicopters over your house! Focus that tunnel vision on running for mayor and remember, internet hijacking is not a felony so you are not disqualified from running.

    If you are elected, how soon should we expect that fallout shleter of yours to be erected? Can you stock it with your leftovers from Y2K???

  30. Butch huber

    Common Sense,

    You are one strange fella.

  31. Watchful Eye

    Commom Sense, To get your facts right, that investigation where 16 women were victims, well, that is not quite the truth. There were 16 people who were questioned. They were not victims. In fact, a few of them were men. Someone I know was questioned and was one of the 16 but was never a victim. The police officer that did the investigation did an excellent job! Maybe there was a reason he nor the attorney the Mayor hired ever found any wrong doings by Hatton Wright. Also, Debbie Moss did not use her email for gain. Her daughter who was volunteering at the city, used it to ask for donations for a beauty pageant from people whom she knew as friends. Yes, it was wrong and demanded a slap on the hand, not a firing. Also, Hatton Wright’s vehicle has NEVER been on the rack at Public Works. It was an unmarked police car. One of the disgruntled women saw it and went and told some of the other disgruntled women about it and they started that rumor. If your going to post facts here, please get them right.

  32. Common Sense

    I was quoting a story from the Tennessean that was printed on March 28, 2005 when I wrote about the 16 women. It was NOT Hatton Wright in that story, but another former employee. I would go ahead and explain it to you again, but it is pointless. Between the censorship on the posts, and others using this site to defend friends, this site has become a propaganda machine rather than fact which is what the real “radio free” was set up to deliver years ago.

    As for Debbie Moss, I received my information on what happened directly from a former city manager. I would be more than happy to forward that email if needed, but this most likely will be censored…

  33. The policy of the RFMJ webmasters is to allow all opinions on issues to be posted – whether we agree with them or not.

    There are only two categories of posts that we will not approve: 1) Rumor-mongering and unsubstantiated allegations; 2) Attempts to make public the identity of anyone who has been posting anonymously.

    There is a long and honorable tradition of anonymous political commentary in US political history. When it works, it helps to keep the focus of the discussion on ideas rather then personalities.

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  34. Butch huber

    C.S…..it frustrates you that you are not in charge of this site, doesn’t it? I have an idea, perhaps you could go to wordpress and start your own site so you and all of your three friends can share your thought with each other. From time to time you could tune in to radiofree to see what people who care about the issues are up to and then you can go back to your own site and whine and rant about what we are saying on here without being censored.

  35. John Reitz

    Dear watchful eye
    How do confuse a truck with an unmarked police car?
    Yes his truck has been servced at city garage.
    Probably not any more though. You keep saying
    Hatton was found innocent, Part of the settlement in
    Sandy’s case was to get rid of Hatton, did you forget there were other attorneys envolved? Attorneys outside
    the city. Talk to builders around town, talk to the
    employees who used to work there, talk to the people who grew up around here I have. See who the person you keep defending really is. Of coarse you
    already know this because you are cut out of the same mold aren’t you?

  36. common sense

    Butch, I’ll let you play in the mud by yourself. In case you didn’t notice, you have been posting to yourself all week. Seems like old times.

  37. Butch huber

    John,

    I know Toby, the city mechanic, and as I understand it he emphatically denies having worked on Hatton’s vehicle. I realize that you think that you have seen, or someone you know thinks that he/she has seen Hatton’s vehicle on the rack at public works, and perhaps it was, however, it is also possible that you or your informant are mistaken, not mistaking a car for a truck, but perhaps mistaking an undercover police vehicle (a truck) for Hatton’s truck. I for one will tend to believe Toby for now, I have not known Toby to be a dishonest person and until someone can offer proof to me that what you say is correct, I will stand by Toby rather than believe an unsubstantiated accusation by some undisclosed person. Had Hatton’s car been on the rack at public works it would have been wrong, but it wouldn’t be a hanging offense. In fact, it certainly wouldn’t be as bad as say, conspiring with a public official to cause harm to an employee of the city.

    You say that “part of the settlement in Sandy’s case was to get rid of Hatton”. Can you provide proof of that? You should always be willing and able to provide proof of what you state. There is no way possible for the settlement in Sandy’s case to legally establish a condition to “get rid of Hatton”. The only person in the city that could have made that call, and who could have approved that condition, was Rob Shearer. If that was included in the settlement as a condition then there is a real can of worms to be opened.

