Thursday, February 11, 2016

Eric Olson and Edward Sisson Involved In Cover-Up of Fire Investigation?

On Thursday December 17, 2015, at 11:15 am, Chief Matt Schmitt emailed City Administrator Eric Olson stating:

"Eric: I learned Tuesday from a fire department employee that was directed to contact me by the HR Director that an investigation has been conducted by the HR department including interviews with fire department employees as part of the investigation. I myself nor the Deputy Chief have any knowledge or have been advised of said investigation.  Please advise."

Based on the email alone, if correct,:
  • Did HR Director (Sisson) follow the procedures codified in the Florida Statutes under the Firefighters Bill of Rights for interviewing firefighters?
  • Why was the department head (Schmitt) not notified of the HR investigation?
  • What was the nature of the investigation?
  • What were the findings of the investigation?
If the investigation occurred, the potential HR failures would be significant and clearly warranted the concern of the Department Head and Chief.

Olson forwarded Schmitt's email to Sisson at 12:13 PM without comment.

Based on Olson's City phone records, at 12:17 pm Sisson called Olson for 2 minutes and 50 seconds.

Then with intention and forethought to avoid public records which might further document the personnel actions and city employer actions, Eric Olson drove from City Hall to the Fire Department headquarters.

When he arrived, he met with the Chief and I understand he instructed him to never send him emails regarding City issues and that they would not refer to the investigation as an investigation regardless of what happened.

Items to Note from This Episode if Correct

  • The City Administration intentionally attempts to keep from documenting its actions, including HR actions by ordering employees not to communicate by email and not to create documents.
  • This stance in HR matters has been ongoing for years and is an intentional attempt to minimize evidence that may support claimant sworn testimony in outside (EEOC, DOL, etc) investigations.
  • Employees are being denied critical evidence which would prove the City's illegal actions in employee matters.
  • This practice could be a clear case of malfeasance on the part of Eric Olson in that he wasted taxpayer resources (ie. salary) to leave City Hall to personally drive to the fire department headquarters to communicate the matter to Schmitt expending resources far in excess of other means of communication.
  • This type of malfeasance is present everyday in City Hall such as when seventh floor employees are instructed not to send emails but hand walk messages to seventh floor occupants because emails leave a public record.
  • This type of malfeasance has been present in City Hall for years at the direct instruction of the Mayor and his staff.
  • Sworn testimony should be taken immediately to require City leaders under oath to acknowledge these instructions regarding  the "no email" policy is in place.
  • If the above is correct, Eric Olson intentionally and with forethought attempted to claim an HR investigation which had already occurred would not be considered an investigation for HR purposes. 
  • If the HR investigation referred to in the email did in fact happen and the department head was not aware of the investigation, City HR policies were not properly followed by the HR director or Olson in this matter.


Anonymous said...

Must be getting hot up on the 7th floor of City Hall. PNJ reporting Olsen just issued a gag order for all staff. I wonder if that covers the fire chief and deputy fire chief as well? Sounds familiar doesn't it - oh yeah - don't respond to any email from a government account. I remember that Olsen directive and the illegality of it. Hey City Hall staffers, look up whistleblower protection and soeak freely.

Anonymous said...

Wow!!! No evidence of intimidation/harassment here...Can they make the lawsuit any easier? This is beyond stupid! City Coucil where are you on all this?

Anonymous said...

Olsen and Sisson's names seem to come up a lot these days in connection with unethical activities. Thanks for exposing these clowns yet again. How long is the mayor going to tolerate these obvious liabilities? The employees and taxpayers deserve better than this trash!