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No Movement on Ethington, Victims Still Not Rehired

Written By Editor on 2/10/14 | 2/10/14


Almost four months have past since the $300,000 Fitzmaurice Report was unveiled by the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors, the content of which painted a disturbing picture of Personnel Director Cassandra Ethington's "reign of terror" within county government. 

Mrs. Ethington's acts of misconduct and harassment include undermining the former Public Health Director Kathleen Strack, promoting and hiring allies of the Conservative Party, firing alleged foes, targeting the Sheriff's Department for sweeping layoffs, and so forth. 

The political cost was significant to Mrs. Ethington and her allies: six new Supervisors were elected, her husband placed a distant third for Sheriff in a race he was once competitive in, Conservative Party Chairman Bill Hanson was fired from county employment, and the Personnel Director was indefinitely suspended with pay.  

Since then, however, there has been no movement in regards to Mrs. Ethington's status as a department head, or in the reinstitution of two Health Department workers - Penny Grimes and Eva Gigandet - that the Fitzmaurice Report stated were wrongfully terminated, and urged that they be rehired. 

According to the Cobleskill paper's December 9th edition, the county has hired an outside law firm to review Mrs. Ethington's misconduct and to determine whether there are grounds to hold a public hearing, an investigation that is likely to last until June at the earliest. There have been no updates since. 

With an annual salary budgeted at $50,754, Mrs. Ethington has thus far received over $12,000 in pay during her three months on administrative leave. Meanwhile, the county has had to appoint an interim Personnel Director to maintain the department. In addition, neither Ms. Grimes nor Ms. Gigandet have been reinstated. 
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1 comments:

Maria Cartwright said...

I think it was a witch hunt. I personally know people who gave testimony of other "bullys" in county employ who have acted far worse than anything Ms. Ethington was accused of and were no even mentioned in "the report". It was simply a ploy to get rid of political opponents. And a damn expensive one at that!

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