What is the concept of an independent investigation? I think we all know the answer to that. However, it’s pretty clear that our Village President does not. An independent investigator is someone who has no ties or responsibilities to anyone involved in the investigation.
A copy of the reports can be found in the downloads area of this site.
In the case of Linda Mogren’s complaint, the “independent” investigator was a member of a firm that has been on the Village’s payroll for years. There is nothing independent about this firm doing an investigation. The fact is, there could be repercussions for this firm if it’s independent investigation were to find fault with the Board’s prima-donna Manager. This fact would be enough to disqualify the firm entirely as “independent.”
As it turns out, the village used a similar tactic in My complaint of harassment against Village Manager Rooney. It’s interesting however, that that complaint, which was completed prior to the investigation of Ms. Mogren’s complaint was not found for the independent investigator. Of Course, that’s no shock, because the “independent” investigator they used for mine, which was literally around the same time span, and involved instances in which Manger Rooney made extremely inappropriate comments about me occurred during the timeline of Linda Mogren’s complaint. In that investigation, Mr. Elrod, from Holland and Knight, another firm on retainer by the village to handle all the “independent” inquiries. Once again, President Ritter failed to realize that a firm, on permanent retainer for their services to our Zoning and Planning board and who handle all land acquisition matters, does not allow that firm the luxury of simply walking away one the investigation is complete. As a result, it also wasn’t independent, and the complaint I made was sustained and verified – and what he said was something nobody would ever expect to hear come out during employment and by the highest level and highest paid employee in the village.
By the Way, do our Residents realize that we have AT LEAST 3 separate high priced, high power attorney firms on retainer and working for the Village of Carpentersville? It’s funny how all 3 of these firms have attorneys who work in all the areas we need, but we chose to pay 3 separate firms, I wonder why?
Independent isn’t something the Village of Carpentersville does. Quite the opposite, it remains in house and subject to review by the very man who is being accused. One must read between the lines of the report by Klein, Thorpe and Jenkins to really begin to understand. According to that report, there are independent accounts of Manager Rooney’s style being, “perceived as being AGGRESSIVE, MOODY, QUICK tempered, overly direct, even intimidating and in-sensitive.”
Because this bears directly on the public’s right to know, and need to know and understand the kind of person running the day to day affairs of the Village, I want to point this out from one of Mrs. Mogren’s complaints:
“Village Manager Rooney practices a style of “management by crisis” that is corrosive and undermines the ability, even willingness, of capable employees to perform their jobs because they fear his irrational, unpredictable, and frequently hostile and threatening responses to their professional and reasonable actions. Manager Rooney prefers to work in an atmosphere of fear, hostility, unpredictability, intimidation and manipulation that makes employees less effective in their jobs, especially if doing their jobs might require disagreeing with the manager. He motivates employees through fear rather than effective leadership.”
AMEN! As a village employee, I can tell you this is 100% dead on accurate. Nobody seems to realize that NOBODY says anything against this Manager that wants to keep their job, which is why there are almost NO complaints, everyone knows what he’ll do. Let’s think about what our Village Board likes in a Manager: Corrosive, Unpredictable, Hostile, Threatening, Intimidation and Manipulation. And it’s backed up by the investigation – perceived by employees is a nice way of saying that he is: aggressive, moody, quick tempered, overly direct and intimidating and insensitive. Apparently the board also likes that he shouts, threatens and uses crude and offensive language. The fact that the report says that other employees do as well is Moot, this man is THE TOP executive. His behavior sets the tone and permissible behavior of all other employees. And his behavior, as outlined by our former Human Resources Director (whom I certainly believe was unjustly slaughtered in this report, we’ll get to that in a moment.) is the type of behavior that would not last in any other environment or any other place of employment. PERIOD. It offends the sensibility of any reasonable human being. I want our Board Members to ask themselves one question – would a Manager, who behaved they Manager Rooney behaves as indicated in the reports, ever be allowed to continue at any of their places of employment? Would his comments and actions be allowed at their jobs? How would they feel if they were subjected to his abusive, devilish antics? I guess it’s a good thing they are higher on the flow-chart of the Village Management than he is. But it also means one thing – they are responsible for everything he has done. Plain and Simple.
Let’s examine this – there have been at least 2 instances that we know of now that are confirmed that Manager Rooney used language to describe employees that was both sexually based and crude and offensive. One male, one female. There has already been an older (2011) EEOC investigation into allegations of discrimination which they couldn’t find enough information to conclude a violation – anything ringing a bell – again, employees are too afraid to talk! There’s a saying that goes well here – Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And folks, the smoke is so thick you can choke on it. But hey, it’s ok – cause our board can just cover up the issues, and of course, the Manager is the slickest talking politician in the world – able to explain away everything. Of course, I believe he’s given enough time to come up with plausible excuses, so the Board is more than capable of covering it up. How many serious complaints do they need to have before they get rid of this pathetically unprofessional Manager?
I’m inclined to disagree with the report that it isn’t a violation of the policy manual – IT IS – and saying it’s not sets an extremely dangerous precedent. There is a reason why almost every employer and village is going to a ZERO tolerance policy – because this problem can become rampant in a workplace, especially when the top boss can do it plainly and be absolved by Village Attorneys on Retainer who act as “independent” investigators. The village has now created a situation in which disciplining any employee for any form of misconduct presents a significant legal hazard, a fact to which the employees in the Village are not oblivious too.
One glaring mistake in Mr. Walsh’s report from Klein, Thorpe and Jenkins – he has “verified” with the Human Resources Department that no such complaints have been made – when in fact, I hold in my hands a complaint of exactly the type and nature to which he says he verified doesn’t exist, and it was filed, investigated and reported on over a 3 month period prior to the date on his report. OOPs! You see my fellow residents – that’s what happens when an investigator is intricately tied to people being investigated. Which leads me to another glaringly obvious part (at least to those of us who know) the comment of “Manipulative Cute Blond” was not made during the course of any firefighter-related issues. The Manager knows this, and because Ms. Mogren wouldn’t speak, there was nobody but the Manager’s story to back it up.
Leading me to the next point … This complaint was filed PRIOR to Linda Mogren leaving – it’s interesting that it wasn’t investigated until she had signed a separation and non-disclosure agreement. It’s further interesting that, according to the report, she requested a signed waiver, absolving her from her responsibility of non-disclosure as it pertained to this investigation with both the Village and Manager Rooney – and she never got it. Who reading this would have talked without that signed waiver – who would have believed the village when they said “you have our word…” Let’s face it, the word of Manager Rooney, President Ritter or the Board is worthless. I don’t blame her. It’s too bad that those who had “nothing to hide” wouldn’t sign a release from the non-disclosure. Surprise surprise – there’s lots to hide!
So let’s recap: President Ritter and our Current Board, have created the least friendly business atmosphere in decades, the least amount of public safety services for our residents in decades, the highest taxes and water rates, and they’ve supported an Aggressive, Inconsistent, Intimidating and Manipulative Manager who has systematically destroyed the credibility of all the departments in the Village, the Village itself with it’s neighbors and any morale of the employees across the board. NICE WORK TRUSTEES!
Honestly, you all need to go. April 2015 is right around the corner, and I know I’ll be actively campaigning against the re-election of Trustee Humpher, Trustee Burroway and Trustee Teeter. The entire board needs to be replaced by our citizens as soon as possible.