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Firm named by Rockville to investigate scandal had problems in Detroit

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Published on: Thursday, May 10, 2012

By Christa Puccio

ROCKVILLE – As it turns out the law firm hired by the city of Rockville to investigate a multitude of claims by former employees was itself embroiled in a scandal with the City of Detroit.

Saul Ewing LLC, according to Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio will be conducting the internal investigation into former employees claims of harassment, personnel file tampering, illegal disclosure of medical information and discrimination.  

According to published reports, somewhere between 2009 and 2011, Saul Ewing LLC was one three law firms named  a lawsuit filed in federal court by the City of Detroit because of accusations that a former partner was unable to be an unbiased police monitor due to a relationship with Former Mayor of the City of Detroit Kwame Kilpatrick.

According to published reports, Saul Ewing released a statement saying, "Saul Ewing did not learn of the allegations contained in the motion until well after Ms. Wood resigned to accept another job.  Saul Ewing believes that the services of its team of attorneys provided to the court in connection with the two consent decrees, during the period of September 17, 2007, to October 17, 2008, were appropriate and consistent with the terms of the court's consent decrees. Prior to this motion, there had been no objections made to the services provided to the court."

Both the acting city manager and the mayor did not return messages to comment by the release of this article.  

According to Marcuccio, she was unaware of the problems Saul Ewing LLC had in Detroit, but she wasn’t involved in choosing the firm. “The choice was made by the city attorney with input from the acting city manager,” Marcuccio said.

Meanwhile, in a statement before city council, Marcuccio explained how the Rockville investigation will proceed.  “Today the City Attorney sent an email to all employees informing them that the City has retained the law firm of Saul Ewing LLP to conduct an internal investigation of various workplace matters,” said Rockville Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio.  “Saul Ewing will mail information concerning the investigation to the residences of all current City employees this week, so we ask that employees be on the lookout for correspondence from Saul Ewing.”

According to the firm’s website, “its labor, employment and employee benefits attorneys represent clients in a wide variety of matters in addition to litigation before agencies like the National Labor Relations Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Labor, PBGC and IRS. This nationally recognized group also provides a broad range of human resource advice to Firm clients around the world.”

“I want to stress that the City is committed to allowing Saul Ewing to conduct a prompt and thorough workplace investigation and to ensuring that employees who participate in the investigation are free from unlawful retaliation,” said Marcuccio.  “We encourage all employees with information that may assist the investigation to participate.”

The City of Rockville has still not yet released the cost, scope or any employee protection clause for this investigation.  “We do not have any additional information to share at this time,” said Jenny Kimball, acting city manager of Rockville.

Reader Comments - 46 Total

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Posted By: Bobbie On: 5/20/2012


Rockville officials are clueless about how to treat human beings. These jokers should be sent out of town to earn a living working intersections for coins.
How many lives have these Ullery clones ruined? I suggest a writer use Rockville and the managers as a case study of government gone bad.
I hope the staff come forward and continue to expose the likes of people like Berg, Kimball, Purkey, Swift and Hall. The GANG OF FIVE should have been sent packing weeks ago. I bet they feel real safe with the projected scope of the all for show investigation.

Posted By: Mikey S On: 5/17/2012

Title: surplus?

How does the city find money? Is Cohen doing some fuzzy math at the same time we hear nothing but doom and gloom?
Finding 4 million dollars sure sounds like some sloppy record keeping. I must insist that the entire spread sheet showing each purchase or cash outlay be made public. We sure have a right to know where our tax dollars are being spent.
I wonder all the dirt still hidden in our little city that has not been exposed. Now is the time each of us find out exactly what goes on behind the closed doors at city hall. God only knows what sort of hidden treasures will be found.
We have read about sex in the parking lot behind city hall, HR who does not protect the staff, age discrimination, racism, red faced wild managers, changed evaluations, staff who conduct personal business during city working hours and every day the list of complaints grows.
What action has taken place? We have a company pulling in 90K to conduct an investigation because the HR department is too corrupted to do the job. Exactly how much money goes to the staff in HR?
The best is an acting city manager who provides protection, aid and comfort to over paid self loathing mangers hell bent on destroying the lives of hard working city staff. Clearly the worst of the rotten bunch is the one called Swift. How in the heck has this woman kept her job? I really want to know. I read the links published and she leave destruction at each place of employment. I bet the employees in Leesburg has a party when she departed.
Can I write off the antacid purchased to continue reading this BS about the city?

Posted By: Sick employee On: 5/17/2012

Title: Lies and nore lies

Wake up madam mayor and councilmembers. Can you see that senior staff flat out lie to you? I watch in complete horror people like Gavin Cohen spin the numbers through double talk to confuse the situation. He never really answers your questions.
Yet no cross examination for the most part, and when you do ask a question the merry-go-round starts to confuse the question. I sit back and get so mad and I'm just a small wheel here in the city.
As a employee, I work hard each and every day trying to do my job. I sit back and watch the managers just come and go like they have no cares in the world. They sit upstairs in the conference room and plan the next attack on us lonely unprotected staff.
The city manager and senior staff are constantly making cuts to the budget to make themselves look good, yet we have to do more work with less.
What exactly were the instructions from the mayor and council relating to budget preparation?
Why does the senior staff only care about themselves and seeing that they get that damn 10% pay increase each and every year. It must be reall good to be able to retire after seven years. The rest of us have to work till age sixty or start taking reductions in our retirement payouts derived from the THRIFT RETIREMENT PLAN. Yeah the spin thrifts assisted in establishing this retirement plan.
Someone answer this question. Why don't we have a union?
Does anyone really care about the rest of us in city hall? Seriously, without us workers nothing would get done.
Rockville is the worst place to work right now because of how we are treated. No one had any idea how bad it is in the city until the Sentinel started publishing these articles.
The articles only provide a very small glimpse of life behind the IRON CURTIAN which is Rockville.

Posted By: Sad resident On: 5/17/2012

Title: From sad resident again.

Darn I just looked at my message and found many typing mistakes. Guess the phone is not the best platform to leave a message.
Rise up against the New World Order established in city hall. Each of you staff must be heard loud and clear.
Do not allow the city to win this battle.
Please city staff hold on and let's hope the city will not try to continue the harassment.
Remember there is strength in numbers. I pity the city attorney who is having to read these comments and possibly defend the city.
Good luck to all city staff.
Sure wish the page has spell check and a larger field.

Posted By: Dirtball Employee On: 5/17/2012

Title: To: "We The People = Tax Payer"

Thanks for your analysis of Monday night’s Mayor and Council meeting. Helped to hear it was obvious that management is treated different than the employees. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Added insult to injury.