    As far as the builders are concerned, are you talking about builders like Chris Ryan of pulte homes, who, according the the mayor’s testimony, offered to give the city an additional six figure donation toward a ladder truck, a ladder truck that would have benefitted the mayor’s employer/developer, if she were able to get him illegal building permits? I consider those types of donations to be “bribes”. I am sure that Hatton isn’t tops on Chris Ryan’s list because Hatton was instrumental in stopping the mayor’s efforts in the illegal meeting she called to attempt to persuade city employees to illegally issue the permits to Pulte Homes. Or are you talking about developers like CRS, who hired the mayor to work for them as legal counsel and for whom the mayor made the infamous phone call the Bobby Franklin to try to illegally persuade Bobby, under color of office, to remove a condition from CRS property? Or are you talking about the developer who had a superintendent working for him that choked a city employee?
    John, Hatton wright no longer works for the city…he is gone. He is no longer hurting your wife or anyone else in city government. Your wife’s complaint against him, as coordinated with the Mayor, made sure that he was gone. Here is the question to you, John. Was your wife used by the mayor to get rid of Hatton Wright? You say that part of the settlement in the Sandra Dempsey case was to get rid of Hatton, and since the mayor nor the commission has that power, was there a plot to force him to leave? I remember the mayor stating in a public meeting that she “encouraged” Cathy to file a complaint against Hatton Wright. Was Cathy part of a conspiracy to embarrass and harm Hatton Wright? Was she duped into being a participant in a plot to get rid of Hatton to fulfill what you say was a condition of the settlement in the Sandra Dempsey lawsuit against the city? I read Cathy’s six page writing and I read the one page complaint. I remember the mayor talking about how she was communicating with Cathy on this issue. I remember how the mayor stated in one commission meeting that she was “handed” a six page document written by Cathy Reitz and then in another meeting she said that she was “e-mailed” this six page document. It could be that there are lies being told or it could be that she actually did receive the document both ways. I have found the timing of the complaint your wife filed to be quite curious, I believe that I remember talk of the mayor pressuring your wife to file her sexual harassment complaint by a certain date, a date that would have caused the most damage to Hatton Wright and that would have created a situation that would have made it very difficult to negotiate out of the lawsuit without settling, is that true? I remember Kevin Mack filing a complaint stating that you called him complaining of how you and your wife felt “abandoned” by the mayor once the complaint against Hatton failed to fulfill its intended purpose…was Kevin lying? I remember how you never denied that that phone call occurred and I remember how there are phone records to prove that you someone from one of your phone numbers did in fact call Kevin’s phone number. I remember how the investigating attorney reported that it was of interest to her that your wife filed a sexual harassment complaint against Hatton Wright, but by about midstream in the investigation Cathy’s testimony and further accusations was turning her complaint into more of a complaint against another employee of the city. As I remember it, the investigating attorney was puzzled as to how this the complaint of sexual harassment was filed against Hatton. Her puzzlement led me to believe that the six page writing made by Cathy Reitz had never been submitted to the investigating attorney. I asked the city attorney if the six page writing your wife had written was given to the investigating attorney and was told it was none of my business. By all appearances the six page writing never made it to the investigating attorney. I remember how the Mayor admitted to making the unilateral decision not to submit the six page writing to the city manager (Which I believe is a violation of the sexual harassment policy of the city), but rather coordinated with Cathy for the filing of the one page complaint. I really was perplexed as to how the six page writing about so many people and so many issues, but with little substance whatsoever regarding any instance of what could even loosely be considered sexual harassment toward your wife committed by Hatton Wright, ended up as a sexual harassment complaint against Hatton. But then I learned more, I found that if the complaint against Hatton Wright were filed under any matter other than the sexual harassment it would have had to have been filed under section 9 of the personnel manual and the city manager would have had to handle it instead of it going before the commission under the ethics policy. I also remember how the mayor and the city attorney coordinated on exactly what to do with the six page writing. I also remember how, contrary to established freedom of information laws, the city attorney blocked my attempt to see the e-mails that were sent back and forth between the city attorney and the mayor. One of the things that I now imagine could have been in those e-mails, and I have to imagine now because they illegally refused to provide the e-mails to me, could be dialog that discussed how to craft this complaint to make it about Hatton Wright and sexual harassment so that it could be taken out of the hands of Rob Shearer. Now, you and Cathy are in a position perhaps to help clear up some of those issues for us, John. Please tell us how a six page complaint against a lot of people ended up as a one page complaint of sexual harassment by Hatton Wright. Because, you see, this all sounds very much like a vendetta against Hatton Wright to me. Two investigations have failed to find him to have committed sexual harassment and still he doesn’t get a break. He was forced to retire and yet still he is drug through the mud. What exactly do you and the others who seem to hate him so much want from him? This man is still dealing with the loss of his wife and the loss of his job, and still he is being castigated…what more do you and the others want? There is no shred of evidence anywhere that I have seen that indicates that Hatton is guilty of anything that would send him to jail or that he could be charged criminally for, so what do you and the others want? Do you want to sue him for something? You have to prove damages in order to win a lawsuit against him…has he damaged you or anyone else in some way that can be proven? If not you won’t succeed in a civil lawsuit.
    I think that there are significant numbers of employees in public works who have gone on record defending Hatton Wright, and while I am sure that there are former employees who don’t like, even Sandra Dempsey, a woman who filed a sexual harassment complaint against him, evidently wanted to go back to work for him. He couldn’t have been that bad if she wanted to go back to work for him.

