They Say Administrator Fleshman Is "Out Of Control"
"I am the Administrator and the Administrator at the Health Department. I do not have to punch a clock. I don’t have to sit at my desk for eight hours, so if you're checking my time that’s fine, but just know that the Board is behind me. If you don’t like the way I run things then you don’t have to work for me. You are more then welcome, I give you a reference and you're more then welcome to go seek employment elsewhere, but the way it is that you guys have to follow the rules that I set, and if you have a problem obeying the rules that I set then you can let me know and we can follow the chain-of-command and we can go from there. But please know that I am so confident of the fact that the Board is behind me this is why I am taping this so they can all know, so they can all hear it and if any of you have a problem you can go to the Board at a Board meeting and you can bring it up at the Board meeting 'cause they will back me. I want to say that again, the Board will back me. So, and know this, I find out everything. So if you think you are building alliances, or you think you have this master grand plan to try to roust me out of here, it’s not going to work, because I am not going anywhere for a long time. So if anybody wants to get rid of me you’re out of luck, that’s it, if you don’t like working for me there’s the door."
Putnam County Health Department Administrator
There are some frustrated employees at the Putnam County Health Department. They say administrator Jacqueline Fleshman is "out of control" and "overbearing." It has come to the point that they have sent PutnamLIVE.com a recording of a recent staff meeting led by Fleshman, a transcript of the recording, (which we verified) and copies of memos. Please click on the links below to hear the recording of the meeting.
The memos, which some employees call "crazy" show Fleshman to be "out of control," and "a control freak" who constantly threatens discipline and job termination, the employees say.
"I think that she is so scared about how she has not been accountable for her time and comes and goes as she pleases," says one employee. "I already spoke with the Division of Personnel (employee relations) about her being accountable for her time and they stated that she is absolutely not exempt from keeping her time and that if she wasn't that it should be brought to the attention of the board of health.
Another says Fleshman is rarely at her office and "plays favorites" among office employees, favoring those that attend her church.
Fleshman was not in her office over the Memorial Day weekend. A voice mail message was left (in a general mailbox) then, as well as on May 31st on Fleshman's extension. PutnamLIVE.com also sent her an email. So far, no response from Fleshman. However, in previous conversations, she blamed "disgruntled employees" who she says "are troublemakers" for "causing problems" in the office. Later, Fleshman promised to email her comments. As of yet, we have not received that email.
One employee, Barbara Koblinsky, was fired last year, then reinstated with back pay and benefits, costing taxpayers thousands of dollars. Koblinsly is not the employee that sent us the recording and she is not the employee quoted above.
Additionally, in April, PutnamLIVE.com presented Fleshman with a Freedom of Information Act request for the mileage logs for her county-issued vehicle (since her hiring date) after receiving a tip that Fleshman was using it for her own errands. She has promised numerous times to provide the logs, but has failed to do so. In a telephone conversation, in May, she indicated that the department only started such logs in February, and that information from prior months was not available. Failing to comply with a Freedom of Information Act Request is a misdemeanor, in West Virginia. However, Putnam County Prosecutor Mark A. Sorsaia does not prosecute such cases, saying, "you have civil recourse." Such lawsuits are expensive and sometimes take years to adjudicate, allowing government employees to hide their activity during the legal process.
The employees that contacted PutnamLIVE.com say they feel "intimidated" and that their jobs are being threatened. They want the Board of Health to terminate Fleshman, but, in the recording and transcript, as you can read for yourself, Fleshman states that she has the support of the board.
Fleshman has been under fire for establishing a stricter animal quarantine process, requiring animals to be held at a veterinarian or at the Putnam County Animal Shelter. It was after Koblinsky protested this process that she was fired. However, Fleshman defends the new process because there were reports of pets getting lose that were carlessly quarantined by their owners.
Recently, the president of the board, dentist Jeanne Bailey, who was one of the only medical professionals on the board, resigned. Pharmacist Brac Brown reportedly often participates by speakerphone.
Fleshman, who had not worked as a health department administrator before, was hired to replace Bob Peck who was allowed to resign after being fired.
PutnamLIVE.com attempted to reach new board Chair Jimmy Dillon. A woman answered the telephone and said he was not there, did not have a number to reach him, and hung up after she was told what the call was about. Another board member, Putnam County Commissioner Raymond "Joe" Haynes refuses to be interviewed by PutnamLIVE.com. However, we left a message with a secretary at the Putnam County Commission office for Haynes anyway.
Below is the entire (verified) transcript of a recent meeting where Fleshman spoke. PutnamLIVE.com has been told that Gordon Simmons, of the Public Employees Union Local 170, has been contacted about this meeting.
