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White addresses grievance at city meeting

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By Natasha LaFayette

Near the end of the LaFollette City Council meeting Tuesday night, Mayor Mike Stanfield introduced a grievance against City Administrator David Young. City Recorder Linda White had filed the complaint.

“I have spent many nights, sleepless nights, debating on this, but today I found peace and I know I am making the right decision,” said White as she stood and passed around a 12-page document to the council, city attorney and Young.

“If I can keep one male or female from going through what Amanda (Hardwick) and some other people in the office has gone through then it’s worth it, ” she said.

When White handed Councilman Wayne Kitts a packet, she commented that even though he had made up his mind, he was an elected official and should still read it.

The council then erupted into different ways to handle the allegations brought against Young.

Councilman Bob Fannon said the grievance should be discussed in an alternative forum, but Stanfield appeared ready to read the document to the crowd.

Young said the way these allegations matters were being handled was against the city’s personnel handbook.

“I have not been advised of any of this,” said Young. “My civil rights to due process are being violated right here.”

Young continued to state that the council was not utilizing the proper procedure and that the issues should be discussed in a different forum. Young further stated other employees should have the right to speak for themselves about his alleged behavior as a supervisor.

“I have never been reprimanded and I have never been disciplined by any of the council or the mayor,” said Young. “There has never been a word said to me by anyone about my conduct in running these offices.”

Young spoke about the success of the city during his tenure asserting he is prepared to prove his innocence.

Young then read from a previous grievance filed by White, which called him a tyrant and power hungry. He then read his response to the audience in which he defends himself. While Young read, White was expressive as she either nodded or shook her head as she agreed with her statements and disagreed with Young’s.

The grievances drafted by White and read by Young were written 100 days ago, he said. However, the new allegations against Young were given to the council on Tuesday night.

These new allegations focus on examples of sexual harassment and harassment of White by Young on various occasions. In the 12-page document White outlines alleged examples of sexual harassment and harassment by the city administrator.

“I make only one request, consider my situation and imagine your mother, wife or daughter facing this. What would you do?” writes White in her grievance.

The final nine pages are from the personnel handbook about anti-harassment and sexual harassment. White also included two bi-weekly time sheets in the packet of information.

When Young finished reading the previous grievance filed by White, White clarified that if a grievance is against a city administrator then it is to be handled with the mayor and council.

“Ms. White, your comments are all uncalled for,” said Young.

City Attorney Reid Troutman said White had the opportunity to discuss her issues at the meeting.

“David, this has gone on for four years and there are employees here that will back it up,” said White.

Young said the employees of LaFollette will have the opportunity to bring claims against him adding he had an attorney in the room.

“The papers that Linda give us is pretty bad,” said Stanfield. “It don’t need to be brought up in the public but I guarantee you that if this is true we will deal with this.”

White said that everything in her grievance was true and there were employees to back up her statements.

“If you want to do it in a courtroom then I am prepared,” said White.

Young simply replied, “So am I.”

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