    So, John, I beg of you, please bring the whole truth out into the open so we can see what really happened back then. Let us know the answers to my questions. If you are going to make hurtful statements about someone you should be willing to bring evidence to back up what you say. And if you are not willing to try a case in the court of public opinion you might want to reserve your accusations for a court of law.

    Publius, perhaps we should see if we can get a copy of the settlement in the Sandra Dempsey lawsuit to verify what John Reitz is saying. If he is correct there needs to be a full investigation to determine if there were efforts to circumvent our city charter so that the city could fulfill its agreement in the settlement.

    John, I am not saying that there were not, and are not, serious problems in the Public Works department, and I am not saying that Cathy hasn’t be wronged in any way, in fact, I hope she gets exactly what she has coming to her. I am just saying that based on testimony that has been given and evidence that I have seen with my eyes and heard with my ears, I can’t see anything that would prove that Hatton is a villain. I believe, based on what is part of public record, that there really are villains in this saga, but I don’t see Hatton as the man in the black hat…there may be a woman or two wearing black hats…and perhaps there are some men in black hats as well, but I can’t fit Hatton for his black hat just yet.

  38. Butch huber

    C.S.

    As I said before, every protagonist needs an antagonist…you, and other liberals like you, have played an important role in the success of this site. Also, as I have stated before, I was beginning to believe that I was going to have to post under a pseudonym to be my own antagonist until you and others like you came along. I have thanked you for being who you are…wasn’t that enough praise for your delicate ego? I will try it again, C. S., thank you so very much for being who you are, people like you give me opportunity after opportunity to keep the issues alive and you help keep people tuning in; they like to see me toy with you like a cat plays with a rat, what is amusing is that they realize you aren’t aware that I am toying with you even when I tell you I am…that is because your ego exceeds your intellect…C.S, please don’t ever stop posting, you keep things amusing for the rest of us. When I tell you to go play with your jacks I don’t really mean it, I am sorry if I hurt your feelings…do you forgive me? (By the way, did you make it to tensies?)

  39. Common Sense

    (By the way, did you make it to tensies?)

    What are you talking about? And Butch, please realize that you are not capable of toying with anyone on this site. You may choose to believe that, but deep down you can’t lie to yourself. I think you said it all when you stated that you thought about posting to yourself…

    I’ll reply if you answer the tensies question, because it absolutely makes no sense att hsi point, but again, I’ll let you play in the mud by yourself. You are probably just skitzo enough to get by with that!

  40. John Reitz

    Yes Hatton’s truck was worked on. For Toby to admit
    this You would realize would get him in trouble.
    Butch in one breath you speak of the city attorneys saying Hatton is innocent and in the other you say they block e-mails. Now you didn’t agree with the attorneys
    letting the mayor off when Hatton had a complaint.
    The attorney’s Sandy had found legal cause to sue the
    city and get sandy’s a job at the police dept. Sandy
    was never wanting to go back to work with Hatton
    the person she sued, that’s insane. Why can’t you get this , read my lips there were other attorneys brought in because the city attorney’s job is to protect the city.
    they did it with Hatton and they did it with the mayor. Can you see this now. Thats their is lidigation coming from EEOC in the near future. Again their are outside lawsuits coming because the city attorneys are to believe in the city and not the truth. NO ONE
    will speak up in fear of losing their job. I’m proud of my wife for standing up for a fellow employee. She has more integrity than all those afraid to speak. I met with city manager about the harrassment my wife was receiving at work from Gary Gaskin, his comment was I won’t let my wife work there. So he was unwilling to deal with the problem even to talk to Gary. So I thought I would talk to Gary. I called he hung up on me, I called back, finally the secretary answered and said he was in a meeting. I drove by the office saw him sitting in his office. so I went home and called again. The secretary said he was in a meeting. I told her I could meet Gary after work to talk with him.
    That evening I recieved a call from the police saying I was no longer allowed to come near public works where my wife worked. That Gary Gaskin submitted a complaint against me . That means I can’t bring my wife coffee which I did on occasion, and my son could not come in to see his mother etc. I have been warned by pulte homes that Gary Gaskin has been slamming
    me and my wife in front of their employees. That he is out to get Kathy. I spoke to the city manager about this and He said is she should just quit. Well that will
    not happen and again because of the city’s stupidity
    Two more law suits are on their way not including Franklin’s. And this I say to the city manager, Mr Robertson I would be ashamed to serve in any
    Military with you. To a man who lives to cover up,
    You better get some thick blankets sir, Strike that sir
    you don’t deserve that title.

