Charges Of Harassment And Hostility Made Between HPS Officials

September 3, 2014

Charges Of Harassment And Hostility Made Between HPS Officials

9/3/14 - The superintendent and school board president of Howell Public Schools are exchanging accusations of creating a hostile work environment. Superintendent Ron Wilson filed a complaint on August 19th, claiming that School Board President Mike Witt had bullied and harassed him, leading to a hostile work environment, physical hurt, psychological distress, and discrimination. Last night, the Howell School Board, including Witt, voted unanimously to approve spending $10,000 to investigate these claims. The school board president says the claims are groundless and welcomed an investigation into the situation. Witt provided a copy of Wilson’s complaint to WHMI in which the superintendent takes exception to a closed session of the board Witt called for on June 9th to review an attorney opinion. Wilson said he was not a part of that meeting and is suspicious that his termination was its purpose. He then says the meeting was in retaliation for Wilson’s request of an accounting of items solicited by Witt for the district’s firefighting program and Wilson’s refusal to support sanctioning school board members Mike Moloney and Doug Moore. He also accuses Witt of using a district employee to do work for him outside of the school day, accruing a $3,500 bill, which Wilson says was never paid. In a letter responding to the allegations, Witt denied the allegations, saying the employee in question works for LESA, not Howell schools, and that the work was an agreement between two private individuals. He further states that the individual in question indicates that he is fully satisfied with the services provided by Witt’s company, Firehouse Doors, and that no dissatisfaction exists. Witt also accused Wilson of creating a hostile work environment, insubordination, and defamation. Witt’s letter requested that those claims be investigated as well. The investigation should be completed in the next few weeks. Some members of the school board said they were not happy spending $10,000 on an investigation that would tarnish the district’s reputation. The request was approved unanimously with the only abstention being Kim Witt, the board secretary and Mike Witt’s wife. Wilson offered no opinions during the meeting, and had no comment when approached afterward. However, he issued a statement this morning, which is posted below.(TD/JK)

Attachment: WilsonComplaint81914.pdf
Attachment: WittComplaintresponse.doc
Attachment: SuperintendentWilsonStatement9314.pdf
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