Guess they want to save the $4 million for management’s raises and extra comps. Also, the unknown cost of their investigation will probably take a big chunk out of the reserve pot.
One would think they would have been smart enough not to make those statements on public television for the entire world to hear, especially since Rockville currently has a big mess to address. Confirms how the abused employees are treated.
Perhaps the taxpayers should find out exactly how their money is being spent.
Employees are used to being the dirtballs. We’ve heard it all before. The Masters’ techniques to control the salves ….the threat of layoffs - how lucky we are to have a job – no budget money for raises – mandatory extra work hours – competitive C-Care campaign …
The employees hit rock bottom a long time ago. Just when we think it can’t get any worst, it does.
We need your support.

Posted By: Timmy On: 5/17/2012

Title: Hello! Anyone home at city hall?

I watched the Monday night entertainment on Cable 11. My wife and myself sat back waiting for possible fireworks about all the public outcry found on the web pages of the Sentinel.There was no fireworks just a bunch of duds.
The real fireworks came latter during the budget discussion. We watched the mayor and council vote the same senior staff their 10% bonus and a car allowance just made me sick.
Now is the best part of the show where we suffer through all the whining about spending 21,000 dollars for part time staff. This turned out along with the 1% lump payment to be the biggest issue in the budget.
Do any of you on the mayor and council care about city staff? Not from where I sit. Sorry!!!!
The real insult of the evening was to continue to kick the poor staff in Rockville that are not contract employees. A 1% one time raise. I bet that ole "Scrooge" Cohen will tax this money like a bonus at a higher tax rate. So what the poor staff get is not even a dry chewed bone, but a corn cob left in the sun to dry out.
A huge chance for the mayor and council to improve morale and it would have been completely within their power. BLOWN!!!!
I hope to God that all the cities dirty trash is exposed and we find illegal activity that throws some of you in jail.
I would love to say what is really on my mind, but I think not, but here is a hint....... F each of U. I did witness one on the council speak out for the employees and that was Ms. Newton. Mam your compassion towards the staff really showed. You should be commended for supporting staff.

Posted By: You get what you pay for On: 5/17/2012

Title: wake up and smell the coffee

The City has made millions of dollars through the economic downturn. They are doing quite well and are better off than many surrounding municipalitites. Yet our surrounding neighbors are getting colas and step increases. The city is choosing to invest large sums of money into Capital Improvement Projects instead of investing much smaller sums of money into their workforce. People have jumped ship and many more are thinking about it. Mr. Cohen what are you doing with these large surpluses every year. Someone needs to check Mr. Cohen's books. Where is all of this money going?

Posted By: A PD off resident On: 5/17/2012


Firm named by Rockville to aid in covering up management abuses. Where is a copy of the contract? Is not the contract public information?
I wonder what else will be reported by the Sentinel? How many employees are in the process of hiring an attorney?
Rockville you really screwed this one up big time. The longer this charade continues just makes the grave situation worse.
I also hope the city staff walk out on Monday May 21 and leave the managers to answer the phones run the city cable TV and perform every other essential city service that is performed by the abused staff.

Posted By: Martha P On: 5/16/2012

Title: Christa Puccio

Thanks for exposing the horrific conditions in city hall. As a resident I am sicked to read about how the city staff have been treated.
I also want to know just how many staff need come forward before city management wakes up. Please answer?
Each of you managers need to find a new job.

Posted By: MTB On: 5/16/2012

Title: Get the head out of the sand

Does any of the mayor and council read these comments?
I also want to know why Ms. Kimball has not been demoted for not taking action immediately.
Hint.... That's where the mayor and council come in.
The city has a huge problem and it will take many years to rebuild relationships between staff and managers. Years to restore morale.
But the city just keeps chugging ahead burying their heads in the sand and hoping that this whole mess just goes away.
It is a sad time to be a city resident.

Posted By: Beat Down Staff On: 5/16/2012

Title: We will be found out.

Just think if one key person had of stepped forward and did the right thing after the first article on March 29, 2012 the madness could have been brought to a grinding halt.
Instead this person choose to surround herself with the people who should have been under investigation.
This same person could have been the hero in city hall, instead she is now one of the people under attack.
The email that this person sent to all of us staff just reinforced many of our belief that you are nothing more than a Scott clone.
Because of your inability to do what was just and right, the city is now the joke of the state and faces all of its dirty little secrets being made public.
How many weeks will the citizens be reading about how dysfunctional Rockville really is?
The investigation is nothing more than a knee jerk reaction and not well thought out. To even have this member of the senior staff involved in selecting the firm is the biggest insult the city has pulled so far.
Will the investigators release names to this person or will it only be the facts/results reported?
I heard back from a rep from Saul Ewing and just wait to you read what i was told.
Ever hear the ole saying "The fix is in"?
Any other city staff hear who will get the data? Call the number and hear 4 yourself.
Whats next a horse head being left on our front steps?
Another time and another story. Sorry!

Posted By: Jimmy Hoffa On: 5/16/2012


To each employee in the city. As a resident and after suffering through reading all the crud on this web page go ahead and plan sick out.
Find yourself a good attorney and go after the city!
Let your managers try to do your job even for a day. Soon they will understand how hard each of you works everyday/
Your bosses need to get the message of unity. As a person who is a member of a local union I stand behind your movement 110%.STICK IT TO THEM!
They would not dare to punish anyone. We will be watching.

Posted By: We the People = Tax Payer On: 5/16/2012

Title: All aboard The Gravy train. Next stop Rockville city.

The gravy train makes its yearly stop for FY13.
Last night the Mayor and Council of Rockville once again voted to give the senior staff another 10% bonus and a huge car allowance.
This and the city has found a projected 4 million dollars Cha Ching $$$$$.... WHAT? Then I hear one council member hooting that staff have been well treated and pleading not to cut into the found money. This was tantamount to saying hey dirtballs (regular staff) just be glad you have a job. What a slap in the face.
Then the guy starts talking about layoffs if things get bad.
Have you people no shame! { Lucky this is a family paper}
Watch this comedy act for yourself by looking at the mayor and council meeting from last night. Better take some Pepto before the video starts.
This evening CH 9 aired a segment about Federal employees pay. I did some searching since I work for the feds and found that these senior managers of Rockville make as much as our SES Director who has over 3,000 employees.
The pay for the city manager exceeds out top level SES Employees
Link: OPM Pay scale for SES. SES stands for Senior Executive Service
The entire city of Rockville does not have even 1,000 staff.
Link: CH 9 WUSA Federal pay scales
Talk about a out of control system. The city manager writes his own ticket and laps directly from the gravy train while the rest of the staff only get a 1 time 1% lump sum. Does anyone else see a huge problem here? I see a system that places more value on managers who abuse employees than the people working their butt off trying to make ends meet.
No wonder Rockville has a low level of Morale. I admit that the mayor and council member Newton seemed to try to get something for the regular staff. I personally think they could do much better.
Does Rockville have any job openings? Really, I would never go to work for the city after reading these comments. I plan to post these articles in our break room for everyone to see what a sham Rockville really is.

