Provo • Utah County has launched a complaint towards County Commissioner Greg Graves, spurred via an worker who mentioned he made sexually suggestive feedback to her and rubbed her leg above the knee.
Another worker mentioned she complained to her manager about Graves’ behavior, which she likened to bullying that led her to seek for a brand new task outdoor Utah County govt previous this 12 months.
A record, it appears sparked via the primary worker’s allegations, paints an image of staff who felt intimidated via Graves, a first-term county commissioner. An worker mentioned Graves talked along with her about intercourse and rubbed her leg above her knee whilst the 2 rode in a cart throughout an worker golfing trip.
The county didn’t unlock the result of its investigation of Graves, who mentioned he has been cleared of the sexual harassment declare. Instead, it launched the more-than-100-page complaint that depicts an intimidating commissioner whom staff additionally noticed as vindictive and prone to what a witness described as “outbursts.”
Commissioners Nathan Ivie and Bill Lee referred to as on their colleague to renounce after the investigation into the complaint, which they voted previous within the day to make public.
“The conclusion of that investigation confirmed my personal feelings,” Ivie wrote in a public Facebook submit. “He abuses his power, intimidates employees and is vindictive to those who disagree with him. This type of abuse of power cannot be allowed.”
“We live in a world where we’re elected out of public trust,” Lee mentioned. “He has lost the public trust. … It’s in the county’s best interest for him to resign.”
Graves didn’t attend a listening to on a Daily Herald journalist’s attraction for the county to unlock the complaint, at which Lee and Ivie determined the general public had a proper to know the allegations towards an elected professional. The Salt Lake Tribune additionally asked the complaint, which the county lawyer’s place of work denied to unlock till Wednesday night, after the commissioners voted to make it public.
The record was closely redacted, making it tricky to perceive whether or not allegations about Graves’ conduct come from one witness or extra. On multiple web page, a witness account describes Graves as intimidating. There are a couple of references to worry of Graves attempting to get county staff fired.
Graves was disillusioned in October that an worker wasn’t within the place of work at eight a.m. and referred to as the feminine worker a “worthless piece of s—,” in accordance to a witness account of a dialog with him. He repeated the word in a separate dialog in April, a witness mentioned.
During one interplay about his plans to reduce staff positions and the dep.’s price range, Graves even referred to himself as “the bully commissioner,” an worker mentioned.
One feminine worker informed any other witness: “It’s just easier not to say no to Commissioner Graves.”
A 2nd girl, Emily Gillingwater, informed The Salt Lake Tribune on Wednesday that she left her task with the county’s tax management place of work “after Commissioner Graves created a hostile work environment for me.”
“I loved the people I worked with at the county, but I could no longer work in that environment with Commissioner Graves, who I had frequent contact with,” Gillingwater mentioned in an emailed reaction to questions from The Tribune.
Gillingwater mentioned Graves was delightful to paintings with “most of the time.” Occasionally, despite the fact that, Gillingwater mentioned, he would lift his voice and as soon as threatened her task.
“During an abrupt personal conversation with me, he threatened my job as a county employee,” Gillingwater mentioned. “After that threat was made, I chose to look for employment elsewhere, as he created a hostile work environment.”
The account echoed others within the complaint, by which witnesses described Graves yelling on events within the county construction.
In a telephone name Wednesday, Graves mentioned he received’t renounce, however he additionally received’t search re-election to the fee in 2018. The main points of the investigation, when launched, will transparent him of wrongdoing similar to the sexual harassment declare, he mentioned.
“I will tell you it has 100 percent exonerated me from any of the claimant’s claims,” Graves mentioned.
Graves tied the complaint towards him to the hot national wave of girls publicly accusing tough males of sexual misconduct.
“People [are] using all of the events in the national news to create stuff that’s not there,” Graves mentioned.
In reaction to Ivie’s recommendation that different staff complained that Graves makes use of intimidation, Graves mentioned he may needless to say his behavior would possibly offend people.
“When you’re blunt and you try and hold people accountable, it comes across — I can understand why people may be offended at times,” he mentioned.
Commissioners didn’t say whether or not the county lawyer’s final touch of the evaluation supposed all investigations into the conduct have been whole.
“There could be something at the state, or civil or others,” Ivie mentioned.
Lee mentioned the investigative report could be to be had Thursday or Friday, and he declined to talk about the evaluation’s findings.
Graves additionally declined to talk about the investigation’s complete findings, excluding denying wrongdoing similar to the sexual harassment complaint. He didn’t reply to a request for touch upon Gillingwater’s account.
Ivie wrote in his public Facebook submit that if Graves didn’t renounce, Ivie would glance to greatly restrict his energy as a commissioner.
“I am committed to ensuring the abuse of power ends,” Ivie wrote. “I believe Mr. Graves should resign his position effective immediately. If he is unwilling to do so I will look to censure him, remove his portfolio assignments and take the required steps to limit his power to prevent future abuse.”
Graves made headlines in overdue November after he joined the Democratic Party, pronouncing he was attempting to make a political level to turn out he was the one true conservative at the three-member fee.
At least probably the most fee’s votes wasn’t conservative sufficient for him, Graves mentioned, main to the transfer. The transfer shocked the opposite two Republican commissioners, who mentioned they robotically disagree with Graves throughout debates.
Clarification: Dec. 6, 10:17 a.m. >> An previous model mentioned that a couple of staff accused Graves of harassment. That is not but showed, despite the fact that Commissioner Ivie in a state referenced “claims filed against him by multiple employees.”