Every year we endure our Manager and Village Board Members and their endless complaining of employee compensation, benefits and just how bad a financial situation the Village is in. President Ritter sits up there lambasting the pensions (while he draws one,) Trustee Humpfer pays lip service to our financial...
In some of the previous posts regarding Rooney’s Bullyism, I predicted that those complaints that the Village actually released (truthfully, I believe there are a lot more, but hey, this village has a history of hiding information – even from their own “independent investigators”) would not be the last...
As a parent in District 300, the district sends out regular emails with updates on happenings in and around the schools, both district wide and specific to the schools my children attend. The most recent one was an announcement that October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, and it...
How does one orchestrate a cover-up? It’s my belief that the single best way to orchestrate a cover-up into a person’s behavior is to make it so that nobody is willing to talk about it. As former HR Director Mogren explains in her complaint: “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.” So, according to the former HR Director, who was widely respected until Manager Rooney’s hiring, and had served the village with distinction over the course of 15+ years, Manager Rooney creates fear amongst his subordinates (which, since he is the top employee, is EVERYONE ELSE!) Who better to orchestrate a cover-up into his own actions than a man described by the Human Resources Director as a man who motivates through FEAR and MANIPULATION. And that is exactly what happened, nobody wants to talk about how he’s treated them, because they are afraid of him and fearful of losing their jobs.
What else does it take though to cover-up malfeasance? Well, the next thing we need is a way to insulate the complaints that come in from one another. In other words, when viewed together, similar complaints establish a pattern of behavior. However, keep the investigations into them separated from one another, and it’s easy to dismiss it as a single person making a single complaint, and mitigate the result even if what was complained about actually was proven to have happened. Also, if an investigation needs to be done, why not have it done by someone you hired and clearly states multiple times that his investigation isn’t going to go where information leads him – in other words, limiting the scope to just whats being investigated? But, it takes more than that to continue to cover up and insulate investigations, it takes multiple “independant” investigators to investigate similar claims – and ensure they aren’t aware of the other investigations. And finally, when a news story comes out, and contains something in it that is definitely going to get you into “hot water,” simply call the editors at the paper and have that portion removed!
In order to truly understand the situation with our Village Manager, we need to examine the recently released complaints. What is a cover up? How is it orchestrated? Does it involve one person pulling the strings, or are several or many people involved? Lets examine the anatomy of a cover-up. First, we have a Village Manager who is clearly unprofessional and unethical. Lets define those words: Webster dictionary defines them as – unprofessional – not characteristic of or befitting a profession or one engaged in aprofession; “described in unprofessional language so that high school students couldunderstand it”; “was censured for unprofessional conduct“; “unprofessional repairs” and unethical – not conforming to approved standards of social or professional behavior; “unethical business practices.” As you read through this, it is my hope that you will see that Manager Rooney’s actions are at the very least, both unprofessional and unethical.
First, the EEOC complaint from 2011, which you can download here: EEOC COMPLAINT. Whats interesting is the dismissal found HERE, which the Village and the Manager will tell residents was dismissed and unfounded. Actually however, that’s not accurate. If you look at the form, it specifically states: The EEOC is unable to conclude that the information obtained establishes a violation of the statutes. This does not certify that the respondent is in compliance with the Statutes. In other words, this means they didn’t have enough evidence to charge Manager Rooney, not that they ultimately believed he was innocent. And this is where we go back to the concept of FEAR … if no one is willing to talk for fear of their jobs, an investigator can’t get enough evidence to reach a definitive conclusion. So, Manager Rooney’s fear tactic here worked. (I do suggest reading through the entirety of this, not only was Ms. Stoves accurate with regards to her termination and subsequent RAPID replacement with someone from Manager Rooney’s former job at Wheeling, I also find it very interesting that the finance director, Lisa Happ left the village around the same time – notice how she is identified by name in the EEOC charge.)
**As a side note, I’d like to mention that as our former HR director’s complaint was being investigated, our Finance Director, Kathy Haley resigned from the Village to take a job an hour away from her home (she lives in a neighboring town to Carpentersville) and for less money. HMMMMMM**
Second, My complaint. (Investigation Ordered by President Ritter almost a MONTH after it was submitted to him) Again, there is a certain level of professional conduct that must come with being the top manager in a publicly funded enterprise like Carpentersville. However, as you read through my complaint/investigation findings, you’ll see that while what he said wasn’t in question, the investigator didn’t feel it amounted to a violation of law or policy – and mainly because it was a (seemingly) single and isolated incident (part 2 of coverups – isolate the incidents) You can find that here: SCHOLL COMPLAINT. Remember the webster definition of Unprofessional and Unethical … how many out there believe that what was said was appropriate, professional or ethical commentary? It doesn’t matter that it occurred during heated negotiations, the Village Manager is required to maintain his composure – as he sets the tone and behavior of all other employees in the village. If he can behave like this, so can every other employee in the Village. And as you’ll see below, the Manager has a history of using gender based speech in his criticisms and descriptions of people – “Manipulative Cute Blond.”
Next, let’s take a moment to discuss former HR Director Mogren’s complaint. You can download this here and read: HR DIRECTOR MOGREN’S COMPLAINT. This is where it gets very interesting, and there are several parts to it.
