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Sentinel: Outside Investigator to Probe City Employees' Claims

Former city employees claim discrimination and harassment by supervisors.

Rockville will tap an independent investigator to look into former employees’ claims of discrimination and harassment by supervisors, The Sentinel reported Thursday.

Acting city manager Jennifer Kimball told The Sentinel that the city would review “policies and practices” impacting city employees.

“I will be conducting a review of those policies and practices, and am currently developing the scope of the work, including the selection of an outside party to conduct the review and an assessment of cost. Once that has been determined, I will update the Mayor and Council and proceed with the work,” Kimball told The Sentinel.

A city spokeswoman told The Sentinel that the city expects to name the independent investigator and know the cost of the investigation by next week.

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“We’ll review the whole process to find out what in the world is going on,” Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio, who said she supports an independent investigation, told The Sentinel.

It was the first time city officials have addressed the claims following a series of articles by The Sentinel describing what a former chief building inspector with the city called “a toxic environment.”

In one report, Eric Rose, a former city construction codes inspector, said he was repeatedly harassed by supervisors.

Rose also told The Sentinel that his medical history was discussed openly, in violation of the Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act.

Brigitta Mullican April 21, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Hope the allegations aren't true, but if they are then our Rockville City Hall has had more problem then the public knows. Compliments can't cover up the truth.
Thomas Mercer April 25, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Just reading the comments under each article underscores a tale of shear abuse of staff. There are not only former retired employees making claims but current employees who are fearful of speaking out. The outrage from citizens and even the business community is one of outrage. How could a once proud city turn into a huge spinning cespool of dispare? Such shameful behavior should be rewarded with a good old fashion kick in the pants all the way to the unemployment line. I will not pull any punches it is high time that some resign or suffer being fired. Here is a link to help you get started writing your letter of resignation. http://jobsearchtech.about.com/od/resumesandletters/tp/Resignation-Letters.htm GET INTO IT!
joe April 25, 2012 at 05:46 PM
The Gazette has finally seen fit to write a short, sanitized piece on this issue. The article states that "Rockville will hire an outside consultant to review the city’s personnel policies and procedures in light of concerns raised by former city staff members." Is that what City employees and City residents can expect...a review of policy? As Mr. Mercer points out, there are dozens of comments posted on the Sentinel website, following each story that has been published. It's curious why there has been virtually nothing posted on Patch. Employees and residents alike are entitled to a full-blown investigation into the way people are treated and what the morale and work environment are within City Hall. Taking into account Mr. Vargas' "lobbying" to keep any investigation in-house, I would say he and others have plenty to be worried about.
Theresa Defino April 25, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Welcome back, Mr. Jordan!
Jeff Hawkins April 25, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Holy cow!

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