As a citizen and taxpayer I am MORE concerned with the sexual harassment charges than the camera pointed at, and not in the bathroom. Not really a BIG DEAL unless you are a chronic bathroom breaker! Sexual harassment happens and is condoned all too much in the public sector, have seen it personally myself knowing those who do it nothing will happen. Remember the FIRED APA SUPERVISOR?, had one that everyone knows about on his record, that’s why you’ll NEVER hear another word in the news about his so-called wrongful termination. Better off since we have transparency here to let it go! This is why we never will hear what the Governors reply was from the letter he said he was writing. Yes, you heard it here! – the FACTS!
MANSFIELD — The Mansfield/Ontario/Richland County Health Department commissioner is being placed on paid administrative leave after a confrontation with an employee led to a call to the sheriff’s office.
According to a Richland County Sheriff’s report, Stan Saalman is accused of pushing employee Jennifer Frazier during a dispute Thursday over a video camera reportedly pointed at the women’s restroom.
Frazier is the president of the health department’s local union chapter, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3469.
At the beginning of Monday’s monthly health board meeting, members went into executive session for an hour before announcing Saalman’s paid administrative leave would start July 22. An acting health commissioner will be appointed.
The board also hired the Columbus law firm of Fishel Hass Kim Albrecht LLP to investigate the matter. Members said they would have no further comment.
Frazier told authorities Saalman confronted her at the 555 Lexington Ave. office Thursday morning about a letter of complaint she sent June 28 on behalf of the union to the board of health. Saalman also received a copy of the letter.
In the letter, Frazier said the person responsible for the surveillance camera should be found guilty of voyeurism, a second-degree misdemeanor.
“In light of the fact that there is presently an ongoing sexual harassment case against one of the managers employed at the health department, this incident, along with the following development is particularly disturbing and could contribute to what some staff may consider a hostile workplace,” the letter stated.
Selby Dorgan, public information officer for the health department, would not comment about any managers under investigation in a sexual harassment case.
A sexual harrassment complaint was sent by the union to Saalman in September 2012 concerning IT and Human Resources Director Rick Grega. Grega reportedly “sat in front of his secretary and rubbed a battery operated massager on himself” and told the secretary she could do the same, according to the grievance letter obtained by the News Journal through a public information request.
An internal investigation determined Grega did no wrong, according to investigation documents obtained by the News Journal.
According to the sheriff’s report, Frazier said Saalman was “very upset” about the letter Thursday morning and asked her to step into the women’s restroom to see if she could see a camera anywhere from the location. When she refused, Frazier said Saalman started screaming at her and put his hands on her shoulder and started pushing her into the open restroom doorway, the report stated.
Soon after, Saalman left work for the day and could not be contacted, according to the report.
Dorgan said Saalman has been on vacation since Thursday afternoon.
Dorgan would not comment further on the incident, citing a news release sent by the office acknowledging the sheriff’s report but noting “the Board of Health will not comment on the incident pending investigation, but will cooperate fully with the investigation.”
A personnel committee meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. today before the regular board meeting to discuss personnel issues, a release from Dorgan’s office said. The release did not specify what personnel issues would be discussed.
According to Frazier’s letter to the Board of Health Personnel Committee, there wouldn’t have been any camera to see Thursday even if she had complied with Saalman’s request.
The letter said employees noticed a camera observed to be “‘on’ and in recording mode” located in the computer specialist’s office and pointed at the entrance of the women’s restroom across from the registrar’s office at 10:30 a.m. June 19.
According to Frazier’s letter, the camera was taken down 15 minutes after employees complained to managers.
“This camera is believed to have been operating from this location for some time,” the letter stated.
Who the camera belonged to or what happened to the equipment and footage once the camera was removed is unknown, Dorgan said.
Dorgan said the health department has not purchased any surveillance cameras, but IT staff were testing some webcam-like cameras they may be purchasing in the near future. They plan to use the cameras at entrances and parking lots, she said.
Health department management told employees they were considering installing surveillance cameras throughout the building “to deter child abduction from taking place on Health Department grounds,” the letter stated.
But no one was notified about the cameras going up, Frazier’s letter stated.
Frazier said the union had no knowledge of any policies adopted regarding surveillance cameras and asked several questions in her letter about why they were needed, including how many child abduction incidents have occurred at the local health department.
It is unknown whether the union has received a reply. Frazier refused to comment on the incident while the investigation is pending.
Lynn Brinley · Top Commenter · Works at Owner/operator For Pet’s Sake all breed pet grooming since 1986if there was a camera pointed at the door it still couldn’t see through the door. People need to buck up and quit being so easily offended. Maybe they have some employees who spend way too much time in the bathroom and not enough time working. Maybe the first course of action would be to go to the boss and point out the camera.
I agree Lynn, the camera is not as big a deal as the “shove”; I wonder IF that was caught on tape? If so, Saalman is in a heap of trouble!
The private sector does this all the time for the very reason you pointed out, to see who’s abusing breaks in the bathroom.