Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

June 14, 2013

Move to fire Miller fails 2-2

CROSSVILLE — Crossville city manager Jack Miller almost became the only city manager fired twice by the city council after a surprising discussion came up under the city manager's report including a claim by city clerk Sally Oglesby of harassment and hostile work environment.

The discussion started with Crossville Mayor J.H. Graham relating a story about stopping by city hall the morning of Friday, June 7, to pick up mail from his box and he heard voices from a staff meeting that was being held in the third floor conference room.

Graham said to Miller, “I overheard your voice and I overheard Sally's voice for a while. Later on I heard someone say to shut the door, that someone was out there.” Graham continued, “Well that was me that was out there and I was listening to your tone of voice and I was trying to hear some of the things that you were saying to Sally. I believe, Dr. Miller, that the time and place for any comment or criticism to an employee ought to be done in your office and not in a so-called staff meeting.

“I'm very disappointed in you doing that,” concluded Graham. The mayor then opened the floor for other comments.

Councilman Danny Wyatt began, “I'm not only disappointed, I'm not going to put up with it sitting down to any of 165 employees. It's not going to happen.” Wyatt then made a motion to dismiss interim city manager Miller effective immediately. The motion raised an objection from councilman Pete Souza who felt the matter needed to be amended on to the agenda.

Graham asked the city attorney who said the matter could be handled under the city manager's report item.

George Marlow commented that he supported Sally “110 percent.” He added that she is a very hard worker and a very important part of the city of Crossville. Marlow continued that the only information he had on the matter of the meeting was second hand and he was uncomfortable voting based on hearsay. Marlow concluded, “I don't think I have enough information to make that vote.”

Councilman Souza remarked that he felt that Mayor Graham and councilman Wyatt have been unhappy that Miller was here. “I look at this as more of a witch-hunt than anything else,” added Souza.

Interim manager Miller began to speak, “Mr. Mayor, I've got to address this. My honesty and my integrity is being impugned by this council member (Wyatt). He lit into me like a savage the night I was appointed and he hasn't let up yet. I’ve never been treated

so rudely as I have by this council member.”

Miller than accused councilman Wyatt of spreading rumors about his ability to get along.

"Do you know of one I spread,” asked Wyatt, or anyone I've spread it to?”

“Well you or Mrs. Oglesby one did,” answered Miller.

Mayor Graham seconded the motion and a vote was called for the vote that ended in a tie with Graham and Wyatt in favor and Souza and Marlow opposed.

Mrs. Oglesby then asked to make a statement. “Gentlemen, I’m the victim of abuse that started in the last term of Jack Miller. Just like most abuse victims I kept quiet and endured for fear of more abuse. In 2007 only two members of council knew about the abuse because they had heard from others and came to talk to me. I never said a word to the remaining three until after Miller was fired for a serious violation of policy.

"Following that meeting I did inform two of the other members who were horrified that I had not confided in them. This time I will not allow it to continue without taking action. If this council is willing to allow the abuse to continue, by June 27 I will meet the deadline in the personnel manual for filing a grievance and I will also consider remedies through the court system for harassment and hostile work environment.”

Mrs. Oglesby's statement continued, “I have never filed a grievance or a lawsuit and I really don't want to now, but the situation can not go unaddressed. The conduct of the interim city manager last Friday was the most humiliating experience I have ever endured. He has stated many times that he is a professional with the highest of integrity. I can assure you that no professional manager would berate, accuse and harass an employee in front of others.

"At the staff meeting on June the 7th, over 90 percent of the time I was on trial in front of my colleagues. One described it to his staff as 'a Sally bashing.' I was told that I was hated by city employees. As opposed to being a bureaucrat as he would like us to be, I prefer to be a public servant.

"Gentlemen I assure you, as you would expect of a city clerk for 28 years, I have complete documentation of all the events that have transpired since (Miller's) arrival this year and from his previous tenure. I have witnesses, and other indisputable evidence ready. If you allow this abuse to continue I will have to hold you accountable as well.”

Mrs Oglesby went on to say she had worked under nine city managers and all who are still alive would come to her defense if she called them. As she concluded, Mrs. Oglesby received a standing ovation from most of the audience present.

Miller responded, “The appropriate thing to do is to consult with the employees who were there and see what was said."

Councilman Souza said that he found Mrs. Oglesby “very competent and a very big asset to the city of Crossville."

Mrs. Oglesby said she would be glad to provide a tape of the meeting in question. The meeting was not taped officially, but Mrs. Oglesby had recorded it herself.

Councilman Danny Wyatt asked police chief David Beaty to come forward and he was asked about the meeting.

Beaty responded, “I thought about twice getting up and leaving, to be honest with you.” When asked if it had been his wife, Beaty responded he had told his staff later that if it had been his wife, his daughter, his mother or his sister, “They'd have probably been some trouble.”

The next time the council is scheduled to meet is the week of June 24 to complete the third and final budget reading. The matter of Jack Miller's tenure as interim city manager is expected to be on that meeting's agenda as well.

1
Text Only
Area News
  • Steak and Potatoes Field Day set Aug. 5

    The annual Steak and Potatoes Field Day, sponsored by the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, will once again showcase the research and outreach activities at UT’s Plateau AgResearch and Education Center.

    August 1, 2014

  • Man dies while in custody

    The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating the death of a man who died while in custody of local law enforcement.

    August 1, 2014

  • Hole in one highlights day one of Women's Open

    Haverly Harrold of Johnson City, TN, recorded a hole-in-one on the par 3, 11th hole in the first day of play at the 16th annual Golf Capital of Tennessee Women's Open at Stonehenge Golf Club Thursday.

    August 1, 2014

  • BOE recognizes city.jpg City praised by school officials

    The Cumberland County Board of Education, represented by Director of Schools Donald Andrews, right, recognized the city of Crossville, represented by City Manager David Rutherford, left, and Crossville Mayor J.H. Graham III, center, at its July 24 meeting with a certificate of appreciation for the city’s continued support of education in Cumberland County.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Report of missing child turns out false; one charged

    A man living in Crossville set off a major search by law enforcement officers and about 40 employees of a retail store after he reported a small child missing. He later recanted and has now been charged with a misdemeanor charge.

    July 31, 2014

  • tourism-granville.jpg Tourism talk dominates roundtable meeting

    Tourism is big business in Cumberland County and the state of Tennessee.
    Tennessee state officials visited the Crossville-Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce and provided a wealth of information for a roundtable discussion County Mayor Kenneth Carey Jr. organized.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • School system closes budget with more in reserves than planned

    The school system is going to end the year with a little more in its reserves than originally thought, Bob Scarbrough, transportation/maintenance supervisor and acting CFO, at the July 24 meeting of the Cumberland County Board of Education.
    "We believe there will be $4.7 million in the fund balance, which is quite a bit better than anticipated," Scarbrough said.

    July 31, 2014

  • Investigation into assault continues

    A Sparta Hwy. man found with lacerations to the back of the head told Cumberland County sheriff's deputies he was assaulted at a residence on Hwy. 70 N, but doesn't know why.

    July 31, 2014

  • Theft, arson of storage shed reported

    Someone broke into a storage shed and stole several items and, to add insult to injury, set the storage building on fire, according to a Cumberland County Sheriff's Department report.

    July 31, 2014

  • Shop tax free this weekend

    With the return to school right around the corner and Cumberland County students set to return to classrooms Aug. 6, Tennesseans are reminded they can buy certain items without paying sales tax Aug. 1 through Aug. 3.

    July 30, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014