Controversial St. Johns County Administrator Michael David Wanchick allegedly:
1. Mocked women for what they ate and how much they weighed, threatening bring in a scale and questioning them for eating individual food items.
2. Mocked women's capabilities.
3. Failed to provide an exit interview process where discrimination concerns can be raised.
4. Failed to provide effective complaint methods for employees, failing to notify them of their rights to file fraud, waste and abuse concerns with the Clerk of Courts and Comptroller, Hunter Conrad.
Wanchick denies making any inappropriate comments. I'm waiting to read all of the witness statements and pertinent documents.
Controversial St. Johns County Attorney Patrick Francis McCormack promptly hired an "independent" Orlando law firm to "investigate," but its report reads more like a defense brief, beginning with its refusing to consider Wanchick's critical remarks about women's weight. The hired gun, whose qualifications for "investigations" are unclear, says ab initio that criticizing employee's weight is not covered by Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, or state anti-discrimination law. Hint: It's covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, which forbids discrimination against people on the basis of "perceived disabilities." Mr. Wanchick's alleged rough language appears to invoke ADA. The incurious hired gun's report omits any effort to research other possibilities, like ADA.
The hired gun appears to have narrowed his focus and written a law school term paper. A bad one.
The "independent" investigation report is murky, dismissive and contains erroneous legal conclusions -- it's written by an Orlando firm that defends civil litigation. Not "independent."
Oh, well, PATRICK, thanks for giving it the old UF Law School try.
I am not persuaded by the insensitive account of a hired gun about the insensitive remarks of Mr. Wanchick. The hired gun is a civil litigation defense firm, whose law firm indicates no expertise in "independent" investigations. Here it is:
Bell & Roper, P.A. is highly respected in the legal community and is AV rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, signifying the highest level of legal ability and adherence to the professional standard of conduct, legal ethics, reliability and diligence in its practice.
Our Mission is to serve our clients' interest with integrity and deliver competent, aggressive and effective legal representation through our experience, attention to detail and efficient, zealous advocacy.
A representative sampling of the firm’s clients includes: ACE Group; Adventist Risk Management; American Express Companies, Inc.; Ameriprise Auto and Home Insurance; Amerisure Insurance; Bliss-McKnight; Brevard County, Florida; Brevard County School Board; Citizens Property Insurance Corporation; Citrus County, Florida; Esurance; Florida Association of Counties Trust; Hartford Insurance Company; Heartland Express, Inc. of Iowa; Housing Authority of the City of Winter Park; ITW Food Equipment Group, Inc.; Marion County, Florida; Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company; North American Van Lines, Inc.; Osceola County, Florida; Preferred Governmental Insurance Trust; Red Robin International, Inc.; Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc.; TASER International, Inc.; The Travelers Companies.
On Wednesday, July 18, 2017, I requested all of the documents on the Bell & Roper "independent' investigation by e-mail. (Commission Chairman James Johns replied that he had no documents, referring it to "our legal department," which belatedly acknowledged the request at 5:00 PM July 19 with the County's usual trademark bureaucratic unfriendliness.
From: Betty Dixon
Cc: Regina Ross
Sent: Wed, Jul 19, 2017 5:00 pm
Subject: Acknowledgement RE: Request No. 2017-343: Bell & Roper. P.A. employment discrimination work for St. Johns County
From: Ed Slavin
Sent: Tue, Jul 18, 2017 2:58 pm
Subject: Request No. 2017-343: Bell & Roper. P.A. employment discrimination work for St. Johns County
1. Please send me the file on Bell & Roper, P.A. employment discrimination law work for St. Johns County re: concerns about pejorative, hateful, mocking, inappropriate, insulting, nasty, sexist, misogynist remarks by St. Johns County Administrator Michael David Wanchick allegedly directed against women and people with disabilities (overweight persons).