Posted By: Kimberly Ann On: 5/16/2012

Title: Stop the madness

I'm in tears after reading these stories. How dare city managers treat employees like rabid dogs that must be put down.
The nightmare story about the poor wife who had to watch her husband being destroyed while trying to provide for his wife and children actually made me sick.
What is wrong with you people in Rockville? I hope to God that each of the managers mentioned in these articles is fired and never works in a position where you have the ability to supervise anyone again.

I am so sorry to everyone who was mistreated by the city. Many of us had no idea. I'm so very sorry!
Kimberly Ann

Posted By: City staff On: 5/16/2012


Who can we trust to protect us? What will happen when the so called investigation is completed?
Many of us feel like the sheep waiting for the wolf pack to attack. The wolves are waiting for the Sentinel seep dog to look the other way and they will attack.
I really feel that a huge mistake was made accepting my position with the city. I have never seen a place with such low morale.
Many of the older workers look so stressed, and rumors are running wild about how the directors are all preparing to wait out the investigation.
Please continue the pressure and tell your stories to the Sentinel.
I agree that next Monday we need to send a message via sick out. I'm not feeling well at all.

Posted By: Sad resident On: 5/15/2012


Heck! I am not even a city employee and I as a resident support the Sick Out. Government employees are no less of a staff than anyone who works in private industry.
The protections in place to protect the city employees not only failed but have been twisted by top level managers to push their own style of abusive management.
Exactly who are these city staff supposed to serve? Who are the so called managers supposed to serve?
Here is a wake up call to the city! Everyone who works at the city is supposed to be serving the citizens of Rockville. Everyone from the Mayor and Council down to the part time employees and volunteers.
What has happened is the city has been hijacked by ruthless thugs who have zero people skills and have a attitude that all staff are nothing but their private butlers who are to cater to their self inflated super egos.
Here this as a citizen, I am damn fed up with the attitudes to these poor managers! There will not be any employee harassed for speaking to the investigators and if there is not an immediate stop to harassment of city staff this will have serious political ramifications.
Mr. Vargas, stand up and be a man and stop hiding underneath your desk. If you any honor the employees would have been protected.
I agree if if the Sentinel would stop publishing articles and everyone stopped complaining we are looking at years to restore morale. The people who suffered emotional issues, well they may never recover. Who pays for that pain?
God help the city if they want to further abuse the staff who had to leave the city and suffered emotional issues. If these people fire lawsuits, EEOC or other complaints the city is in serious financial problems. Take a look at case history of these kind of legal actions when a jury trial is decided on. Just for pain and suffering we may be talking about millions of dollars.
The more city staff who report the abuses the stronger each of your cases will be. Remember there is straight in numbers.
I pity the city attorney who is having to read these comments and possibly defend the city.
Good luck to all city staff.

Posted By: anon On: 5/15/2012

Title: amazed

This investigation will be flawed – The Mayor and Council should have immediately gathered a few representatives from various departments including union and non-union employees as well as a citizen rep and jointly agreed on the investigation's scope and the firm that would conduct the investigation. No one is going to be happy with the outcome and a couple of people will take the fall for a much larger problem. Allowing the City Manager and the City Attorney to delegate the investigative party is ludicrous.

Posted By: EMPLOYEE 21 On: 5/15/2012

Title: Friends

Let's stand up for ourselves. Let's let them know they cannot push us around anymore. Together, collectively, bravely, we can come together as one team and fight City Hall, we can fight Kimball, we can fight Swift, Vargas, Hall and others. We can demand change if we do it together. We can force change if we do it together. I am proposing a one day sick call. If ALL of us do this and show the management what would happen if they lost US, maybe they will open their open their eyes, maybe the Mayor and Council will take action. I am proposing all City Staff call in sick next Monday, May 21, 2012. I mean EVERYONE, recreation, sanitation, police, even the staff of Rockville 11. If there is no one to put the Mayor and Council on TV for their dog and pony show, maybe they will wake up and see how serious this is. What can they do to us if we call in sick, what can they do to us if we ALL do it. We will see their true colors or we will see them humbled. It is a chance I am willing to take, ARE YOU!! NO WORK MAY 21, 2012!! SPREAD THE WORD!!!! PLEASE POST THIS ASAP SENTINEL, YOU ARE OUR ONLY HOPE. Do the right thing Mr. Karem.

Posted By: Employee On: 5/15/2012

Title: Nauseous

Did anyone else have to make a mad dash to the bathroom to get sick tonight while watching the M&C televised meeting?
Quick decision to give management their 10 percent plus car allowance.
Lengthy discussion on whether employees were deserving of a one percent raise. No raise, but employees were thrown a bone with no meat on it – a one-time lump sum one percent bonus on July 1 computed before the one percent COLA is computed.
The manager of the Sentinel had some nice things to say about his meeting with City management.
Mayor assured employees that the hotline number is now working and, again, said employees will be protected from retaliation. I, for one, will not be calling the hotline. Bonus won't cover the down payment for an attorney.

Posted By: Employee On: 5/15/2012

Title: To dedicated Employee

I hear exactly what you are stating. Possibly the mayor or the investigator can provide some additional information. I really would like to see the investigator provide answers to your questions. Each staff must reach a level of comfort necessary to come forward.
What none of us need to hear is a take it or leave it attitude from anyone on the mayor and council. This is our careers that are on the line and after years of mistrust we deserve more of an olive branch.
I thank the mayor and council for offering this investigation.
I will be ready to tell the investigators just how bad it is working for the city.
We are at a crossroad and I prefer to see a positive change in the city. We need to rid the city of the dictators.

Posted By: Another city employee On: 5/15/2012

Title: Time to stand up against abusive management.

