County HR director too biased for probe
How can Trumbull County human resources Director Richard Jackson be expected to perform an impartial investigation into complaints filed by six county employees? These complaints allege Commissioner Niki Frenchko has created a “hostile work environment” in the county offices.
Mr. Jackson, himself, is a complainant against commissioners, singling out Ms. Frenchko in two complaints filed earlier this year with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission and State Personnel Board of Review. He has been suspended twice, once for two days and once for 15 days, by commissioners. Yet he has stated he will begin an investigation shortly into the complaints and write a report to the commissioners upon its completion. It is important to note that Mr. Jackson rarely is held accountable and never seems to provide a date by which time he will complete his duties and responsibilities. A perfect example is he has not been able to update a job description for the clerk’s position. He has known about that upcoming vacancy for weeks, but has not been able to finish that simple task.
Mr. Jackson was condescending, bordering on insubordinate, to Ms. Frenchko in the June 15 commissioner workshop. He has been suspended twice and is currently a complainant against the commissioners. Yet two of our commissioners fantasize that Mr. Jackson can perform an independent, unbiased investigation into the complaints from six employees. This action is clearly an error in judgment and represents the old saying, “Don’t let the fox guard the henhouse.”
Commissioners should revisit this decision and appoint an independent investigator as soon as practicable.