Harassment Claim Has Merit, According to Independent Investigation
Susie Boone, Arnold parks and recreation director, says she was harrassed for more than two years by Ward 4 City Councilman Ken Moss after his sister was fired from the city's Parks Department.
An independent investigation into a hostile work environment complaint made by Arnold's parks and recreation director has merit, according to a summary of the investigation.
Susie Boone claims she was harassed for more than two years by Ward 4 City Councilman Ken Moss. Boone says the harassment began after Moss' sister was fired from the Parks Department in 2010.
See previous article: Arnold Employee Files Harassment Complaint Against Councilman
In October, the city hired Protective & Investigative Services to investigate the complaint. The St. Louis County company provides investigative, security and polygraph services.
In a letter on the investigation to Police Chief/Acting City Administrator Robert Shockey, Kevin Garrison, a representative of the company, wrote, "I believe you will find the results of this investigation to substantiate the claim made by Susie Boone."
A summary of the investigation states that several people interviewed said that Moss held a two-year grudge against Boone because she was involved in the termination of his sister for cause from the city.
"It (the report) will also reflect that on many occasions, several council members had conversations with Moss in an effort to get him to 'move on' and stop his harassment of Boone," the summary states. "Even after these conversations occurred, Moss continued."
Moss told Patch in an interview the investigation was "ridiculous," and that it revolves around a complaint that does not exist.
"If I did something I thought was wrong, I would have owned up to it," he told Patch.
Prior to the investigation, Boone went public regarding her allegations against Moss and filed a complaint with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights in late September.
In her interview with the independent investigator, Boone said the commission had responded that it could do nothing with the complaint because it was not within its realm, and advised her to take the complaint to another agency.
Boone could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.
Shockey told investigators that he contacted the independent investigative firm on Oct. 3 based on the recommendation of the city's insurance company, which was concerned about the situation becoming a liability.
The investigation, which Patch obtained through a Missouri Sunshine Law request, consisted of interviews with 26 elected officials and city employees. All members of the city council were interviewed except Michelle Hohmeier, who refused; Cricky Lang, who was ill; and Moss, who appeared with his attorney, but refused the interview.
Additionally, the report noted that Ward 1 Councilwoman Doris Borgelt "stormed out of the interview when she was questioned about comments she made in the Arnold Patch with reference to corruption in the City of Arnold." The summary also states that Borgelt requested to do another interview, but it was denied because of "her hostile behavior."
Councilmembers discussed the investigation at their meeting last week. Some claimed the report was hearsay and unnecessary, while others wanted it acknowledged and accepted into public record.
In an earlier interview, Arnold City Attorney Bob Sweeney said the council has three options: it could do nothing; it could censure Moss, which is essentially a warning; or it could vote to draft a bill of impeachment against Moss.
We'll have more on the council's discussion Friday on Patch.