Washington County exposed for misleading public

Yesterday A Miner Detail broke the story that Washington County Commissioners President Terry Baker is reportedly leaking information from the findings of the investigation into former Assistant County Administrator Sarah Lankford Sprecher’s sexual harassment allegations against Commissioner LeRoy Myers.

At least four sources inside Washington County government told A Miner Detail that Baker is targeting former County Administrator Greg Murray.

In addition, A Miner Detail reported that a County official anonymously confirmed what County officials – Rob Slocum, Terry Baker and one County attorney – refused to acknowledge and “clarify” when the findings of the sexual harassment report were announced on September 19 – that Commissioner LeRoy Myers kissed Sarah Sprecher, which is against County policy.

A Miner Detail received the following email this week from a source within Washington County government:

The report states that Commissioner Myers admitted that he kissed Sarah Sprecher, and that is defined in the policy as harassment – touching of any body area, intimate or nonintimate. The County’s released statement on Commissioner Myers is false.

Shortly after A Miner Detail published its story yesterday, Herald-Mail Media reporter Julie Greene reported on a September 19 email exchange that Commissioner Jeff Cline had with County Administrator Rob Slocum, “before the before the county issued its public statement that day about the investigation’s findings.”

Cline emailed Slocum the following statement before the County released its official statement on the report findings:

The attorney clearly stated that County Policy was violated with the inappropriate action of ‘kissing.’ A violation of an inappropriate action per our policy should be listed” amongst the findings.

While Slocum offered a cursory acknowledgment to Cline’s emailed concerns about the County’s statement, the final statement authorized and eventually released by Slocum omitted any mention of Myers kissing Sprecher as a violation of County policy.

Herald-Mail Media reported:

He went on to list the investigator’s findings that there was “no evidence of harassment,” “no evidence of retaliation” and “no evidence of any unlawful conduct whatsoever.”

The news release didn’t note the violation of county policy, but added the word “unlawful” twice. The final release stated the investigator found “no evidence of unlawful harassment” and “no evidence of unlawful retaliation.”

Cline referred to the final released statement as “deceptive.”

A Miner Detail has a few questions for Washington County Administrator Rob Slocum and Terry Baker.

Clearly, County government is lying, and now it has been exposed. Rob Slocum and Terry Baker are covering for someone? Who? And why?

Why did Rob Slocum blatantly ignore Commissioner Cline’s emailed concerns before the statement was released?

Are Rob Slocum and other members of the commissioners’ board now intentionally targeting Jeff Cline? Revenge politics?

Why hasn’t the Board of County Commissioners released generally supportive statements for employees on protecting their rights to file a complaint – and for the complaint to be treated confidentially and with due process?

Where is Sprecher’s resignation letter? A Miner Detail requested the letter from the County under the Maryland Public Information Act but was denied. Why can’t the public see Specher’s letter? Since the resignation was made public, how is Sprecher’s letter considered confidential?

Multiple County sources reported that Sarah Sprecher was seen leaving a closed session before she chose to resign. Was she removed from that closed-session meeting?

Why did Rob Slocum expend a substantial amount of taxpayer money to ensure that no one talked about confidential complaints?

Why was the press release issued before all parties were even notified?

Why did Rob Slocum issue a press release at all, given the tenuous position in which it could place the County?

When will an investigation be launched into Rob Slocum’s obvious mismanagement of County government?

Is it time for Rob Slocum to resign?

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