Thursday, August 23, 2018

Common Council Member Gerry Daley Delineates His Investigation Concerns

Common Council member Gerry Daley has expressed concern with the investigation instigated by the Common Council and carried out by Attorney Penny Mason.  Daley expressed this concern at the Common Council meeting when the investigation report was presented, and since then has asked two resolutions be placed on the Common Council agenda asking for explicit information from the report.  Both the executive committees of the Democratic and Republican town committees have expressed concern about the release of identities of those interviewed during the investigation.  Daley has stated that he is not interested in the names of those who were interviewed, but more interested in billing and other information that was uncovered, but not explicitly provided.

These are the communications Daley has shared with the Middletown Eye, in chronological order:

From: Gerald.Daley@MiddletownCT.Gov
Date: August 14, 2018 at 12:27:25 PM EDT
To: Linda.Reed@MiddletownCT.Gov


Linda :

At last evening’s Common Council workshop, Attorney Mason indicated that the billing / invoices from LeClair / Ryan regarding their recent engagement by the Common Council were submitted through you.

The copies of theses billings / invoices available through the City Finance Department had numerous instances of missing pages of supporting documentation as well as large sections that were redacted.

Since it appears that you received the original billings / invoices prior to submission to the Finance Department for payment, please provide each member of the Common Council with copies of the complete billings / invoices as received, with all supporting documentation that was included.  We need this information to determine exactly for what work we paid.

Also, please advise who, if not you, is responsible for withholding the missing pages and redacting the sections that were obscured.  If you are responsible, please advise who instructed / authorized you to omit such information from what was submitted to the Finance Department.

Finally, I request that you make this information available to each member of the Common Council (i.e. LeClair Ryan’s client) by the close of business tomorrow and advise if you will transmit it via e-mail or if we should pick it up at the Council office.

Thank you.
Gerald E. Daley

From: Gerald.Daley@MiddletownCT.Gov
Date: August 14, 2018 at 1:45:46 PM EDT
To: Margaret Masson

Subject: Request for Information

Attorney Mason:

I wanted to reiterate and document the request for  information that I made at last evening’s Common Council workshop.

As the Common Council made an appropriation of $40,000 for LeClair Ryan’s investigation and report, I believe that we are within our absolute authority to have access to everything that was produced or compiled in its formulation. All of it is the property of the Common Council, as your client.

Therefore, I am requesting that ALL supporting materials, either in the actual or constructive possession of LeClair Ryan be produced or made available to me as a member of the Common Council (i.e. your client).   This includes all communications, whether via e-mail, text message, or any other form of written communication between  anyone associated with LeClair Ryan and any member or members of the subcommittee named in Common Council Resolution 10-18 adopted on January 2, 2018 as well as any notes made from meetings or discussions with any member or members of said subcommittee.  This also includes all communications, whether via e-mail, text message, or any other form of written communication between  anyone associated with LeClair Ryan and any of the 29 interviewees referenced in your report, as well as any interviewee / witness statements that were taken and / or LeClair Ryan’s notes / summaries of such interviews.

Finally, as I indicated last evening, the copies of LeClair Ryan’s  billings / invoices available through the City Finance Department had numerous instances of missing pages of supporting documentation as well as large sections that were redacted.  You indicated you were not responsible for the omission of this supporting information.  Therefore, I am requesting that you please provide each member of the Common Council with copies of the complete billings / invoices as submitted, with all supporting documentation that was included.  We need this information to determine exactly for what work we paid.

Thank you.

Gerald E. Daley

From: Gerald.Daley@MiddletownCT.Gov
Date: August 21, 2018 at 12:06:31 PM EDT
To: CommonCouncil@MiddletownCT.Gov
Subject: LeClairRyan Investigation Report and Recommendations


Common Council Colleagues:

I am very dissatisfied with the LeClairRyan investigation report and recommendations we were presented on August 13th.   From what I have heard, most of you, and many taxpayers and residents, are dissatisfied as well, believing that the report raises more questions than it answers.  I believe our dissatisfaction is well justified and stems primarily from one central question: what did we get for our $40,000?

