Claremore Daily Progress

Government

May 13, 2014

Employee Issues: Don’t waste my time

Commissioners Thacker, Helm deny executive session

CLAREMORE —

Rogers County Commissioner Dan DeLozier was denied the opportunity Monday to discuss concerns he has with two county employees.
DeLozier requested the Board of County Commissioners meet in executive session to discuss personnel matters involving Human Resources Director Jenny Bentley and the employment of Christine Day,  the commissioner’s secretary. 
“Is this an issue where we need to go into executive session?” Kirt Thacker asked.
“It is,” replied Assistant District Attorney David Iski, legal counsel to the commissioners. DeLozier consulted with Iski about the issues prior to the meeting.
Despite Iski’s advice, Thacker and Mike Helm did not support DeLozier’s motions to discuss the matters in executive session.
“Is there any reason for me to even read any of these?” DeLozier said referring to the agenda items.
When asked, Thacker said he didn’t want to waste his time discussing the employee matters. 
Thacker claimed the board had previously met in executive session on frivolous matters requested by Helm. 
Helm and Thacker both acknowledged they did not know what issues DeLozier was proposing to privately discuss.
“It is our prerogative to vote to go into an executive session,” Thacker said.
Thacker said he had full faith in the two employees that were named in the request. 
He later said it did not matter if the discussion would have been to give the employees raises or to terminate; he had already made up his mind.
Thacker denied his decision had anything to do with any personal relationships with the employees, but later acknowledged spending time visiting with them in the afternoons at the office.
“If commissioner DeLozier has an issue with either one of these employees… he can do what Mike and I do and go talk to them directly to their face,” Thacker said. “Don’t drag me in there to listen to a whole lot of nothing.”
Bentley has been on the agenda before and the board has met in executive session to discuss her employment in the past year with regard to her work as a contractor for Delaware County.
There was no objection by Thacker or Helm when those meetings were held.

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