Putnam County Health Department
May 17, 2011
This won’t take very long. I am going to record it, Jimmy wants me to record it. Trudy states, “I’m recording.” Ok, Um this isn’t going to be very long so is everybody here first? Ok, this is going to be, this is going to be pretty much a short meeting because it’s going to be a one-way meeting. It’s me talking to you. Um, the Board wanted me to convey some things, and that’s the reason they want it taped because they want to make sure that I convey everything that they want me to convey. Um, I guess first I am going to give you what you’ve got. What you have already and then let me take it away from you, if things don’t straighten up around here. For instance, one thing that we do here that is a perk for everybody we get an hour lunch, we work from eight to four according to personnel if we have an hour lunch were supposed to extend your work days to eight until four thirty. Um, that’s something that we have always done here, and um the Board basically wants me to point out the perks that you get and because of all the things here that is going on then their willing to take away. So this is your one chance, and fortunately the majority of you guys follow the roles? There are just a few that don’t and the few that don’t will affect the majority. And so that one thing I’m going to be taking away, either we’ll go to a half hour lunch, with two fifteen minutes breaks scheduled by your supervisor or we will extend the workday to four thirty and keep your one hour lunch and that gives you no break. Um, that’s one thing. One thing that will be changing, definitely will be changing will be the insurance it will not be changing until April Open Enrollment of next year. So you guys have a year and eleven months to decide what you’re going to do with your Insurance. Um, what hasn’t been decided and we will know is that we will give you at least six months notice prior to April if it is going to go down seventy thirty or eighty twenty. Right now we pay ninety ten. Um, that will be changing, were just going to follow what the state does, and the state is actually the ones that may be changing to seventy thirty so were kinda gonna wait to see what there’re going to do.
Um, another thing is we really need to say at our work stations, no congregating anywhere I mean this is something I have said many, many, many times that’s something that seems that no one is following. Um, but stay at your work stations, congregating in areas of the break room, downstairs, out back and if you’re on your lunch break feel free to congregate, other then that, no.
Um, were going to be switching people around again. It seems like people get complacent about what they do and things don’t run as efficiently, so were going to be changing some duties around and people and I’ll be coming around to each one of you individually that were switching and talk to you prior to the switch.. It depends on your job and it depends on your duties here but um, our work day right now is eight to four which means if your position is vital to the agency being open eight to four, then you need to be here from eight to four. You need to be in your seat at eight o’clock and ready for work. Um, eight to four is our work day.
I will pass out, each of you take two of these. These are some directives, everybody take two. You’re going to sign one and keep one. And I want to make it very, very, very clear so I am going to say it very clear so the tape can hear it, so that way the Board can hear it because I am going to play it at the next Board meeting and everyone else can hear, can hear it. I am the Administrator and the Administrator at the Health Department. I do not have to punch a clock. I don’t have to sit at my desk for eight hours, so if you're checking my time that’s fine, but just know that the Board is behind me. If you don’t like the way I run things then you don’t have to work for me. You are more then welcome, I give you a reference and you're more then welcome to go seek employment elsewhere, but the way it is that you guys have to follow the rules that I set, and if you have a problem obeying the rules that I set then you can let me know and we can follow the chain-of-command and we can go from there. But please know that I am so confident of the fact that the Board is behind me this is why I am taping this so they can all know, so they can all hear it and if any of you have a problem you can go to the Board at a Board meeting and you can bring it up at the Board meeting 'cause they will back me. I want to say that again, the Board will back me. So, and know this, I find out everything. So if you think you are building alliances, or you think you have this master grand plan to try to roust me out of here, it’s not going to work, because I am not going anywhere for a long time. So if anybody wants to get rid of me you’re out of luck, that’s it, if you don’t like working for me there’s the door. Cause everything I do, I do for the better of this agency, not for the better of myself but for the better of this agency. So like I said that is how much confidence I have in what the Board is behind me. Um, so basically they told me that, that I am not going anywhere. It doesn’t matter how many of you come to them and complain about me they're not getting rid of me. They like what I am doing. They are happy with my job performance. I speak to them on a daily basis, to more then one of them, so, everyone to sign a copy of this. It’s not an option. Your not signing that you agree with them, you are just signing that you received a copy. I need everybody to sign one and turn it in. Let me go over these so the Board can see a copy of these, the directives, anyone, any of you who have broken this is your warning, not basically a warning but this is your one chance so the next time one of these are broken you will be disciplined. Remain at your work stations, your not to congregate at other work stations at the health department during work hours. You may gather in the break room unless there is a sign on the office, or you may enter, I mean, congregate in the break room on scheduled lunches, and break times as allowed by your supervisor. So if you want to take a break, if you need a break from your work station, I am not saying you can’t go to the bathroom, I am just saying use common sense go to the bathroom and come back or if you need something from someone else tell your supervisor, “Hey, I gotta run over here.” If they have a problem with it they’ll say, “No don’t go.” Or I need to talk to so and so about something, or I am helping them on a project, that’s fine, use common sense that’s something that some of us are not using so talk to your supervisor that is what they are there for. And John I feel bad, don’t go through John’s office unless there is a note on the door of the conference room that is not a freeway. Um, unless like I said it is approved by your supervisor.