  41. Butch Huber

    C.S.

    Tensies is when you get to a point in the game of jacks where you have to pick up ten jacks at once.

    Again, you don’t even know when you are being toyed with.

  42. John Reitz

    Sorry about my spelling and such. I’m just really pissed
    at all the lies.

  43. Butch Huber

    John Reitz,

    I was speaking of two seperate attorneys. The Attorney who conducted the investigation into the complaint “against” Hatton Wright was the one that found no merit to the complaint of sexual harassment against Hatton Wright…the city attorney is the attorney who would not give me access to information that is categorically public information, I even sent her the statutes and case law that proves that she was required to turn the information over to me, to which she refused my request. So, you see, it wasn’t the same attorney.

    John, my association with Toby causes me to believe that he is a good man with a sense of integrity…I don’t believe that he is all that concerned with losing his job…I have seen him stand up to city commissioners in the past, so I know that he is no wimp. I know what he makes working for the city and I know that he could replace his job any day he wanted to replace it.

    But let’s say that you are correct, and Hatton’s truck was being worked on by city employees…where does that get you? About all you would be able to do with that is get Toby, the public works director, and the city manager in a little hot water. I seriously doubt anyone would lose their job over something like that. I admit, I believe that government equipment and facilities need to be used for government purposes, and if there was something going on like this it should be dealt with, but it wouldn’t be a major crime had they had his truck on the rack.
    If Gary Gaskins doesn’t want to take your phone calls he doesn’t have to John. Your description of your actions in the last post you made make you sound as though you are stalking him. The attorney’s narrative of your wife’s testimony given during the investigation into her complaint reveals that you and she seemed to be going after Gary Gaskins. The Attorney said that you told her that your wife had secretly taped at least one of the sessions when she was being deposed which curiously makes her seem paranoid. In the middle of the investigation your wife turned the complaint into more of an issue with Gary Gaskins than it was about Hatton Wright. John, what is really going on there? I don’t know the full truth regarding your wife, you, and public works, but I hope in the end justice and truth prevail. It probably is better that you stay away from public works anyway, John. You tend to use combative words which couldn’t work to your advantage in this situation.

    The two lawsuits you are speaking of will do nothing but reveal more of what is going on in this city. By the way, John, I would be careful about threatening lawsuits if you are not willing and able to follow through with it. That kind of language has a way of backfiring on you.

    John, why would an educated woman such as Cathy want to remain in a ten dollar an hour position?

    Again, John, I encourage you, I beg of you, let us know that full story. Put it out there for the whole world to see. Show me something of substance that proves what you are saying. Do you have photos of Hatton’s truck on a lift? Do you have any recordings of someone saying something that is illegal? When I make statements that are my “opinion” I try to always make sure that reader can discern that my statement is “opinion” and not fact. When I post statements that are my “belief” I try to let the reader know that my statements are my “Belief”. But when I state something as fact I try to always make sure that I have evidence to back up what I am saying. I am always ready to provide that proof if asked. It is easy to come on here and say one thing or another, but one day you may have to back up what you are saying with proof, and in the absense of proof you could be in a lot of trouble.

