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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Fox 4 investigation may change county policies

A Four in your Corner investigation prompts Lee County officials to consider changing several county policies. Fox 4 investigator Mike Mason attended today's county commission meeting and held the powerful accountable. Today commissioners sounding off after Fox 4 exposed numerous problems with county policies. Commissioner Brian Bigelow says, "I think it's an embarrassment for the county."

Last week, many county workers were shocked to see our reports showing top county officials receiving promotions and raises without having had any performance evaluations for years. According to the county's manual:"It is the policy of the county that the job performance of each employee should be evaluated periodically by the employee's supervisor. But Lee County manager Karen Hawes tells Fox 4 “supervisors "should" perform evaluations but it is not *required* under policy.”

Frank Mann
Commission Chairman Frank Mann says "What we ought to have is at least a consistent policy so that it applies to everybody and not some department or some levels and others don't."

Commissioner Tammy Hall also stated, "If we want evaluations on every single employee every single year then let's set that policy in place and take out the words 'may' and 'should' because I think those words are left for interpretation.” Hall went on to say that this is an issue she’s willing to address.

And Fox 4 also found there are no set rules for advertising county jobs. Last week Hawes sent us an email stating, "The county's current policies do not require a minimum or maximum time for advertising a job ." But county workers feel that's not fair and commissioner Brian Bigelow agrees, "It's very troubling for me, we have to give everybody a fair chance at working for their government."

Karen Hawes
And we also exposed there are no job requirements for the county manager, The county charter clearly states, “The minimum qualifications including educational and administrative requirements for the county manager shall be established by county ordinance."

But Deputy County Attorney Andrea Fraser tells us: "There is no such ordinance." That means for 16 years county officials never wrote the job requirements for their top leader. Bigelow says he plans to address that issue, "I meet routinely with the county attorney, I believe it best that he draft it because we are talking specifically about the county manager's job requirements."

Commissioner Mann says he encourages the media to expose loopholes like this and other deficiencies in county government, "From the courthouse to the Whitehouse we need reviews all the time. This country survives because we have a free press so keep up the good work."

Commissioners say the next step is to place items on the agenda to address the policies in question and then vote to adopt new policies. We will stay on top of this one and keep you updated.

To view the Fox 4 report click here:

1 comment:

  1. This is good information explain about the Fox 4 investigator Mike Mason. Private investigators have the know how and expertise. It is effected every business and life style.