Receptionist, if you’re a department answer phone person, your department is at eight o’clock, make sure you’re at your station at eight o’clock or make sure that another person is going to be available.
Ok, addressing work related complaints with your coworkers. I don’t care if you guys meet down at Applebee’s, and talk about me all you want at Applebee’s. You can say, “I hate that woman. I hate working at that place. I don’t care if you have an annual, weekly meeting; I hate Jackie, that’s fine, but don’t bring it to work. Don’t be discussing any of your complaints at work, about work, at work, because that just causes dissention, that causes poor morale, just don’t do it. Ok, like I said I don’t care if you want to meet somewhere and burn me in effigy, I don’t care. Just, don’t do it here at work.
Do not an anyway very from your assigned duties. If you feel you have been given someone, um, if it’s not your assigned duties, you should only care about what you do in this agency, don’t care, that’s where people get in trouble because they worry about what the other person is doing. You need to start worrying about what you’re doing. Um, if your supervisor gives you an assignment and you don’t feel like that should be your assignment, talk to your supervisor. Don’t go try to pawn it off on somebody else. Don’t try to get someone to do it for you. Don’t try to get someone to help you do it, unless you absolutely, or now, if you need help doing it that’s fine. Go to your supervisor. I am not saying you can’t get help. I am just saying go through your supervisor.
Remember the Chain-of-Command and follow it, about a week ago, the new Chain-of-Command that the Board just filed. If you need a copy of it just let me know and I’ll get you a new copy. Refresh yourself on the progressive disciplinary copy that everybody signed here because that’s what we’ll be following if anybody varies from this. And please note, this isn’t a complete list of directives these are the ones that are just standing out right now, that people were having trouble with. Anytime your supervisor gives you instruction or a directive you have to follow it whether its verbal or written that’s your supervisor. Now, if your supervisor gives you something that you shouldn’t be doing that liability doesn’t fall on you, that liability falls back on the supervisor. Ok, so if your supervisor tells you to go do something you need to do it and if then, if it’s wrong in any way then the supervisor will get in trouble not you. You’ll be in trouble for not following the directive. So like I said, this isn’t the majority it is just a few so what I am hoping to happen here is peer pressure. If someone comes up to you and wants to complain to you, you need to say, AT! I don’t want to hear it. Or if someone comes up to you say I don’t want to hear it, because I don’t want the few, I don’t want the minority to make it rough on the majority, and that’s what going to end up happening. So, if everyone has signed a copy leave it here. I’ll gather them up and we can do it from there. Is there any questions?
People become complacent in their duties (Barbara asked what does complacent mean) Jackie responded by saying, “that means you don’t care what you, do the same thing over and over, it’s mundane, it doesn’t have any drive. Are there any other questions?”
Like I said people that will be changing positions I will come to you individually and tell you what you’ll be doing and where you’ll be going. And stuff like that, and we are getting ready to do evaluations our first EPA 1 and that’s been delayed due to a few different things going on so then we’ll probably do them at six months. Um, this is the one, these are the base line evaluations that just set what you’re doing right now this is not actually the evaluations, this is like your base line what you’ll be prepared for in six months. So this is basically the list you’ll be doing and what you’re supposed to be doing and then six months from now is what will be your true, EPA 2 is your true evaluation of how you completed your list and what your EPA 1 is. Are there any other questions?
Questions Spaulding's Reversal Of Guilty Verdicts
"I just hope whoever's decision that was to let him out, in their infinite wisdom, they're right, because it's going to suck big time if it's not," says former juror Carolyn McDonald, in a Charleston Gazette interview. "I hope he's not a threat to anyone."
McDonald, of Lost Creek, is referring to Joseph H. Lavigne, Jr., whose 1996 sexual assault verdicts were overturned earlier this year by Putnam Circuit Judge Orville C. "Hobby" Spaulding.