    John,

    you posted: “The attorney’s Sandy had found legal cause to sue the
    city and get sandy’s a job at the police dept. Sandy
    was never wanting to go back to work with Hatton
    the person she sued, that’s insane. Why can’t you get this , read my lips there were other attorneys brought in because the city attorney’s job is to protect the city.
    they did it with Hatton and they did it with the mayor.” If you read the investigating officer in the Sandra Dempey complaint investigation he stated that she confirmed that she had wanted reconsider her previous position that she didn’t want to work for Hatton and that she would consider going back to work for him. As I understand it, the city was in good position to beat her lawsuit and was ready to take it to court until Cathy filed her lawsuit in such a timely fashion that it made Sandra’s complaint look substantiated and in such a time that there was no time to conduct the investigation into your wife’s complaint before the mediation was to occur. Great timing if you want to make Hatton look as guilty as possible. Remember, the lawsuit was not over Hatton’s behavior, nor was it against Hatton (At least I don’t think it was) it was over her reassignment to the parks department. From what I can tell by reading the investigation Sandra seemed to want to be transferred out of Public Works, got transferred, then wanted to go back to Public Works. That may not be what happened, but that is the conclusion I draw from what I have read. When you say “they did it with Hatton and they did it with the mayor” I presume your meaning of that statement was that they brought in attorney’s from outside the city. If you will remember, the city attorney conducted the investigation into the actions of the mayor. If you will go back and read the depositions you will see that it appeared that the attorney was working as the Mayor’s defense attorney rather than as the city attorney. It was quite a slight of hand on the part of the mayor to make sure that the city attorney wasn’t bogged down in the complaint against Hatton Wright so that she could be free to investigate her when Hatton Filed his complaint. Now, not to give credit where credit isn’t due, she may not have been that slick, perhaps the reason she wanted to city attorney to be recused was because the city attorney was involved in the events that lead to the filing of the complaint in the first place.

    Gary Gaskins may be after your wife (not saying that he is or isn’t), but, excuse me for saying this, you and she both seem to be after him. Isn’t it fair play that if you and your wife are out to get him that he could in turn be out to get her (not saying that he is or isn’t)? I don’t know Gary Gaskins, I don’t think I have ever even seen Gary Gaskins, so don’t think he and I are friends. All I am going by is what I have seen in investigative findings and what you have said on this site, but you and your wife really seem to be out to get several people, people who, other than what I have heard coming from you and your wife, have no credible evidence against them to prove they have done anything wrong. John, you and your wife seem not to have gotten satisfaction from two separate city managers, and acting city manager, two public works directors, and an action public works director, you have filed a complaint that was determined to be unfounded, now I am just kinda thinking out loud here, but perhaps it is time to move on. I realized that there is no way to get justice in this city, so instead of pushing the issue for now I do what I can to remind everyone of what has happened so that come election time it is on the top of their mind. Eventually there will be enough truth brought out into the light of day that we will be able to piece it all together, then perhaps the justice system will have no choice but to take appropriate action. Good luck with the EEOC lawsuits, they will be hard to win. But, hopefully the depositions will give us some more insight into what is going on in this city.

  44. John Reitz

    No butch my wife stood up for another employee
    in fact for more than one. The city has managed to get ride of the previous employees because they were working work with integrity and honesty. My wife has stood her
    ground. They have tryed hard to have her fired but the lies Gary Gaskin has told aren’t holding water. This isn’t the first employee Gary has harassed. I just think chest
    beaters like Gaskin should not be allowed to scream and yell and abuse women at work, but I guess you disagree with that maybe that’s how you treat women Butch, I really can’t come to any other conclusion considering your remarks.

  45. Butch huber

    John,

    I think you know better about me. If you are going to make attacking statements about me perhaps you should at least make them reasonable. You know that I don’t believe that anyone, woman or man, should be abused, and while I have refrained from making abusive remarks about you, John, you seem to be very quick to make them about me. What you are doing is weakening your case, not strengthening it. If you can’t carry on a simple dialog without getting nasty then there probably is a reason that you have been barred from going to public works. I will help you come to another conclusion, John. I don’t believe that male employees should be able to scream and yell and abuse women, but on the other hand, I don’t think that women should be able to file unsubstantiated sexual harassment complaints against male employees just because they don’t like them without having to answer for it either. A woman yells sexual harassment and it is just like yelling “fire” or “bomb” in a movie theater or crowded building. Everyone naturally gives you the benefit of the doubt at first. In fact, when a woman lodges a complaint against a man for sexual harassment the deck is stacked against him from the very start. Just because you and your wife say something doesn’t mean the rest of the world is going to believe you just because you say it. Someday you are going to have to provide something of substance to prove your accusations…when that day come will you be ready? I have asked you to provide “PROOF” of what you say, but all you do is attack and take pot shot after pot shot. If you actually could provide proof perhaps you could get some help, but until you stop providing abusive remarks and yet further accusations as your “proof” you will continue to prove nothing, all you will achieve is to provide yet further indication of your very nature…which is working against you.
    John, can we have an honest, mature, straight-forward dialog regarding the matters that you are concerned with? You know, shouting, yelling, making attacking remarks and being arrogant doesn’t make you right, it just makes you loud, obnoxious, rude, nasty and arrogant.

