Gun-Toting Clerk Accused Of Bullying Employees In Michigan
Being bullied may conjure up images of tough kids on a playground taunting smaller classmates. But it's quite a different scenario in suburban Detroit, where a local government employee stands accused of intimidating co-workers -- and not merely with a gruff attitude.
Clinton Township Supervisor Bob Cannon is accusing Clerk George Fitzgerald's of instilling fear in township employees with his demeanor and by routinely bringing a gun to work, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Cannon has asked the county prosecutor to look into Fitzgerald's actions.
Some of the township's employees are afraid of losing their jobs because of Fitzgerald's attitude, Cannon tells the newspaper. "He bullies them."
According to Cannon, the township clerk has "physically and psychologically" bullied workers in the township offices on numerous occasions and has resisted efforts to get him to change his behavior, the Journal Register News Service reports.
For his part, Fitzgerald, a Democrat, denies that he bullies employees and said the investigation is a political ploy on the part of Cannon, a Republican, to remove him from office.
Further, Fitzgerald says that he is breaking no law in carrying the weapon and that no employees have complained about his behavior.
He expresses concern about the charges, adding that his reputation is on the line.
"I try to be a good community leader and make sure our office runs efficiently on behalf of the taxpayers," Fitzgerald says.
Cannon says that he has complaint letters that show employees are concerned about the clerk's behavior, but hasn't produced them. The employees have asked to remain anonymous, fearing for their jobs, he says.
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David Schepp has spent more than a dozen years covering business news for the electronic and print media, including Dow Jones Newswires, BBC News, Gannett Co., and most recently at AOL's DailyFinance. Nearly 10 years ago, he started writing a weekly People@Work column, looking in depth at issues facing workers in today's workplace. The syndicated column appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide before it made its debut on DailyFinance in 2010. Schepp now continues that tradition at Aol Jobs, covering the jobs beat and providing readers insight and analysis into the nation's challenging employment scene.
Schepp holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Metropolitan State College of Denver.
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