Consider these points:

  *   There were 29 interviews conducted. Based on the "blended" hourly rate of $300 agreed upon in the LeClairRyan engagement letter, and assuming an average of two billable hours per interview - I believe that is a very generous allowance of time per interview - the projected cost incurred for ALL of the interviews would be $17,400.   Perhaps more time was spent on each interview, but if not, how do we account for the remaining $22,600 that was paid from our total appropriation of $40,000?
  *   Investigations are intended to develop "findings of fact" and present a conclusive substantiation or unsubstantiation of allegations.  To accomplish such an objective, LeClairRyan, in its engagement letter, accepted a clear assignment, “to represent the Common Council of the City of Middletown (“Common Council”) in conducting an independent investigation of the Office of the Mayor and the Office of the General Counsel in connection with a complaint of alleged violation of the City’s sexual and other harassment policy, as well as in responding to correspondence from the UPSEU Local #6457”.  LeClairRyan failed to achieve this objective as its investigation did not yield any clear evidence-based conclusions and did not make any recommendations concerning responding to the letter we received from UPSEU Local #6457.
  *   The LeClairRyan report "found" a number of "themes" that were "common among those who reached out to us and requested to be interviewed."  But it did not provide any summary of what was actually stated, did not indicate how many interviews provided information relating to each theme nor how many of the interviewees supporting each theme were City employees or others (e.g. Common Council members).  Some of the "themes" appear based upon "concern", "perception", or "frustration" without any report of specific instances of problems or wrongdoing.   In order to fairly consider these "themes" and the related recommendations, don't we need more information?
  *   The LeClairRyan report states, "With regard to the DiMauro claim specifically, several interviewees reported that the Mayor stated that she would not be getting and/or did not deserve a raise, and that he commented about her being related to certain Common Council members."  Without knowing whether such interviewees reported witnessing such comments by the Mayor directly or whether their reports were based on hearsay / rumors, and without knowing if such reports were made by City employees, Common Council members (Attorney Mason stated in her presentation that several Common Council members had called her), or others - how can we determine how weight to give to the interviewee reports or the Mayor's denials?   This question seems to be central to the original complaint that prompted the investigation.
  *   When questioned, Attorney Mason stated that she had reviewed the detailed (17 pages) Memorandum of Decision in Step 2 Grievances issued by the Director of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management on February 14, 2018 wherein the Director found insufficient information or proof to support the grievance allegations of discrimination and/or Mayoral interference in the reclassification of the Manager of Human Resources (Board of Education) position.  However, the LeClairRyan report makes no reference to the conclusions and findings in the grievance hearing decision even though it appears the grievance decision provides information that is exculpatory for both the Mayor and the City Director of Human Resources.
  *   The Common Council, and the public, were provided with much more detailed information relating to the 2012 investigation concerning Deputy Chief McMahon and the 2014 investigation concerning Chief McKenna.


I understand that some people are claiming that my main purpose in requesting the additional information related to the LeClairRyan report and recommendations is to expose the identities of City employees who were interviewed.  That is simply untrue.  I do believe that anonymous allegations, particularly if they are based on hearsay or rumor, should be given less weight.   I would prefer that City employees who can provide relevant, first hand testimony would have come forward and done so on the record.  I am troubled that it does not appear that LeClairRyan advised City employees who contacted them that they had protections under their union contracts, through State CHRO, and under State whistleblower statutes as administered through the State Labor Department.   Had they done so, perhaps some of these interviewees would have been willing to go on the record and provide statements attesting to the truthfulness of the information provided.

