Monday, August 13, 2018

Mayor Requests Employee's Communications

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Mayor Drew, in response to an investigation of how he has treated employees, has now asked for all communication that any employee has had with respect to the investigation.

To the Common Council, he wrote:
Pursuant to the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act, and in light of the Corporation Counsel's ruling that an attorney/client relationship does not exist between the Common Council and LeClair Ryan, I am requesting copies of any and all e-mails, text messages, calendars, written communications in any form, un-redacted legal bills, and cellular telephone logs pertaining to this investigation between members of the subcommittee, any employee/associate/partner of LeClair Ryan, and any staff of the City of Middletown.
Responsive documents will include any written communications pertaining to this investigation from both public and privately held email and cellular telephone accounts.
Councilwoman Bartolotta and Councilman Giuliano responded to this request, "... please be advised that your request is being reviewed and further response(s) will be forthcoming in a reasonable time."

Bryan Skowra, Director of Information Technology, was included in the request for all of these communications. He responded to the mayor after having spoken to the State's Freedom of Information Commission, "I was advised that the record owners, in this case the subcommittee members, are responsible for gathering these documents."

Geen Thazampallath, who is a union representative at city hall, decried the Mayor's request for employee's communication, especially when the complaints include allegations of retaliatory action by the mayor, "That would have a chilling effect on people's ability to come forward with real information, he would be able to retaliate."

Thazampallath commented that one of the things most clear from the "me too" movement is how difficult it is to report harassment by a supervisor, "Coming forward is a very hard thing to do, the crux of harassment is when people use their power to act against employees who come forward."


Bill Wilson said...

So is this for some kind of payback of those employees who filed complaints against the mayor?
This is not good for the morale of city workers who were already worried about their jobs and what might happen next.

EnzoDast said...

I agree bill completely. It's just frustrating to watch what's happening here and no recourse is coming back on this mayor. I couldn't imagine being a city employee right now unless of course I were a hand picked buddy of the mayor.

Extending the term of the mayor was probably the worst decision for the city in recent memory. We need to also incorporate bylaws for impeachment which don't exist today from what I understand.