""It was extremely gut-wrenching," McDonald says of the verdict." She feels there was enough evidence to convict Lavigne.
Publisher’s note: All defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
Signs Placed In Front Of Home Without Permission
During his 2007 campaign for mayor, Scott D. Edwards chose to campaign on a Hurricane street corner across the street from the employer of this publisher's wife. This publisher has been one of Edwards' strongest critics, citing his anti-family and anti-jobs stance that hurts the City of Hurricane and Putnam County.
Shortly after he was elected, in a tainted election, while this publisher was working in South Carolina, a City of Hurricane inspector cited this publisher's pregnant wife for weeds on a hillside behind our home. Edwards' business, Netranom Communications, (the Old Town Hall building) and the current Hurricane City Hall had tall weeds, but they weren't cited. City inspectors have repeatedly refused to cite Edwards for the issues at the Netranom building. It's part of Edwards' double standard and dirty politics.
So when Edwards' re-election campaign signs showed up in the grass in front of our home, Thursday, May 12th, 2011, we weren't surprised. Edwards says he didn't do it. We believe him. However, we don't believe he didn't know a supporter was putting them there. And despite Edwards assertion that the culprit will be prosecuted, more than 24 hours after the trespassing and malicious mischief occured, no one from the Hurricane Police Department had fingerprinted the signs. Chief of Police W. "Mike" Mullins hung up on this publisher when he was asked why the signs were not fingerprinted and why the Walmart surveillance video had not been viewed.
The signs were removed from our yard and placed in a more appropriate location. Edwards was sent a bill for the space rental for the time that the signs were in the grass. Naturally, Edwards hasn't paid the bill. Instead, he sent the following email:
"Thank you for letting me know that there were some of my campaign signs in your yard. If they are still on your property, I will be glad to come and get them, but I do want you to know that I did not place them there. Actually, I noticed numerous signs of mine had been moved to different locations last night. I was out until midnight, so it had to have taken place between midnight and 7 am, which is when I noticed the others that were moved. If it happens again, please let me know and I will remove immediately."
So far, Edwards has not picked up the signs for fingerprinting despite a request to do so.
Meanwhile, the above photo speaks volumes about what the Edwards' family thinks of his critics.
Multiple Products Sold In Putnam County Listed
Several major companies doing business in Putnam County are voluntarily recalling more than 500,000 products. They were sold at various retailers including Home Depot, K-Mart and Walmart. Other companies frequented by Putnam County customers include Amazon, Lowes, and Target.
G.A. Gertmenian and Sons is recalling about 600 Toy Story 3 bowling games. “The red paint used on some bowling pins has been measured to be in excess of the maximum allowable level of 90 ppm, a violation of the federal lead paint standard,” according to CPSC. The games were sold at Walmart stores in the U.S. between September 1, 2010 and September 25, 2010 for about $18.
One World Technologies is recalling about 300,000 Ryobi 1/4 sheet sanders. “The firm has received 31 reports of broken fan pieces being ejected from the sander, including two reports of minor lacerations,” according to CPSC. The sanders sold at Home Depot, Amazon and other retailers and websites from June 2005 through August 2010 for about $30.
Kohler Co. is recalling about 10,000 Kohler Courage engines. “A wire connector on the engine can become disconnected causing the operator’s seat switch to fail,” according to CPSC. “When this happens, the blades will not shut down, posing a laceration hazard to consumers.” The engines were sold at Lowe’s and other retailers from February 2011 through April 2011 for between $1,500 and $5,700.
Dorel Asia is recalling about 445,000 wooden bunk beds in the U.S. “CPSC and Dorel Asia have received 23 reports of the side rails cracking or breaking, including seven reports of minor bruises or abrasions,” according to CPSC. The beds were sold at Walmart, Kmart and Target and on those retailers’ websites from September 2004 through September 2009 for about $190.
Publisher's note: A report by the Orange County Register contributed to this article.
Florida Company Selling Alarms In Putnam County
WINFIELD - Reports that a Florida company is misrepresenting an endorsement by the Putnam County Sheriff's Department are "bogus," according to Chief Deputy Greg Barnett.
"We received reports that Pinnacle (a security company) was using our name," Barnett says. "We investigated this and found that they were bogus."
Putnam County Sheriff Mark L. Smith is sending out the word that his department does not endorse any company's product.
A Charleston-Huntington television station falsely reported the allegations on its web site. At the time this article was published, the station has not corrected its story.
If you are contacted by any company claiming to have any association with the Putnam County Sheriff's Department, you are urged to telephone the office during business hours at 304-586-0256.
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