I currently work for the city and will be speaking to the investigators. I understand that some in the city do not trust coming forward and I can understand why. For over seven years we have to endure mental torture at the hands of whip masters hired to support the Ullery governing style. I know for a fact that Rich did everything he could to provide a level of protection for staff, but the vast dictatorial machine even beat him into the ground.
Soon after when Vargas appeared I understood we had no protection.Rumors quickly spread that Ullery would fire any who dared ask questions.
One by one what happened is ruthless managers were installed to kick staff to the curb. So many went from being great employees to having their evaluations being used as a tool to justify (LIE) about poor performance. You can bet that our Ullery installed minion on the second floor next to the break room provided direct assistance at writing performance improvement plans.
You can tell her focus is not one of assisting staff, but to work directly for management and aid in supporting their agendas of getting key staff who posed a threat to quit.
My point is simple. The mayor has said we will be protected. Unfortunately we will not have a better chance of forcing change in city hall. If we hold back now you can bet we are finished and ill suffer under these worthless managers.
Stand up and speak against the city. The more of us that speak out the stronger we get!
Please do not waste this chance.

Posted By: Sir Authur On: 5/14/2012


The kingdom of Rockytowne had reached the verdict. the following ruthless dirty Scoundrels. Will the dirty scoundrels bend over before the royal court. VARGAS, SWIFT, PURKEY AND HALL.
May it please the kingdom royals that we the court jesters and knights of the aquare table find each guilty of crimes against the Kingdom of Rockytown,its subjects and knaves and therefore the punishment shall be each clod must be banished to the Forrest of Poison Ivy where they shall each spend eternity.
After the banishment the subjects and knaves lived in a would of milk and honey, free rent, and no more wasted taxes.
Ha ha! Think this was funny. We citizens shall have the last laugh when each of you fools is sent packing. Let the bells of freedom ring!

Posted By: Bald guy On: 5/14/2012

Title: Tax Payers Ripped Off. Story @ 2300

Once again we the poor tax payers get the royal Rockville treatment.
This one is good my fellow tax payers. Get a load of this stuff will ya!
City of Rockville has not released the cost for the outside investigation because the HR Director has been found incapable of conducting the investigation. What>>>hold on, is this right? We have to pay because someone cannot do his job! Someone pinch me because this must be a bad dream.
It gets better people, cause the city manager cannot do her job and fire the HR director, we have to pay for the investigation.
Just when you gotta be asking can it possibly get worse, well it does, because you see this is happening because the mayor and council have not terminated Jenifer Kimball.
The final blow to the great tax paying citizens is that the mayor and council can only fire the city manager if they have a majority vote to terminate employment.
So no matter what the investigation results show, all the directors and other poor managers who have run all over the employees in Rockville get off the hook.
Light bulb turning on here Mayor and Council>>> Could it be so simple? Oh my it must be...... are you sitting on the edge of your seats? Drum roll please...... (Drums beating) Fire Kimball! Applause.... (Claping hands can be heard!!!)
Now get with the stinking program program.

Posted By: POW Hogan On: 5/13/2012

Title: Digging my escape tunnel from Staglag 111 Maryland Ave.

Really this is no laughing matter. We are being mentally abused and treated like road kill in Rockville. Rockville EAP is a joke!
Rockville should pay for doctors visits to treat for stress and PTSD. Yeah, don't even laugh. I know many staff who are seeing specalist trying to just survive until retirement. Like picking up the co pays and cost of mecications.
Morale was down the toilet prior to the articles. Now thanks for to our former co workers we have a fighting chance at ending the abuses. We remaining staff owe these people so much for taking the time to speak up.
So will someone please tell me exactly wwhat information the city will see when and if I turn in my complaints about suffering and abuses in the city?
Will the city manager see my name?
How will Saul Ewing LLC protect my name? I am not their client.
If my deep pocket manager suspects I leaked info, and decides to file a personal lawsuit, can my name be released?
I understand that Saul Ewing cannot guarentee what happens to the info after it leaves their control, but what exactly will be avalible, and what legal protections are in place to protect us?
If sure sounds like Saul Ewing will give the city a report with what was found, but is still sounds like any punishment is still in the hands on Jenny Kimball.
So what this sounds like is a merry go round and it will end back up with the very person who refuses to fire these staff mentioned in the articles. Is this correct?
Hey a very special thanks goes out to our wonderful temp leader Jenny Kimball. Yippie! Hey if you would do your fNing job we could start the healing process, improve morale, save the city a fortune in salary reductions and the huge yet undisclosed cost of the investigation.
No No because of Vargas and yourself the city will have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to Saul Ewing. You should stand tall Scott would be proud!
Please tell us Mayor why Jenny has not been replaced? I suggest letting Terry N. Treschuk loose on these managers. At least he would have what it takes to kick butt, take names and do what is necessary.
Mayor you at least owe us more than a short prepared statement, given the huge scope of problems, I suggest you hold a town hall meeting with reps from Saul Ewing to answer our questions.
This is very serious to us and what we do not need to hear is this is our last option. Sort of like PUT UP OR SHUT UP. This attitude is why Rockville has the problems being cited in the paper.
Seriously mayor have you read the online comments??
The only reason why we are this far along is because the Sentinel had what it took to publish the articles exposing the terrible conditions in city hall.
These problems are not new to the mayor and council with the possible exception of councilmember Moore. Heck the paper had been publishing problems in Rockville for years.
Our last option is to file huge lawsuits against the city and each of these managers personally. Possibly a huge class action lawsuit. This is currently being discussed by a group of us as our final option.
Get it Done! Oh sorry just my branding

Posted By: John M On: 5/13/2012

Title: Bad dream

Please tell me that these stories is just part of a bad dream!
So many employees both current and past telling the exact same stories yet the city just keeps moving forward saying there will be an investigation.
STOP jerking our chain! If you had honorable managers they would have resigned by now. Someone please step up and do the right thing and fire each of these people.
We as citizens deserve much better than what we see.
The City of Rockville has still not yet released the cost, scope or any employee protection clause for this investigation. “We do not have any additional information to share at this time,” said Jenny Kimball, acting city manager of Rockville.'
We demand to know how much the inital phase of this investigation will cost.
Rockville needs to fix this problem and that does not mean throwing our tax dollars down the dumper on a cover up investigation.
Just flush the S---T and be done with it!

Posted By: Maggie X On: 5/13/2012

Title: Enough

It is time to do the right thing and fire Kimball and the others mentioned in the article.
I'm ashamed to admit I reside in Rockville. This has effected me on a personal level to the extent I lost sleep reading about all the abuses and issues.
I left an abusive job several years ago in private industry, and know first hand what each of these poor staff is going through.
The worst is the complete mental destruction of the person, and let me tell each of you that it takes a huge toll on your health and family life. Thank Jesus that my husband was at my side to assist me back to recovery.
Mr. Rose if you are reading this I understand and my heart bleeds for you and your family. I really hope things get better for you! <3
Just reading these pleas for help is just so upsetting, but to read about the actions of the acting city manager not seeing that there is a huge problem compounds the whole mess.
Once again if you have a hard time understanding ! The whole group of the managers mentioned here must resign or be fired!

