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The Report: Ethington Accused of Destroying Documents

Written By Editor on 10/25/13 | 10/25/13

Cassandra Ethington's time at the Health Department also had her involved with the caretaking of records. Employee A was the Administrative Assistant of the Director of the Health Department until July 2010. She served under Mrs. Ethington.

Ms. A said that she followed the procedures of document removal. When Mrs. Ethington took over she was a "bull in a china shop." Ethington would come in and begin just throwing out documents after going through them. Ms. A cautioned Ethington and labeled what needed to be kept or thrown away. The project took a week. Then Mrs. Ethington came to the office and threw all of the files away because she believed the project was too slow. Ms. A was "disturbed" by the incident. When "A" told the state CSEA they told her there was nothing they could do. Meanwhile, she could not complain within the County civil service because she would be forced to testify to the Personnel Director.

Another employee, Mr. B, has spent dozens of years in the field. He was told in January 2011 by Mrs. Ethington to destroy files showing investigations into public water systems, lead paint, and hazardous waste. When told that the files were not expired, Mrs. Ethington destroyed them anyway. Then she complained that there was not enough room. She then had health staff throw away two filing cabinets worth of files into a dumpster right behind the County building. After being informed, some of the files were shredded. When asked why the employee did not pursue further he said "there was no point since she was in charge and he was afraid she would yell at him."

Mrs. Ethington denied telling anyone to throw away the files.

After the incident Mrs. Ethington took all of Mr. B's personal phone books and threw them away. He took one from the bin and saw Mrs. Ethington next to him. She said that he no longer needed the phone books. If he needed a number, she said, he needed to speak to the secretary. Mr. B placed the book back in the garbage but rescused them later that day.

Ms. A witnessed an event between Mr. B and Ethington. According to Ms. A, she witnessed Ethington "screaming at [Mr. B]. I don't know about what but there were people there that wanted some assistance and we took them out because it was not something that they should witness." Those visitors were looking for a permit. They needed to be led outside because Ethington "just kept going on and on, screaming at [Mr. B]."

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