Let me address things that Commissioner Brown wants the citizens to believe.
First that 911 director Brown’s discipline was trying to be withheld from Commissioner Brown.
Commissioner Brown said he had an open record request and that document was not included.
He did not issue that request through the county clerk’s office as required. Commissioner Brown issued it through HR and HR told the County Clerk. Nothing was in writing, so we don’t know what Commissioner Brown asked for; that becomes an issue. Should that document have been included in the information Commissioner Brown asked for? No one knows.
Commissioner Brown did not do an open record request for 911 director Brown’s personnel file. He went to HR and got the document. We then called a special called meeting to discuss commissioners’ access to personnel files.
Please note that was not to prevent him from getting the file that he already had. The meeting was a concern about what was the proper process for commissioners to access those files and was there potential for unredacted information to be in the news.
Commissioner Brown’s spin on that meeting was we were trying to deny him access to something he already had. That does not make any sense.
Since then, Commissioner Brown has requested open records for 68 911 employees’ personnel files without giving a reason. Commissioner Brown has requested these files be posted on an agenda. This request will cost the citizens $15,000 or more, not including staff time. It is important to note that the cost for staff time is charged to citizens when they do an open record request.
The record request is one thing but to post that information in an agenda is just disrespectful. These are employees (people) that don’t deserve to be treated this way. Some of these employees are being exploited by an elected official for his personal gain. This could possibly cause people not to apply for jobs in the county. Who wants everyone to know all their information? Talk about creating a bad work environment. Commissioner Brown, you are doing just that.
Commissioner Brown has also done an open record request for 1,600 emails. I don’t know yet what the cost to the county will be for that request, but I can only imagine.
Commissioner Brown’s accusations that there are still issues at the 911 center are just that and there is no proof. The investigation that was done by HR and EAP, an outside firm, during the June 2017 issues was completed and actions were taken. Since then there has been disgruntled ex-employees making accusations. These accusations have been posted on Facebook as fact.
My question to Commissioner Brown, if you were so concerned that that these accusations were true and that there was a crisis at the 911 center why have you not been to the 911 center? Commissioner Oddo and myself have been to the 911 center to see for ourselves. We did not see a crisis.
This whole issue has been like a trial were the prosecution has presented its case and a judge refuses to let the defense present its side. There have been citizens posting on Facebook without hearing the other side. You might ask why we have not put the defense side on Facebook? That is because that is not the proper way to handle this.
After all this Commissioner Brown wants to waste more money on a private investigation.
Something to consider. How much money should a commissioner be allowed to spend without board approval? Should it be unlimited? That is what’s happening here. Commissioner Brown is spending tens of thousands of citizens’ tax dollars without board approval or as he puts it he is fishing using the citizens’ tax dollars.
Look close at Commissioner Brown’s letter to the editor “Brown: Open records and the commissioners.” There is so much twisting of facts and down-right lies. “Ognio says we got big problems in Fayette County”: that’s a lie. “Ognio says Commissioner Brown broke the law reeling in that big juicy document”: it’s a lie, I said he broke the law adding to the employee file, it’s called tampering.
We had always followed the policies until it was now not convenient for Commissioner Brown. No, we had never voted to follow these policies it was always something we just did. Sadly, we had to bring it to a vote because Commissioner Brown wants things his way.
The reason I could not add the administrator to the motion was because of his contract. Adding him to that motion would not have meant anything without the administrator agreeing to it. So, when the administrator agreed I included him.
Commissioner Brown cussed at a department head. Should he still be in office?
Commissioner Brown said, “I am the government” and “I do not apologize.”
In closing I will remind everyone Commissioner Brown says he will not run for re-election, but I think he will because as he says, “I am the government.”
Randy C. Ognio
Vice Chair Fayette County Commissioners