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Monday, August 1, 2011

Former Lee County worker calls for investigtation of top officials

Picture this: your bosses decide whether you keep your job based on performance reviews they make up as they go along and worse yet they get to skip out of their own reviews! 4 in your Corner investigator Mike Mason is live to show you why some say that's exactly what's happening at Lee County. J.C. Rodriguez doesn't understand why he was fired because of his performance evaluations, especially since some county officials don't do evaluations themselves and the county manager doesn't think they are even required.

Rodriguez worked at Lee County's Department of Transportation for 8 years. He's always had good performance evaluations and feels he was wrongfully terminated, “They won’t even talk to me about this I tried to explain this to them and they would not even listen to me, I had documentation proving it."
Rodriguez says officials documented everything and eventually used it against him. Ffor instance, he was given a warning when he left work to go to his grandmother's funeral. One document proves that Rodriguez called D.O.T. officials to say he was going to his grandmother's funeral for about 3 days. When he got back he filled out a leave request form which his supervisor even approved. D.O.T officials later changed their minds and decided Rodriguez didn't have permission to visit his grandmother and they noted it in his performance evaluation. in 2009 when Rodriguez was finally terminated he was handed this list of reasons which include his grandmother's funeral and previous performance evaluations. These are all things that he disagrees with, "They're just using that as ammunition to get all these people fired."
Rodriguez feels Lee County officials are making up their own rules as they go a long, "Sounds to me like they have a double standard."

Last week we exposed county officials getting promotions without having performance evaluations. County policy states: "It is the policy of the county that the job performance of each employee should be evaluated periodically by the employee's supervisor.

However, Lee County manager Karen Hawes told fox 4 that supervisors "should" perform evaluations and it is not *required* under policy." But former Lee County Tax Collector, Bill Fussell disagrees, "This is a mandatory guideline, it is not something that you can choose to do if you want or choose not to do.”
Rodriguez feels county officials should be investigated, "Let's start with the county manager and work our way down instead of working our way up."
If you have a problem with how the county is changing the rules, you can go to the county commissioners meeting tomorrow at 9am.If you can't make it I will be there and you can email me your questions directly at or call us at 239-206-FOX4.

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