    Now, do you have anything to back up what you say or not? If so, let’s hear it, if not, well, perhaps it would be best that you stop talking.

    I understand that your wife stood up for other employees, but sexual harassment is a personal matter and it is very subjective in its very nature. It will be hard for your wife to prove a claim of sexual harassment when she was not sexually harassed. As long as the person who was sexually harassed refuses to complain it will be hard to be successful in a complaint of sexual harassment.

    John, I asked you a lot of questions in my last post; I noticed that you neglected to answer all but perhaps one…I find that curious, I provide you with a platform to speak out and all you do is attack me. John, can you tell the truth? Is it possible for you to have a mature conversation about all of this? I know that if my wife were in such a terrible situation I would get her out of there. That doesn’t make it okay for them to mistreat her, but nobody gets away with mistreating my wife, John. I have to wonder what kind of man allows his wife to remain in an abusive situation.

  46. John Reitz

    Butch you accuse me of stocking a person and you think I am slamming you. So your answer like all your friends
    is to walk away let everything go let the abuse continue for other women. Maybe you don’t stand up for your rights maybe your’re just a bunch of hot air. What about your friend Bobby Franklin should he just walk away
    Maybe you should just leave the mayor alone maybe you should forget about the YMCA. The lawsuits I speak of
    I can’t tell you everything how stupid would that be give the enemy all the information and yes I consider
    The people that lie about my wife and myself the enemy. If you want go pull my wifes file look at what she gets written up for, for helping people, when their wifes come to public works in tears. For being late when her time cards are misplaced by Gary Gaskin
    when she calls in and Gary Gaskin says she didn’t call
    but the phone records say she did. when nothing is in her personal file until after she filed her complaint.
    When she was accused of taking pictures of an employees butt who frequents the bikini bar and has his picture on that website, Jill from HR made sure she was there to write up. That’s just a little of what’s been going on. What kind of man allows his wife to remain in an abusive situation you ask. Kathy has chosen to stay and fight for the rights of others.
    Like I said before why don’t you walk away Butch
    from all your beliefs. This is about retaliation from the city for speaking up and telling the truth. I guess it’s ok for Bobby Franklin to do because it’s against women but for a woman to speak up against one of the good ole boys it’s a sin. Butch look into all the women who worked for these people, are they all idiots, liars, disgrutal women, women that need to be put in their place. You can’t hold a candle to these women, they are willing to put their job on the line for
    telling the truth. I know you have iching ears Butch.
    but as for me and my family we serve the Lord and he is our witness and I do rebuke these spirits of lies and slander. Now let us wait and see what the lord will do.

  47. Butch huber

    John,

    What I am saying to you is that if my wife were being abused in an employment situation, (not saying that you wife is or isn’t being abused, but just going by what you say), I would make sure that she got out of that situation. It doesn’t mean that I would not do anything about it, it just means that I wouldn’t allow her to continue to take further abuse. My wife was in an abusive situation at her work before we got married, I wanted to do something about it then, but she stood in my way, she said that she “needed her job”. When we got married I made sure that my wife was never, ever, in a situation where she needed to stay in her job so much that she would endure abuse. I don’t know if you need your wife to stay in that job because you need the money or benefits so much as she is staying there as a sort of crusade. John, if your wife is standing up for her rights and principles than bully for her, and though it is noble to stand up for the rights of others, I have too often found that standing up for the rights of others leaves you betrayed by those you are standing up for. You see, if the people she is standing up for had any courage or honor or integrity they would stand up for themselves. I predict that in the end, those she is standing up for, if there really are people she is standing up for, will betray her. They will cower to the powers that be and turn against her. I have found that the best way to approach things is to stand for what you personally believe regardless of what others think about you or walk away. Fighting another person’s fight just seems to blow-up in your face every time, John.

