The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update


December 4, 2013

Editorial: City administration needs to answer for loss of records

The interpretations of how and why three women were fired from their city jobs has swirled into the political realm.

But to many of us it points to a breakdown in communications between a departing Democratic administration and an incoming Republican one.

Prior to 2012, Kim Townsend, Debra King and Beth McKenzie worked in the Community Development Department administering programs for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In 2012, they were terminated by the Smith administration over allegations that some of their relatives were being placed in HUD homes.

An investigation was started as early as February 2011 by then-Mayor Kris Ockomon’s administration. Steve Priser, director of personnel and insurance, said nothing was found to warrant further investigation.

The available HUD housing had been advertised by a third party, PathStone, and nothing apparently involved a direct family member of the workers.

As of last week, the original paperwork or written recommendations from the investigation were lost.

Yet, the Smith administration fired the women.

The link in this seems to be Floyd Edwards, director of human relations for both the Ockomon and Smith administrations. He was reportedly involved in a 2011 meeting and told there was no evidence of a conflict of interest with the female workers. He has denied being at such a meeting. He conducted an investigation for Smith that yielded the terminations.

As director of human relations, Edwards should have known of the 2011 investigation. And he should have learned of that one from the 2012 investigation.

But this is one of the problems of a contentious shift between administrations on the opposite end of the political spectrum. They don’t tell one another certain things.

Somebody in the current administration needs to answer for the miscommunications and the loss of records concerning a personnel investigation.

In this case, there was a link that perhaps could have avoided the messy termination that has yielded a lawsuit and correspondence from HUD and the Indiana Department of Workplace Development.

While the role of a city administration is not to provide government jobs, part of its duty is to protect the dignity of the workers it hires.

In summary The loss of personnel records involved in an internal investigation needs itself to be investigated with someone explaining what happened.

Text Only
  • Editorial: Health center problem could have been avoided The lives and reputations of three healthcare professionals have been ruined by mismanagement at the Madison County Community Health Center. It could have been avoided.

    July 22, 2014

  • Bannon, Tom Viewpoint: Paramount is an investment that is paying dividends About 25 years ago the citizens of Anderson made a decision that would have a long lasting impact on the community. Instead of saving the old Paramount Theatre, which had fallen into serious disrepair, it was decided that the easy and prudent decision was to get rid of the building to create additional downtown parking. Shortly after the Paramount came down, the community got rid of another abandoned structure when the old Carnegie Building, which was the former home of the Anderson Public Library, was torn down.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • You Said It: About the reservoir, immigration and more on the Wigwam Each Monday, The Herald Bulletin publishes “You Said It,” a compilation of readers’ comments from coupled with responses by the newspaper’s editorial board.

    July 21, 2014

  • underwood mug [Duplicate] [Duplicate] Scott Underwood: Colts camp, 4-H fair demand our attention Late July is a busy, exciting time in Madison County. With the school year approaching fast, folks want to savor the long, hot (well, not so hot lately) days of July.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Maureen Hayden: Expiring term heightens the urgency of one lawmaker’s mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki may have lost the Republican primary to a Tea Party challenger, but the two-term Republican from Kosciusko County is not going away quietly.

    July 20, 2014

  • Indiana State of State-12 [Duplicate] Editorial: State surplus comes at expense of Hoosiers' well-being If Indiana is taking in $59.8 million less – blamed on declines in revenues from the riverboat gambling tax, inheritance tax and individual income tax – and still is able to save $106.8 million, that extra cash isn’t being plucked from a secret forest of money trees.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB0727 - horse and pony - DK - 266 Editorial: 4-H members have goals, dreams

    This week's Madison County 4-H Fair is an opportunity to showcase area youth. They're proud of their work. Their hopeful of their futures. And they're willing to put their goals and dreams in the public eye.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB0626 - Shoot - 03 Editorial: License suspension makes sense in Roger Shoot case Some will object when a person accused of a crime is punished by a professional organization before conviction.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Letter: Wall Street should not be in politics Talk about corruption, ponzi schemes, we're looking at you, Wall Street, controlling the prices of our food, gasoline and clothing we must buy and about every company in America — while trashing President Obama, the Affordable Health Care Plan, along with every Democrat, to influence our elections, at the same time.

    July 17, 2014

  • Letter: 23 Relay for Life teams raised $40,000 As chairs of this year's American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Madison County, we would like to thank everyone for their generosity and support.

    July 17, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Do you expect your physician to follow state standards and laws?

Of course
Not always
Never thought about it
     View Results