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It's nothing personal, Clark says
Commissioner praises Morgan HR director, wants probation reinstated

By Sheryl Marsh 340-2437

Morgan County District 1 Commissioner Jeff Clark praised Human Resources Director Terry Naccarato, saying the county needs a man with his expertise and integrity.

That, however, isn't stopping Clark from putting an item on the next meeting agenda to try to return Naccarato to probation.

"That has nothing to do with the probation period," said Clark. "It's not right to give special treatment to one employee on probation and not all of them."

Clark and District 3 Commissioner Kevin Murphy, who is also against Naccarato's suspended probation, said some employees and department heads complained about it to them.

Murphy and Clark declined to say who complained.

Employees on probation

Payroll records show that 25 employees are on probation and 23 of them work for Sheriff Greg Bartlett. The other two work in the garbage department.

District 2 Commissioner Ken Livingston and District 4 Commissioner Stacy George voted to remove Naccarato from probation because of two hirings by the sheriff that the director said were discriminatory.

The Daily asked county officials at the courthouse if they complained to Clark, Murphy or Chairman John Glasscock about the removal of Naccarato's probation.

Probate Judge Greg Cain, Revenue Commissioner Amanda Scott and License Commissioner Sue Baker Roan each said no.

"As a matter of fact, I congratulated him when they took him off probation," said Cain.

The commission majority voted to suspend the remainder of Naccarato's six-month probationary period at a meeting Oct. 9. Clark was absent from that meeting. During a meeting Tuesday, he brought the issue up for discussion. He was not allowed to make a motion to restore Naccarato's probation because George invoked a rule of procedure.

Clark said the county needs Naccarato.

"This is my take on it: I think Terry stood up for what he thought was right, and the sheriff went by the rules as he knew them," Clark said.

George said he believes that two people in the commission office want Naccarato to leave.

"From information given to me, John (Glasscock) and Ms. (Syble) Atkins will not let Terry do his job in peace," said George. "They, and at least three employees in that office, constantly walk by his office when he's talking on the phone or to someone. They did it when I was in there Tuesday."

Glasscock said Tuesday that he and Atkins are not against Naccarato.

Clark said he's not part of any plan to get rid of Naccarato.

"No, I wouldn't vote to fire him," Clark responded to a reporter's question. "I think Terry is going to be fine. I don't think Terry is going to back down from anybody on what he believes in. The county needs Terry. I just want the probation to be the same for everybody."

Clark said he has submitted the item to restore Naccarato's probation to Glasscock to place on the next agenda.

Hirings questioned

Naccarato did not agree with the sheriff's hirings a month ago and sent letters to each commissioner. He informed them of the situation and labeled the hiring practice discriminatory.

Livingston and George continue to back Naccarato.

"I removed the probation so that Terry could do his job in peace," said Livingston. "He's doing what he's supposed to be doing for this county."

Livingston shared information from an e-mail he received Wednesday from an employee.

He read it to a reporter:

"Thank you, thank you for your vote of confidence in Terry Naccarato. He is exactly the underscore of what this county needs to cleanup and fix to bring our county HR office into compliance and fairness. I have personally dealt with Terry and he is fair and honest and his door is always open. I have been pursuing the local paper for months looking for better opportunities but with Terry in charge, I might just stick it out."

Livingston kept the employee's identity confidential for job protection.

Livingston got approval Tuesday for all hirings that come before the commission to be approved by Naccarato first.

Clark will have his item on the Nov. 13 meeting agenda, and Livingston will have another item.

"I will put an item on the agenda to decrease the probationary period to 90 days," Livingston said. "If you can't tell in 90 days that you've got an employee that's going to work, you're not doing your job."

The current probation is for six months.

Naccarato started his job in July.

He replaced Jack Underwood, whom the commission fired after a television reporter exposed him and Glasscock for sharing e-mails that depicted naked women.

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