A second female Middletown City Hall employee has filed a formal letter of complaint with the city's Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management. Other complaints have been filed by Board of Education Human Resource Manager Michele DiMauro, and employee Linda Reed who has requested to speak about her role as Zoning Enforcement Officer
to the attorney hired to investigate the mayor's office.
"I think it becomes harder for the city to say, 'there's nothing wrong here," when there are multiple complaints," said UPSEU (mid-level managers' union) local president Geen Thazhampallath, who is also the city's Director of Parking.
Debbie Stanley, Recreation Manager, filed the complaint on January 30 after reading a letter sent by city attorney Brig Smith to the Common Council on January 25 indicating that he anticipated Stanley's complaint.
Stanley's letter claims that Mayor Dan Drew "targeted me, based on my gender and political affiliations and in turn impacted my tangible work benefits."
Smith's letter was written to inform the Common Council that the city's insurer, CIRMA, (Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency) had assigned Attorney Mike Rose
Thazhampallath calls DiMauro's complaint less about a dispute in pay level and more about "principal and honor." He feels that DiMauro's willingness to challenge the city inspired other women who feel they have been wronged to speak out.
Smith explains in his letter that the outside attorney is necessary because "of the potential liability to the City for Ms. DiMauro's claims" and because "the investigation places my office in a conflict of interest."
A local grievance hearing on the DiMauro complaint by the city Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management has been held, but a finding has not been issued. One is expected as early as early as Friday February 9.
"I hope this investigation will lead to a cultural and organizational shift in the way City Hall operates," Thazhampallath said.