Posted By: JJ Marcus On: 5/13/2012

Title: Stop the water boarding!

Torture is illegal and Rockville must end the suffering of it's employees pronto!
I am so damn sick of reading story after story of brutal treatment of city staff.
We fought a war to see that every American had the right to be free. Just because you are a civil servant gives you NO right to enslave the employees in Rockville and treat them with such disrespect and abuse!
I hope you simpletons in Rockville get the message that we want each of you mentioned in the articles to be fired. Not retrained or demoted, JUST FIRED!
Susan Swift you have to be the most despicable human being on the planet! The former staff mentioned in these horrifying articles were under your charge mam. Have you no compassion for these staff or do you just like making employees feel worthless? I suggest that you take a long look in the mirror and then go to the computer and work on your letter of resignation. There is no way in Gods green earth you can effectively supervise anyone in the city.
The rest of you dictators the writing is on the wal,l and here on the Sentinel web page, that we are really ticked of, and demand you resign or be fired for the good of the city.
There is no way staff will ever trust any of you again. There is no way that morale in the city and good order can be restored with you still in charge.
The time is now and Rockville is a critical crossroad...... which path will Rockville choose?

Posted By: Kate Muller :'-( On: 5/13/2012


Enough is enough. The city of Rockville has become the center of negative discussion around town. Several of us discussed the current situation over breakfast this morning. One of my friends started crying when I showed her the comments on my iPad.
This is effecting the residents here in Roickville allso Mayor!
I really think Rockville needs to do what ever it takes to make these issues go away.
A good place to start is by firing Jenny Kimball, Burt Hall, Marylou Berg and Susan Swift. These senior level staff must not be salvaged by the city.
How dare each of you to treat the employees like vermin to be squashed under your jackboot of dictatorship and tyrannical rule!
From what I have been reading the city continues to protect these dictators like they lay the golden eggs. Here is a hint the eggs are really FOOLS GOLD and the Mayor and Council, citizens, business owners and most of all the staff who have endured so much pain and emotional anguish, have been taken for a wild ride for seven arduous years.
Rockville will not heal and morale will not be restored if these senior level staff are allowed to stay.
On the subject of the owner of the City on the Hill consulting, her position should be completely eliminated. Clearly the only function she performs is to support the senior staff in their pursuit to ruin the city.
I also strongly suggest that Rockville look into settling with the mistreated former staff, and put this issue to rest. The longer Rockville is in the news there is no chance for the healing to start and Rockville start the slow climb back towards becoming the once proud city of yesteryear.
I feel so sorry for each of the staff who has had to suffer for so long while trying to serve us residents. OMG this is making me so sad! :'- (
I really wish the best to every Rockville employee, and those who left because they could not stand the mental torture which has ruined the city. :'- (

Posted By: Sean On: 5/13/2012


The Rockville scandal just keeps getting worse every time you read the paper. The former All American City is starting to look like a 3rd world city run by ruthless dictators.
I remember watching the Mayor and Council meeting where Marcuccio and Newton wanted to vote against Scott Ullery and the Mayor was made to look like a weak fool by Scott Ullery. She did not want to discuss Mr. Ullery in public even after Ullery openly said he did not care.
Sure Ullery did not care because you can bet he understood there was no way that the mayor had enough votes to dismiss him.
This was an open invitation for Ullery to continue his reign of terror directed against the poor staff in city hall.
Search the Internet and this guy was constantly being looked at in a negative fashion by some on the Mayor and Council.
JUNE 16, 2010
Newton, Marcuccio dissatisfied with Ullery
Council renews city manager's $202,151 contract.
"There are issues to be discussed and I will not discuss those in an open session," Marcuccio said at the council meeting. "I think it's irresponsible for us not to have discussion."
The final vote was 3-2 in favor of renewing Ullery's contract. As scheduled, the city manager received his performance review in January; Ullery has always received positive performance reviews, said Councilman Piotr Gajewski."
Even back in 2007 Ullery was protected against his removal.
NOVEMBER 21, 2007
Results of the city election bode well for Ullery’s chances of staying in Rockville.
Ullery says he wants to renew his contract with the city, which is set to expire Nov. 30. The election of Hoffmann and council members John Britton and Piotr Gajewski go a long way to assure that.
Those three have gone on record praising Ullery. In a recent interview, Robbins said she does not intend to push for the manager’s departure. Marcuccio said she has no comment on the matter until after she reviews the matter with the manager.
With at least a majority of three on board for a reappointment, the city manager appears likely to renew his contract.
The council is expected to consider the contract in executive session on Dec. 3, Ullery said.
Her is yet another great link to Ullery.
The teflon king Ullery and the mayor did not see eye to eye. The mayor for years was not pleased with him
Gajewski said he supports Ullery because he thinks Ullery is competent and dedicated. Gajewski also added, because the Mayor and city manager work very closely with one another, it is important for them to have a good relationship.
Because of playing nice Ullery could continue to manage city hall just like a despot dictator until December of last year. Ullery clearly understood that the deck was stacked against him and had to retire."
Even back in 2011 Ullery was coined to be a despot dictator.
Transparent government yeah right. One of the three stooges who protected Ullery was quoted at saying this little ditty:
Gajewski said unlike the current mayor who holds closed sessions on policy issues, he wants to provide complete transparency in Rockville’s decision making.
“Our city functions best when we have our policy discussions in public and involve citizens from all over our city and from different sectors of our population,” Gajewski said."
Seriously, Madam Mayor when dealing with a person as aggressive as Ullery the queens-berry rules do not apply. If the dirt had of hit the paper the public would have demanded he resign immediately. Ullery should have been discussed in open forum.
Now the citizens in Rockville have to pay for the city to have an outside investigator to examine what has been suspected for many years now.
Just how much damage was done to the city and expecially the staff who suffered at the hand of the ruthless despot petty dictator?
So many good employees have been discredited, forced to take early retirements, suffered mental torture and hardships and until some brave former employees who had had enough stepped forward it really looked as if the city would just continue down the path of destruction.
It is clear to this reader that the current management structure must be dismantled by the immediate firings of those who supported Ullery in his quest to rid the city of long time employees, and others that did not become subservient to the dictator.
These include but are not limited to Susan Swift, Carlos Vargas, Burt Hall, Marylou Berg, Robert Purkey and Gavin Cohen.
How much will this inaction cost he city of Rockville in the end? The real question is when is the end. Every week it just gets worse!
Maybe council member Newton should run for mayor in the next election.

