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Commissioner tries to put employee back on probation

By Sheryl Marsh 340-2437

Morgan County District 1 Commissioner Jeff Clark moved to place Human Resources Director Terry Naccarato back on probation, but a fellow commissioner invoked a rule of procedure.

District 4 Commissioner Stacy George said he believes two people in the County Commission office are trying to get rid of the HR director because he follows the law.

Two weeks ago, George and District 2 Commissioner Ken Livingston voted to suspend the remainder of Naccarato's probation, after receiving a letter from him regarding purported illegal hirings in the Sheriff's Department. District 3 Commissioner Kevin Murphy voted no.

During a work session, Clark said Naccarato is doing a good job and he doesn't understand why the commissioners removed his probation. He said all employees should have the same probation.

Director under fire?

George reminded Clark of the letter about the sheriff's hirings and also said Naccarato was under fire from Chairman John Glasscock and Administrator Syble Atkins.

George said he was told that Glasscock said Naccarato should not have given George one of the letters about the sheriff. He said Glasscock rummaged through commissioner mailboxes in the commission office last month trying to find the letters about the hirings. In addition, George said Atkins asked the payroll clerk for Naccarato's hire date.

Glasscock denied the actions.

"Did you, or did you not, rummage through the mailboxes, John?, " George asked.

"I looked in them, but I didn't take nothing out," answered Glasscock.

Atkins said she checked Naccarato's hire date for the media Oct. 9. After the meeting, she said she didn't inquire about his employment date at any other time.

Clark said no one should scold Glasscock and Atkins about the issue because he wants Naccarato back on probation to be fair to other employees.

Clark, who was absent from the Oct. 9 meeting, had an item put on Tuesday's agenda to discuss probationary periods for employees. Clark said he is not against Naccarato and his job is not in jeopardy.

His intention was to rescind the resolution and place Naccarato back on probation.

Clark withdrew his motion after George said he could not add the item because the commission had adopted Tuesday's agenda.

County Attorney Bill Shinn said George was right.

Clark said he received complaints from some employees and elected officials about removal of Naccarato's probation. Murphy said he had received complaints, too.

George said he thought that was strange because he didn't get complaints. He said people called him to say, "We did the right thing."

Livingston said he had people stop him and say that removing Naccarato's probation was a good thing.

After the meeting, Murphy and Clark declined to name the complaining officials and employees.

George said after the meeting that the commission should be mindful about breaking federal laws when trying to tamper with Naccarato's employment.

"These people are mad because Terry wouldn't go along with illegal hiring practices," George said. "They'd better watch out because they could spark interest from the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). After all, that's what this is all about, discrimination in hiring that Terry would not sign off on."

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