- First, on the same day that the investigator for my complaint was tasked with the investigation (from Holland and Knight, on retainer with the Village as it’s Planning and Zoning attorney) there was apparently a “blow up” between Mogren and Rooney in which an accusation of Manager Rooney accessing HR Director Mogren’s files from his computer in his office occured. Sure, there was bad language there – but as discussed, it’s hard to hold someone accountable for bad language when the Manager does it himself – only worse. And who was tasked to lead this investigation into Mogren’s conduct? Marc Huber, a long time associate of Manager Rooney, whom he hired (without a candidate search for the position.) First, does anyone else find it odd that the Village Manager tasked a colleague of Mogren’s, who is on the same professional level as her, to investigate her behavior AND recommend discipline? Second, isn’t it interesting that Linda Mogren was to be given a 5 day suspension for her use of “Fuck You” towards the Manager, but at the same time he can say some very disgusting and disturbing things about employees, with a simple “counseling to not be crude to firefighters” OR nothing said at all? Double Standard perhaps? Honestly, Marc Huber’s report would be a very entertaining read, IF it weren’t for the fact that the level of hypocrisy is unprecedented.
- Next, after HR Director Mogren’s attorney files her complaint with the Village (again, investigation ordered by President Ritter), but before her dismissal, and seemingly related chain of events leads to the investigation not beginning until AFTER she has signed a non-disclosure agreement with the Village. Granted, the investigator, this time from Klein, Thorpe and Jenkins (another long time firm on retainer for the Village, handling various affairs) did try and contact her on the first – the beginning day of the “suspension.” However, he waited another week before trying her at home, and clearly didn’t attempt to determine why he wasn’t able to reach her at work. Very thorough job there Mr. Walsh! And when asked to get a signed release and waiver from the Village holding her harmless for her testimony in violation of the non-disclosure agreement – the Village wouldn’t provide it in writing, or a verbal assurance. Now honestly, who here would trust the word after all that has transpired? So, the investigation essentially centered around her complaints, but since she wouldn’t talk without written release, none of it was sustained – again, silence the witness, the complaint goes away.
- This brings us to lying. Someone in the Village lied to the investigator. He said, at the conclusion of his report, that he had attempted to determine if anyone else had filed a complaint under the Harrassment policy of the Village, and verified that none had. Well Mr. Walsh – surprise surprise, I had, and it had been investigated prior to the beginning of YOUR investigation, albeit from another attorney.
Last, what happens when the paper hones in on a rather interesting comment like “manipulative cute blond.” For those that missed it when this story was first run online, here it is, we printed and scanned it for you to preserve it: ORIGINAL DAILY HERALD ARTICLE. Again – another description that he didn’t really mean, just popped out of his mouth! But calling an employee manipulative (If the public knew who the employee was the significance of this would make a lot more sense, but alas, I’m unable to disclose that as it wasn’t publicly disclosed in the first place, but Manager Rooney knows that I know now.) Well, when it comes out in the paper and it has the potential to cause a MAJOR problem for the Manager, just call the paper and get it removed. Way to go Daily Herald – that’s what I call independent reporting!
So let’s summarize: Multiple investigations hampered by “limited scopes,” employees fearful that their testimony will get them fired in retaliation, multiple investigators for multiple complaints of the same issues around the same time NOT aware of each other’s “independent” investigations all about the same guy doing the same things, Lying and Manipulation to dampen the significance of things, all the while, our Village Manager continues to enjoy his home NOT in Carpentersville and a nice fat salary and benefits provided to him by the People of the Village of Carpentersville. Now, I’d like to make it clear, I don’t believe that either attorney who were doing the investigations were part of the corruption of them, they too were manipulated and not told the whole story, although, I hope they both read this and realize that their name and firm, as well as the reputations of them are inked on the dotted line in those reports. It was the Village – Manager, Trustees, President, who knows which one, that ultimately orchestrated the way these investigations were done. Honestly, the way that our Village Board has acted, and the way that the Manager has behaved, offends the sensibilities of any decent person.
Ladies and Gentlemen, make no mistake, the entirety of the Village Board is aware of all of this, if they weren’t directly involved in it. They have the reports, and they’ve decided to believe that his behavior is OK. They’ve turned the other way when he’s inappropriately addressed members of the public, including the Principal of Dundee Crown back in April of 2013, and they continue to look the other way as he decimates the morale of employees in this town. His malfeasance is a direct result of the Board’s acceptance of it, and it’s time we the People elect new trustees and President to run our Village and restore a professional, customer oriented (and by customer I mean residents AND businesses alike) and fiscally responsible atmosphere. April of 2015 will see 3 seats up for re-election. SEND THE BOARD A MESSAGE – DO NOT RE-ELECT TRUSTEE HUMPFER, TRUSTEE TEETER OR TRUSTEE BURROWAY. It’s past the time for them to do the right thing, and it’s hi-time they were kicked out of office. It’s rather clear the board hopes to weather this storm and bury their heads in the sand, and they are misguided. In April of next year, their refusal to deal with the Manager and his destructive behavior will be a central theme in the elections. If we can’t trust our elected board to ensure the highest quality of professionalism in our management team, how can we trust them to make good decisions about our money or our safety. And to my other 4 board members not up for re-election, don’t worry, we’ll take care of booting you out in 2017 if you chose not to resign.
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...
Well, what an interesting board meeting tonight. I was glad to have been able to speak, and to be in attendance during the duration of the meeting. I’d like to offer a few comments, since we simply can’t make comments during the meeting. What I find supremely interesting is...