That said, I am not really interested in the names, job titles, or other identifying information of the City employees who provided information to the investigator.   However, at the very least, we should receive the supporting documentation to the billing statements / invoices that were submitted to the City Finance Department with missing pages and large sections redacted.   I would expect that since the interviewees requested anonymity, LeClairRyan took steps to not disclose identifying information in the billing statements they submitted to the Clerk of the Common Council.  Seeing that supporting documentation will help the Council understand exactly what was paid for with taxpayer money:

  *   Specifically, how much time was spent conferring with Common Council members and non-employees vs. employees, how much time was spent reviewing relevant documentation (e.g. City policies, Personnel Rules, Task Force Reports, grievance decision concerning the same issues that were the focus of the investigation, etc.)?  Why were there no recommendations concerning the City policy on Sexual and Other Harassment which was the basis of the complaint that prompted the investigation?
  *   How much of the information and inquiries that was considered was directly related to the complaint that the investigator was engaged to investigate vs. other, largely unrelated opinion / grievances?   How much time (and money) was spent looking into inappropriate lines of inquiry that when questioned Attorney Mason admitted (e.g. a City employee’s custody arrangements with his spouse, legally protected political activities of City employees)?


We have responsibilities:

  *   to account for how taxpayer money was spent;
  *   to ensure that a full and fair investigation of the original complaint was conducted;
  *   to ensure that the due process rights of the Mayor and others accused of improper conduct are protected from any cloud of "concern", "perception", or "frustration" not substantiated by a preponderance of evidence; and finally,
  *   to City employees and others who provided information to LeClairRyan in good faith to consider their concerns, assess the validity of those concerns, and determine what should be done to address them.


To help us fulfill these responsibilities, I am placing two Resolutions on the agenda for the September 4, 2018 Common Council meeting:


  *   Demanding that the Clerk of the Common Council provide each member of the Common Council with copies of LeClairRyan’s complete billings / invoices as received, with all supporting documentation that was included, and inform the Common Council who instructed / authorized withholding supporting documentation from what was submitted to the Finance Department.



  *   Demanding that Attorney Margaret Mason and/or LeClairRyan provide copies of supporting materials and communications related to the compilation and formulation of a report and recommendations she presented to the Common Council in a workshop / Special Meeting held on August 13, 2018, as well as copies of LeClairRyan’s complete billings / invoices as received, with all supporting documentation that was included.


In accordance with our Rules of Procedure, I will be filing the full Resolutions with the Clerk of the Common Council shortly and will copy each of you on the filing.  I ask you to review them and let me know if you have any questions or concerns.  I urge your support in adopting these Resolutions.

Gerald E. Daley


From: Gerald.Daley@MiddletownCT.Gov
Date: August 21, 2018 at 12:41:02 PM EDT
To: Linda.Reed@MiddletownCT.Gov
Cc: Common Council <
Subject: Resolutions to be placed on Common Council agenda

Pursuant to our "Rules of Procedure of the Common Council", Section I paragraph 2 and Section I paragraph 2B, please place, without edits or omissions, the two attached Resolutions on the Common Council agenda.  I have attached both MSWord and PDF versions of each Resolution.

The summary of each Resolution that will appear on the agenda (with the full Resolution attached on Granicus) is to read:

Demanding that the Clerk of the Common Council provide each member of the Common Council with copies of LeClairRyan’s complete billings / invoices as received, with all supporting documentation that was included, and inform the Common Council who instructed / authorized withholding supporting documentation from what was submitted to the Finance Department.

Demanding that Attorney Margaret Mason and/or LeClairRyan provide copies of supporting materials and communications related to the compilation and formulation of a report and recommendations she presented to the Common Council in a workshop / Special Meeting held on August 13, 2018, as well as copies of LeClairRyan’s complete billings / invoices as received, with all supporting documentation that was included.

Thank you.

Gerald E. Daley





2 comments:

john milardo said...

I have an idea of how to get to the bottom of all of Councilman Gerry Daley's questions. Have the Mayor, the City Attorney's, and the Human Resource Director take a polygraph test. All results are final! Save the taxpayers' money and put an end to all this BS!

Enzo D said...

More wise comments from Mr. Milardo. I second this motion... Drain the Middletown swamp.