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SPEAK OUT: Should Rockville Reveal Details of Probe Into Former Employees' Allegations?

An editorial in The Gazette says residents 'deserve answers.'

 

An editorial in The Gazette on Wednesday renewed the call for the City of Rockville to release details into an independent probe of former city employees’ claims of harassment and discrimination by supervisors.

“Releasing the report, even with large sections redacted, would go a long way toward reassuring city residents about the management of its government,” the editorial said.

Click here to read the full editorial from The Gazette.

The city paid $190,000 to the law firm Saul Ewing, LLP to conduct the investigation after The Sentinel published a series of articles detailing complaints by former employees.

The on the part of the city and, as outlined in a city news release on Nov. 28, “recommended improvements to communication between management and staff and to the City's human resources processes.”

The city declared the final report on the probe confidential, because “it contains personnel information which cannot be made public,” the release said.

Click here to read Rockville Patch coverage of the investigation.

The Gazette and The Sentinel, as well as Rockville residents, have requested that the city make information about the probe public under the Maryland Public Information Act.

The Gazette editorial notes that a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was thrown out and that allegations have turned up on social media sites under anonymous screen names.

“On the one hand, a website’s anonymous commenters have no boundaries; they can say what they want with little regard to the truth,” the editorial said. “On the other is the adage of where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”

SPEAK OUT: Was the city right to declare the final report confidential? Should the city release the report, even if in redacted form? What do you make of the complaints and allegations that led to the probe? Do, as the Gazette editorial’s headline said, “Rockville residents deserve answers?”

Christa Puccio January 17, 2013 at 05:07 PM
26. http://www.thesentinel.com/mont/Search/Investigation8-23-12 27. http://www.thesentinel.com/mont/Search/RockvilleInvestigation11-8-12 28. http://www.thesentinel.com/mont/Search/Rockville11-19-12 29. http://www.thesentinel.com/mont/Search/Rockville11-29-12 30. http://www.thesentinel.com/mont/Search/Rockville12-6-12
Christa Puccio January 17, 2013 at 05:07 PM
31. http://www.thesentinel.com/mont/Search/Investigation12-6-12 32. http://www.thesentinel.com/mont/Search/RockvilleInvestigation12-6-12 33. http://www.thesentinel.com/mont/Search/Rockville12-26-12 34. http://www.thesentinel.com/mont/Rockville1-17-13
Sean R. Sedam January 17, 2013 at 05:32 PM
Thanks for the links above go to Brian and Christa of The Sentinel, which has taken the lead in pressing the city for information related to the former employees' allegations. This particular Sentinel article explains the denial of the Public Information Act request: http://www.thesentinel.com/mont/Search/RockvilleInvestigation12-6-12
Rocky January 17, 2013 at 10:08 PM
This is totally a Sentinel story. If you read the "comments" associated with Mr Karem's blogs they all sound th same ---I am very suspicious about the story ---As a Rockville citizen, I am very satisfied with the way the City officials have handled this situation .
Brigitta Mullican January 19, 2013 at 02:30 AM
Personnel performance issues are not for public information. When I served as an Equal Employee Opportunity counselor while working for the Federal Government, I listened to both sides of complaints. There were disgruntled employees who filed claims that were frivolous and felt filing a complaint was the only recourse they had. Then there were cases when management was wrong..one of those bad matches of employee to the office culture. The solutions were usually resolved by reassignments, training, etc. This type of information is confidential. I am glad to see the City got an outside firm to investigate the complaint. I wonder if the complaint was simply a matter of personality conflicts? Discrimination is not easy to prove. If I don't like someone, it doesn't mean I am discriminating. I worked for people I didn't like but continued to work with them. Personality needs to be left out of productivity. If productivity becomes a problem, a change needs to be made. So far I don't see what was done wrong. Again, personnel matters are confidential.

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