St. Robert's special council filed documents Wednesday that give more information in detail as to the charges of hostile work environment in the fire department as well as the charges concerning the special investigator.
The documents are a response to a motion to dismiss or to make more definite and certain the impeachment charges against Mayor George Sanders.
The documents allege that sometime in November of 2011 the mayor became aware that there was a female firefighter in the St. Robert Fire Department that “had begun efforts to document, report and prevent incidents of harassment by former Deputy Fire Chief Greg Polk.”
The allegations continue to charge that Sanders told St. Robert Fire Chief Doug Cage to “direct the firefighter to discontinue her efforts to document, report and prevent acts of harassment by Polk.”
The city goes on to allege that Sanders failed to take any action or try to prevent the alleged harassment or inform the Board of Aldermen about any part of the situation.
The documents allege that the firefighter resigned from the fire department in February of 2012 via a letter where she wrote she could “no longer handle the stress that comes from the drama and the hostile work environment that we tend to deal with at the fire station.”
The city states in the document that it believes “the firefighter has obtained legal counsel and may pursue legal action against the city, George Sanders and Polk.”
Clarifying the claim that the mayor endangered the city's fire protection, the city alleges in the documents that Waynesville Rural Fire Protection District Chief Doug Yurecko wrote a letter to former city administrator Alan Clark in February of 2012 “identifying Polk as someone who was greatly contributing to a deterioration of the relationship between the city's fire department and the Waynesville Rural Fire Department; was having a negative effect on the safe execution of fire ground operations; and was causing harm to the personal relationships between firefighter(s) of both departments.”
Sanders is accused of allegedly failing to respond to the letter, ensuring Clark responded to the letter, failing to inform Cage of the letter, failing to inform the board about the letter and failing to deal with Polk over the issues raised in the letter.
In the case of the special investigator, the city alleges in the documents that Sanders was given an oral report by the investigator “that detailed a substantial number of reported incident of harassment by Polk from multiple members” of the fire department and “additional reports of harassment” by Clark and former city planning administrator Lyle Thomas.
The allegations about the special investigator go on to say the mayor allegedly told the special investigator to “immediately and discreetly leave city hall” which prevented the investigator “from making a scheduled, oral presentation” to the board and didn't tell the board “about his conduct in preventing” the investigator from making the presentation.
The city requested in the documents that the Board of Impeachment, which is also the Board of Aldermen, in their role as judge and jury, to deny Sanders' motion to dismiss.
Sanders obtained a restraining order to postpone the impeachment proceedings to allow his attorneys to prepare, depose interested parties in the case and conduct discovery. New dates for the impeachment proceedings have not been set yet.