    I am sure that the people on the other side of this issue are of the mind that “they” are the ones being attacked and abused by your wife. I am sure that they are saying that she is coming in there trying to find problems, or even manufacturing problems, so that she can sue the city or something. I am sure that they are of the mind that she is the problem-maker. You see, I have heard about your wife’s time-card issues; Except I have heard the story a different way. I have heard other stories about your wife coming out of public works also. So, John, if someone is going to believe one story or another, which are they to believe. I mean, everything we have heard so far is just one person’s story over another’s. Nobody has come forth with any proof. So why should we believe you and your wife’s side over the story of the people on the other side? What makes you more believable? What makes you more credible? Should we believe you because you use the word “Lord”? The scriptures tell us to Love our wife, John. Sometimes it takes being the voice of reason to Love your wife. Sometimes as a man, and I mean a real man, not a weak kneed, liberal wimp that was generated and produced through the women’s lib movement in the 70’s, but rather an honest to God real man, you have to be a voice of reason to your wife. She may be acting out of principle, but if she is enduring abuse get her out of there! I am sure that with all the tape recordings and things that she has amassed by now she has all that she needs to press her case…if there is one to press. What is the point of remaining in the abuse? If I were a judge and you came before me claiming continued abuse, but instead of getting away from the abuse you remain in it, I would have to question just how bad was the abuse.

    You say that your wife is sticking up for other women. My response to that is that most if not all of the people that your wife “stuck up for” in her complaint seemed to diminish or refute her claim. I may have missed something, but I don’t remember anyone really taking her side in that complaint. In the first complaint against Hatton there were only a couple of people who seemed to take Sandra Dempsey’s side of things, and even then only to a degree.

    John, are you so filled with hate that you can’t hear or read what is actually written. Again, you haven’t gotten satisfaction from two city managers, an acting city manager, two public works directors, an acting public works director, an investigating attorney, or the city commission. That is a lot of dissatisfaction. I don’t discourage you from filing a lawsuit, I encourage it. I am just saying that it will be difficult for you to win an EEOC lawsuit. You will have to prove actual damages in that lawsuit, and as far as I can tell there are no damages to be proven. But that doesn’t mean that I know everything. Perhaps you have evidence that you are unwilling to put forth at this time. However, there comes a time and a place where you have to remove yourself from the abusive situation or you look like you are creating the problem rather than standing against it. If the city manager said that he wouldn’t let his wife work in such a situation, as city manager he is wrong for having said it, he has a duty and responsibility to straighten up any wrongful actions that are going on on his watch. But I can say it, John. If things are as you portray I would do everything I could to get my wife out of there. Doesn’t mean that I would stop there, but at least I would get my wife out of that situation.

    John, at least for now, I have had to let my beliefs sit on the shelf. I thought that the law mattered. I thought that if anyone broke the law and you brought that fact to the attention of law enforcement officials they would take action. I was wrong, John. Turns out that the law is just for you and me, elected officials get a pass, they get “Professional Courtesy”, John, they are above the law. The only way that elected officials get prosecuted is if they step on the “wrong” toes. If they step on the toes of the in-crowd in politics, and their is evidence that they have committed a crime (I suppose that sometimes there doesn’t even have to be actual evidence, I am sure that evidence can be manufactured if need be.) then they may be prosecuted. John, I used to think that individual rights mattered, today, after having watched the judicial system fail to enforce the laws because they don’t want to get involved in politics, I have come to realize that individual rights don’t really matter anymore, perhaps they never did. The only thing that matters is power, influence and money, John. Which is one of the reasons that I say good luck with the EEOC lawsuits, they will be exceedingly difficult to win.

    You see, John, I have been disillusioned. I pointed out violation after violation of the T.C.A. and I have provided evidence to back up my position and I have been ridiculed as going on yet another rant. They ignore me and scoff at me, and have fun at my expense, knowing all the while they are protected by a judicial system that is there to protect them from citizens holding public officials accountable. If ordinary citizens like you and I are able to take down elected officials for having violated the law it could get to the point where we could hold Governors and Presidents accountable for their actions. People of power and influence and people with deep pockets want that to be their purview. So when ordinary people like you and I start sticking our noses into that arena we find the welcome mat in the American Justice system has been rolled up.

    John, you say that I can’t hold a candle to these women, they are willing to put their job on the line for telling the truth. John, you don’t know my history, you don’t know what I have done and what I have risked, nor do you know what I have lost by doing the right thing. Do you think there is no personal risk to me to keep going after these commissioners and the mayor? Do you think that there isn’t the possibility that I am stepping on some very big toes that are hidden behind the curtain that is our local government? Do you think that there isn’t some risk involved in exposing what these local developers are doing in this community? John, I financially lost more in just one instance of standing for what is right than any of these women will earn in a lifetime working at the jobs that they hold. So, please, don’t lecture me on how noble these women are because they stand for truth…I have been there and done that and I came back with just my tee shirt.

