Friday, May 24, 2013 9:53 AM
Published on: Thursday, March 01, 2012
By Christa Puccio
ROCKVILLE - A former Rockville City clerk who resigned in September and later accused the city of racism has received a severance package from the city totaling nearly $43,000.
The City of Rockville released the severance package issued to the former clerk this week. Payments of $4,458.80 to the former clerk, Glenda Evans, began on Jan. 8, 2012 and will continue for 10 payments, totaling $42,588.
Last September, Evans resigned because of what she first said was a lack of respect and appreciation for her work by her coworkers and superiors that caused her to lose her love for the job. Evans went on leave until her last day on Oct. 19. In November, after the Rockville mayor and council elections, Evans accused the City of Rockville of discriminating against her as a black female employee.
Brenda Bean, a former Rockville deputy city clerk who has been employed by the City of Rockville for more than 20 years was appointed as acting city clerk on Sept. 26. The City of Rockville has not yet hired someone to fill the position permanently.
“The deputy clerk [Brenda Bean] started a rumor that I didn’t like white people,” said Evans. “That really started it. Can you imagine that in a city like Rockville?”
The City of Rockville refused to comment on Evans’ allegations, but did provide a statement. “Rockville is a diverse community and the City has a diverse workforce,” said Marylou Berg, communications manager for the City of Rockville. “Rockville prohibits discrimination on the basis of race and sex or any other unlawful basis, and the City has long maintained a policy against discrimination in City employment. However, it would not be appropriate to comment on an individual employee, former employee or that employee’s situation.”
Evans said Bean’s assertion prompted Human Resources Director Carlos Vargas to take the rest of the staff to dinner to discuss the allegation, something Evans said she didn’t find out about until after the fact. Evans said she went to Vargas with her concerns about Bean, but that his response was not helpful.
“He never came to me to validate it. Yet when I come to him and complain about the way one of the employees is treating me as a black female, they go over above and beyond to discredit me. When I complained about how employees were treating me that stuff would end up in my personnel file,” said Evans. “I don’t want to disparage anybody, but I can tell you I want to go to work every day and I want my boss to have the utmost confidence in me. I want them to support my efforts and I want them to believe in me and I can tell you, if you don’t have that, what is the point? There is no point. You need the people you work with to believe in you and I wasn’t feeling it.”
Former councilmember Piotr Gajewski said he was unaware Evan’s concerns until after she resigned. “Well, she never turned to me or any of my colleagues on the council to say there was a problem,” said Gajewski. “The sequence of events as I’m aware of it is: she was hired, she did her job, if there were some issues she was dealing with, she was dealing with them unbeknownst to her supervisor, her annual review came up, an initial meeting was held to begin the process, and the day after that, she quit. We were surprised.”
Evans said there were multiple problems with the procedures for how her personnel file was handled by Human Resources and that she was not made aware of what was placed in her file until she looked in her file herself. Vargas refused to comment on the allegations.
According to the Personnel Policy and Procedure Manual, “In order to enhance and clarify the actions of all the forms of discipline listed, those requiring a written memorandum should also be verbally explained to and discussed with the employee by the initiating supervisor whenever possible. At all levels of discipline the supervisor should document and maintain notes of actions, discussions, etc.”
City activist Joe Jordan called for an investigation into Evans’ claims. “I think it’s unfortunate that this affair ended up the way it did,” said Jordan, who is chairman of the RedGate Advisory Committee and ran for a city council seat before dropping out in September. “I worked with Glenda [Evans] and she was always respectful, responsive and conscientious. I think the City of Rockville owes the citizens of Rockville a full investigation and that investigation needs to be made public. Those were serious allegations and it should be taken seriously.”
“They didn’t want to get rid of me,” said Evans. “They just wanted me to behave the way that they thought that I should. They have a problem with diversity.”
Wilma Bell, who originally wrote about Evans’ resignation on Facebook, which drew attention to the issue, said she was shocked by Evans’ claims. “When I first heard about it, I was offended as an African American woman – I am doubly offended,” said Bell. “I just think the whole thing is unfortunate and… just makes the city look so bad. I think it’s going to make the city look closely at its policies. The city of Rockville has some work to do.”
Posted By: SherylequitableS On: 3/2/2012
Title: The point
The issue is whether there exists in the City of Rockville's offices a pervasive culture that consistently treats minorities differently. Is there disparity in performance evaluations, advancement and pay? Is there a pattern of minorities being reprimanded, fired or forced out because of unfair and biased treatment? This is NOT about playing the race card; but is about fair and equitable treatment. And a message to the wise: Those that do not learn from their past mistakes are destined to repeat them!
Posted By: Embarrased in Rockville On: 3/2/2012
Title: YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME
Poor thing....."I want my boss to have the utmost confidence in me. I want them to support my efforts and I want them to believe in me and I can tell you, if you don’t have that, what is the point? There is no point. You need the people you work with to believe in you and I wasn’t feeling it.”
It's unfortunate that your boss and coworkers didn't constantly stroke your ego and make you feel good every moment at work. Work is work, it's not play time, you will never get along with everyone you work with all the time. You resigned and then got paid for it? Give me a break. The citizens of Rockville should be more outraged that our tax dollars are being paid to people like you. You should be ashamed for not confronting the issue and dealing with it. GROW UP!