Posted By: Rockville Resident On: 5/13/2012

Title: Speak Up

I can understand the reluctance of employees to speak up, but this is an opportunity to make a difference and force changes in management. There is strength in numbers, and no manager or supervisor in their right mind would take any retaliatory action at this juncture. The window of opportunity is now, thanks to a few who finally went public with what so many people knew was going on. The iron-fisted reign of Ullery is behind you, now do what is necessary to weed out the remaining cronies. Hall has resigned or retired...he too saw the handwriting on the wall.
Remember when the Mayor and Councilmember Newton wanted to discuss Ullery's performamnce and contract renewal in executive session, but were voted down by the three stooges? Why did those two know what was going on, and the other three didn't? Were they that naive, or just protecting the City Manager? Had Marcuccio and Newton prevailed, and had the three stooges done their job, a lot of what we are seeing now may have been avoided. Remember this when the next election is here, and Pierzchala is trying to get re-elected.
It isn't easy speaking up, but this is your chance...having information from anonymous callers is useless, and so the need to give your names. Trust the Mayor and Council to do the right thing, and let people know what working at City Hall has been like these many past years.

Posted By: Crow aka Tom On: 5/13/2012

Title: Racist city

Osiyo (Hello)
The city of Rockville has some serious issues to deal with expecially race.
I am a Native American Cherokee. What many whites call an indian, Redskin, Chub and other names that I shall not mention.
To read these stories manjes me sick. To read about a black division chief being fired because he did not fit in" What does that mean? To me it sounds racist.
Then we read that the black plumbing inspector suffered from depression and a hostile workplace and nothing happened to the abuser(s) Sounds like at least one supervisor Mr. Baker tried to help and HR did nothing once more.
Ms. Reitz even wrote a letter to the mayor and council and the city manager Mr. Ullery yet nothing happened.
This sure sounds like we had more than one racist biggot in the city. Ms, Swift had been accused of making racist comment(s) and these staff were in her chain of command. Yet Ms. Swift still gets a paycheck.
Now lets throw in that all the syaff that had been abused under Swifts rule are over 40 years old and we start to see a real pattern of civil rights issues.
How many non whites are directors?
How many non whites are division chiefs?
How many non whites hold key management positions (white collar)?
See where this is headed?
Now lets look at the whole picture in Rockville.

I could go on for hours just about what I have read. the conclusion is that hte city has so many serious issues the only way to change the culture of abuse and raceism is to change the key managers who set the management style. There is no doubt that the HR regulations are in place to protect against this activity, but there is no leadership in HR. There seems to be a lack of leadership in the city in general,
I have not read anything about the chief of Police so maybe he should replace Jenny Kimball.
What kind of abuse will we read next week?

Posted By: Sad wife On: 5/13/2012

Title: Thanks rockville

I would like to say thanks to the City of Rockville and all the fine managers for a job well done.
Thanks for completely ruining hy husband.
Thanks for making our life a living hell.
Thanks for all the lies said about the man I love.
Thanks for making my children cry asking what wrong with daddy, and why is daddy so sad.
Thanks for all those sleepless nights.
Thanks for having health care so my husband can afford blood pressure meds.
Thanks for the daily stress about me wondering if my husband will have a stroke.
Thanks for all the non support from HR.
Thanks to Scott for nothing
Thanks to Jenny Kimball for nothing. At least U found something U are good at!
I really hope each of you have to end up looking for a new job.
A heart felt thanks to all the staff and citizens for the support shown here under each article.
I really want to say thanks to the brave former employees who did the right thing and steppped forward to report these abuses. Huggs to each of you! <3
and a heart felt thanks to the Sentinel newspaper and expecially to Ms. Puccio for taking the time to write and publish these stories. Without your help there would be no hope for staff at city hall and my husband.

Posted By: Casey On: 5/13/2012

Title: No 1 City not to work for. Well done Rockkville!

How much money will this cost the city? How can the city recover from this mess?
What gall these managers have for treating staff this way. Mental torture, racism, tampering with files and so much more.
Just think of the years it will take to rebuild this city after 7 years of terror.
You cannot mend the staff who suffered mental harm from this abuse. This will take many years of counciling, and then they may never be the same. Who pays for this?
What will the city do next force each of these people to relive the horror of standing trial and re living their sad stories to the court causing even more mental harm.
No doubt the city is planning to further trash these former employees. How dare they come forward and talk abaout thie abuse. They are traitors to the new world order. Yeah right!
How many families suffered from their loved one being completely stressed out and had to find new jobs?
I bet that 30 days from now Rockville will still be front page news and even more abuses will be mentioned. This is a complete train wreck and the mayor and council are at the throttle for not firing the city manager.
Rockville is nothing more than a sick joke!