    You seem to be posting on Radiofree as a means of rallying support for your position, however, you really haven’t provided anything on here except for accusations. The things that I say about the people that I have issues with can be proven. Not only can it be proven, I have sited issue after issue and I have shown the truth or I have told readers where they can find the truth, real hard evidence of fact. Even with all the evidence that is available to prove my position, I have had to deal with you and common sense and a few others coming on here blasting me for my position.

    Bobby has hard evidence of what he is suing the city for having done to him. He gave them a chance to rectify the situation, they refused. But, John, Bobby isn’t filing an EEOC lawsuit, which would be hard to win and which is a hollow win because there is limited reward, he personally filed a federal lawsuit which he is almost sure to win.

    John, so where will you be when it is all said and done and you lose your EEOC lawsuits, which you almost certainly will lose? What then? I can tell you that going through the judicial system is a waste of time, they won’t help you. The commission isn’t going to help you. So what then? John, there is an old saying that “a fox can whip a skunk, but it just isn’t worth it”. Unfortunately, that is really where you are when you come against elected officials. You might end up winning in the final quarter, but it is a hollow victory because there is no prize except the personal satisfaction of knowing that you stood for what was right and won.

    And John, that is why I am doing what I am doing. If I can repeatedly point out to those who read my posts just how bad the divide is between those with power and influence in this country and those without, perhaps one day there will be enough people willing to take a stand that we can collectively do something about it. The something that needs to be done is that we need to develop large numbers of citizens, large enough to swing elections, and those citizens need to be active participants in the political process. If three hundred voters showed up at city hall every week and demanded an investigation into the activities that are going on at city hall and if three hundred citizens called General Thompson’s office demanding that he investigate these people, and if three hundred people called the governor’s office demanding that the governor direct the TBI to investigate, and if three hundred people started calling all of the papers and news stations asking them to cover this story, perhaps there would be a full investigation.

  48. Toby Toombs

    John Reitz is a liar. If a storm water clerk could tell the difference between a unmarked police car and any other car on the road why would the police use them?
    Toby Toombs

  49. Butch huber

    Toby,

    Please, don’t beat around the bush so much and just say what you really are thinking.

    That is probably the funniest post I have seen to date!

  50. poor slob

    I appreciate Toby calling a spade a spade.
    I also appreciate that Butch seems to be a voice of moderation. It is nice to think that folks can see thru the smoke screen.
    It is just an opinion but I think the Reitz are self serving.
    The point is well made that complaint after complaint has been rejected and declared unfounded.
    How much real “best interest” can they have when they continue to waste city resources (time and money)on a witch hunt with no witches.

    It was made clear in the earlier complaints that Ms. Reitz had no first hand knowledge of any of the problems she complained of about Hatton.
    When that crusade was not going the way she wanted, she started adding more “details” and more “problems” and more “offenders” to the petition.
    What did the independent, outside lawyer investigating for over 100 hours of testimony say…
    “Ms. Reitz motives are suspect…”.
    It is obvious that the Reitz are only after a big pay off.
    How embarassing for those who have been duped into participating with them (CS/Chris Sorey/Common Sense) in half truths, embelishments, speculation, exagerations, outright lies and deceptions.
    Hatton was railroaded and resigned because the political stupidity was unending.
    I respect that he tried to do a good job; as good as he could do with all the interference and opposition from politicians.He was loyal to his employees and especially to his family.
    Mr. Gaskins is just hired help and caught in the middle of the Reitz money grab. Knowing some people from the city, I don’t think many people know much about him since he is so private.
    I did hear he was a friend of the Reitz before they turned on him. He had been in their home and even went to church with them.
    I have heard from the contractors I know that he ran the most professional office in the city before all this confusion and fussing started.
    Recently, I don’t hear anything about him.
    He doesn’t sound like much of a bully to me.
    Toby is too honest to service anyones vehicle in the city shop. His mom would get him if he ever did something that dishonest.
    John and Cathy, you need to stop being so free with mean comments, attacks and your cursade to put money in your pocket; then hide behind the claim to be Christian.
    I did not think Christians were supposed to be cruel and self serving.
    Maybe all the others are sinning but you are a shame to good decent Christians with the way you act and talk.

  51. Pingback: March, 2008 Archive « Right Minded Online

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