Posted By: Manfred Petterson On: 5/13/2012

Title: Pass the glue

Someone at the city is high as a kite! Let's guess who?
Let me start off by saying I'm not a city employee, no longer a city resident and normally do not post comments published on-line. The series of articles published by the Sentinel just hits me the wrong way.
As a business owner and retired 30 year civil servant. I am simply appalled at the audacity of Jennifer Kimball, who clearly is derelict in her responsibilities carrying out the administration of day to day activities in the city. Ms. Kimball should not be wasting city residents tax dollars which will be used to conduct an investigation of former and current staff claims given the evidence aired in public.
The mayor and council should not be forced to seek an outside firm to investigate the actions of managers in the city, simply because the HR director cannot be trusted, and Kimball is in over her head.
Ms. Kimball you owe the residents and others an explanation as to why you have not replaced Carlos Vargas, Susan Swift, Marylou Berg, Burt Hall, Mr. Purkey and others. These Sentinel articles coupled with all the negative comments reduce the effectiveness of city operations, in addition expose a lack of morale fiber in city hall. I suggest you are way too inexperienced to function in your current position, or even in your deputy position. If I were your supervisor you would be out on the street and looking for a new job!
The hideous attitude of a public servant like Ms. Kimball cannot be tolerated by any form of government. The public must demand the immediate dismissal of Kimball to set the tone for what needs to follow.
Exactly how many abused staff does it take for the city to understand they have a serious issue with management? We are not talking about people who just started employment with the city, but career civil servants with many years of service, one of which had over twenty six (26) years. These experienced staff were your best asset, but treated like excess a bag of trash and thrown to the curb for collection. How will all their knowledge and years of expierence be replaced?
One after the other these former civil servants have come forward, told their stories to the Sentinel, who vetted the statements and published their findings. We read that Ms.Reitz sent a letter to the mayor and council and the city manager about abuses in the Community Planning and Development Services department where managers were allowed to ruin peoples, lives mutter racial comments, and a host of other hideous activities which clearly became part of normal operating procedures in that department. Ms Swift should of been fired many years ago, but was not because she was operating with impunity assisting the city manager in never ending quest to rid the city of anyone who stood in his way, or was a long term employee.
Ms. Swift should also step down and seek employment possibly in a correctional institution where her skills may be more of an asset. Seriously, if she worked in a correctional institution they would have to deal with riots since the prisoners would not put up with the level of abuse the staff in her department endure.
Mayor and Council from where I sit you have completely lost control of those who report directly to you. Mr. Ullery was allowed to completely destroy morale along with lives in the city and yet only Mayor Marcuccio and Councilmember Newton even appear to care about the staff. Why Mayor and Council is Ms. Kimball still in office? This is the one person that reports directly to each of you. Yet Ms. Kimball continues to display a defiant attitude and protects these poor managers. Because of her inaction, now the mayor and council will spend much needed tax dollars to gather even more data on the abuses in city hall. What does it take to open peoples eyes in Rockville? Is there a magical number of complaints before all of this becomes real to you people? How many lives have already been destroyed in the name of trying to make a living? People do not normally choose public service to get rich,in fact, they do so out of a need to serve the community and help others.
I can see why the poor staff have complete distrust in the system, for it has failed them time and time again. Their sad pleas for help have most likely fallen on deaf ears for seven years while the reign of terror continued in Rockville. Once again the staff have to air their abuses to now an outside company conducting an investigation.
What I really find interesting that not one person has come out to support the activities of these managers. Not one has spoken about how they are liked in city hall. This really tells me something!
Just so you understand, I am 71 years old still working, and must say that never in my entire life have I read anything like the stories every week about life in the city of Rockville.
This is a tragic tale of abuse at the hands of (I cannot say what I am really thinking)
Fix the problem Rockville!

Posted By: Employee A.... Ha Ha...I had to take A before anyone else did. On: 5/12/2012

Title: Take out the trash! The rotten stench is terrible

What is going on in Rockville is typical when the trashman does not do his job.
I suggest we need a Special Pick up for the trouble house at 111 Maryland Ave.
My place of employment is like living in a holloween haunted house 5 days a week. The monsters all are department directors and they treat the employees like we can just be replaced.
City hall has become a revolving door for staff except the attitude of management is do not let the door hit ya in the rear on the way out.
They got rid of most of us on the old retirement program to save the city money. Nothing better than working like a dog just to get harassed or fired prior to age 60.
The city is spending some big cash to cover up the abuses of many managers. There are more abusive managers than have been mentioned in these articles. Ask yourself this: would they be spending cash to protect each of you?
We have no protection, unless we pay for our own attorney.
You do not need to have a outside investigator find what we all know is true. What you need is a strong leader who is not part of the Rat Pack of Ullery installed rats hell bent on destroying the what is left of the city.
The solution is a money saving option, and that is to remove or fire Kimball and then line up all the contract staff outside the confrence room and one at a time and fire them starting with the worst which is Carlos Vargas SPUR, followed by Susan Swift, Gavin Cohen and Marylou Berg. Maybe the rest can be saved for the time being. Each remaining director would be lectured on the NWO, and how things will operate from that day forward.
Bring tissues cause Swift will start crying like she did when Ullery told her about the letter from Carol Reitz...Boo Hoo Hoo. Good for you Carol for exposing the most hated director in city hall history!
Waa la. Instant budget reductions coupled with savings to the city for FY13! OUTSTANDING! :D
Oh, I almost forgot, Swift help us all and take your hired trash with you when ya depart. Must stink real bad knowing Ullery is not here to protect you anymore.
Can the city receive energy tax credits for reducing the hot air in city hall?
Ullery is still calling the plays and has been seen giving advise to Marylou Berg, Susan Swift and the City on the Hill Founder and President Michelle Poche Flaherty who is "a professionally trained coach to elected officials and chief executives from all levels of government. She is familiar with the unique challenges faced by both political and apolitical government leaders" You gotta love it, here is a person who provides no training to staff and spends more time assisting the senior managers on your tax dollar. She has provided us no real training in over a year.
Remember mayor no retaliation against us. I have so much to talk about with the investigator. The best thing is that I will name the director and my immediate supervisor.
“I want to stress that the City is committed to allowing Saul Ewing to conduct a prompt and thorough workplace investigation and to ensuring that employees who participate in the investigation are free from unlawful retaliation,” said Marcuccio. “We encourage all employees with information that may assist the investigation to participate.”
I will hold you to your words mayor!
I actually noticed several smiling in city hall the other day. Could it be that we may have justice after 7 years at hard labor?

Posted By: Employee Z On: 5/12/2012

Title: Down to the wire

Well this as stinky as it is sounds like the best shot we have seeing that the injustices that were allowed under Ullery are exposed. The way I see it is either time to put up or shut up.
We all see how management is acting right now trying to win over the hearts and minds of staff. Do not think for one minute the wolf has become a gentle lamb over night. Face the facts management is seeing more and more of us finally standing up against the abuses.
Just imagine the fallout if any employee is mistreated given the current climate in the city. Not only would the Sentinel be all over it but the outrage would shift from city hall to the mayor and council.
Residents can now see how some of their tax dollars are being used. Many of the abuses are now a matter of public records. By all accounts residents are fed up with seeing employees being abused.
We cannot allow business as usual in city hall to return. How many staff are glad the Burt has decided to leave the city? I am just giddy that after all the years of him storming around and yelling is finally ending.
The remaining tyrants must be sent packing. CPDS employees this is your best shot at forcing needed change. Your department has been torn apart by Susan Swift. Never in my career have I witnessed such a huge turn over. Many of your long time staff are now gone. How many lives have been ruined? Will each of you step forward and do the right thing? Most of us in city hall know the pain inflicted by Swift, and now the readers of the Sentinel see the abuses also.
The biggest insult was when Swift hired Purkey and Shanks to assist her with pushing Charlie Baker into retirement. Tell me this why would she promote the two same guys who hated Charlie with a passion? I thought that the division cheifs did the hiring?
Charlie if you read this hang in there my friend. I hope you are doing better.
Now I hear that Purkey is acting division chief...OMFG! How is he even remotely qualified?
Guess it is better than seeing Shanks in that position.
I am going to add another name to the list and that is Andrew Gunning. Why in the hell does a department of less than 50 people need so many managers, and especially a deputy director? Gunning has to be making over 130K, and does exactly what? Many of us suspect he was hired to be Swifts right hand goon to prepare her dirty work so she could spend more time doing nothing. Anytime you see Gunning he is following the master 2 stops behind like a good minion. At least he knows his place.
All I have seen Swift do is fly around city hall with her stupid coffee cup in tow while staff slave over the hot coals. Her duty was clear and that is to ruin what was a very good department with what appeared to be very high morale.
Hey Swift did you do the same hatchet job in Tampa and Leesburg? I bet you did exactly that. You see local government is a small place and people talk.
Anyone in CDPS want to tell us when Swift is at work?
Ullery figured out that the game was over back in June. And his fate was sealed when the three stooges were reduced to one. Now with John Hall, the mayor could have the votes required to remove the tyrant.
I really think the mayor is doing the best she can given the limited authority the M&C have over city hall operations.
I agree with so many others that Jenny cannot be trusted at all. She has done nothing but protect other contract employees to save her own rear.
Jenny you must step down immediately and remove yourself from the position of acting city manager.
I suggest the mayor and council appoint someone like Terry who would have what it takes to immediately fire our worthless HR director and the Wicked Witch of the East in CPDS. Attention Wicked Witch... keep an eye on the sky for falling houses!
Marylou how can you sleep at night knowing how many good staff have suffered under your rule? Watching you duck the news media and then attack them spewing comments like Kimball has a city to run is just so un professional.

How did the PIO position held my Berg become a contract position? I do not think Neil was under a contract. Ha ha explain this one to the media.
Scott set many of his buddies with sweet heart contract positions so they could retire after 7 years. And he did this right under the the noses of the mayor and council.
As tax payers you should be outraged at how your money is spent. I hear the city is sitting on a huge pile of money right now.
Mr. Vargas, why are you still employed? My god man have you no shame? No wonder you hide in your office and cower under the desk.
Under your rule HR has become one of the worst departments in city hall. No staff trust HR with confidential information. On the surface we see what appears to be a nice guy, but we all understand it is nothing but a mask to entrap the city staff.
Your non enforcement of the rules on harassment is a key example of the joke HR has become. Managers stomp all over staff and all you do is provide assistance to the manager to beat down the staff.
Gavin Cohen, do you look at us employees as if we have dollar signs printed all over us. Was it part of the plan to rid the city of the older workers to save the city money? We know how staff are treated in your department. Are you and Swift related? Cohen you sir are no better than the rest of the senior staff hired by Ullery.
We cannot let the hard work of the brave former staff who came forward and exposed the terrible working conditions in city hall.
The madness ends now!
Oh it is hard to type inside this small box...LOL

Posted By: Ruined former staff On: 5/12/2012

Title: Bend over

As a former city employee the investigators need to hear my story. I can support claims being made by current staff who are going through the same abuses that I suffered through.
This appears to be a very limited investigation which is well thought out to limit the overall liability of the city. This is not for the good of staff even though that is what is being said.
Come on really think about this. Does anyone really think the city is going to investigate itself? Oh sure Saul Ewing LLC has been retained, but what will they do with the information? They will publish recommendations to their client. OMG this is great. This means that after all the outcry Jenny Kimball once again gets to make the decision on keeping people like Vargas and Swift. Where is old PT Barnum?
You can bet that a firm with 9 offices and over 250 attorneys and 700 staff persons is not cheep. A 30 day investigation wow!
Just another wolf in sheeps clothing cover up.
I feel like this is just a bad dream and it never ends. My life was destroyed and no one cares.
Guess I have to tap into my life savings to obtain a attorney.
A very special thanks to the acting city manager. Thanks for nothing! Guess you can soon retire like Scott.

Posted By: Ashley On: 5/12/2012

Title: More of the same

Madam Mayor,
Many of us understand the position that the mayor and council are faced with relating to the staff in city hall. However, as the mayor and council each of you has been elected to represent the citizens. You pledged this when each of you took your oath of office.
Respectifully, as a Rockville resident we are not being well served right now. Reading daily stories from the staff who are living a life of hell while at the city effects each of us residents. It effects the delivery of services, the medical claims and so much more. It is your business!
Other that you Madam Mayor and Councilmember Newton we have heard no words of support for staff from the remaining council. Now is a time to be unified and speak directly to each of these staff at city hall about your true feelings for each of them, and not to read from some prepared script like last Monday night. These staff are yearning to hear a human voice speak directly to them as people.
I can read this from the outcry for help in each sad comment. They need to be assured and conforted. Without these staff we have no city, each of them is the most valuable asset we have.
I cannot even tell each of you how disapointed I am that Jennifer Kimball has not been removed and replaced. Cleearly she is doing nothing but protecting her inner circle. How are we as citizens being served by this action?
I think that the city can and must do much better. It is time for true leadership to shine and take complete contol of the situation. If some had of done their jobs like Mr Vargas we would not be reading about the city in the Sentinel.
Reading the stories about managers like Susan Swift make my blood boil. Retaining such managers is simply out of the question. Do not come back and tell us residents that they still have a job. Do not tell us that the answer is holding management classes for managers. Swift is a high paid senior level manager. If she needs additional classes let her pay for them when she starts new employment.
I really see true fear in each of the stories from city staff. This is not acceptible to me as a resident.
Maybe Vargas, Kimball, Swift, Purkey,Hall and others to include the former king of Rockville can go work at the City on the Hill Consulting.
I'm so ahamed to be a Rockville resident!
Ashley, Rockville resident

Posted By: Another sad & upset staff person. On: 5/11/2012

Title: Another sick joke

What the hell is Rockville pulling? How stupid do you really think we are? Look at the letter from the so called investigator. Look at how out ID cannot be protected by the contracted firm.... what is wrong with the communication in Rockville?
It is clear to me that the city is conducting another GD dog and pony show but this time playing with the citizens, employees and could it be the mayor and council?
How long does the city want this to continue? How many more people will it take you mayor and everyone to wake up?
We are darn mad mayor and fed up with the lies and cover ups.
HEADLINE FOR NEXT WEEK: Kimball screws the mayor and council and all city staff once again.
Boy U can tell she is trained by Scott.
Scott must be laughing his a@@ off right now at how his goons are pulling the wool over everyones eyes.
Mayor with all due respect you have a real problem at hand, and no 45 second announcement will stop the people from calling the newspaper or moving foreward and filing lawsuits agains the city. How much money will the city loose defending the actions of a few bad managers?
We need a strong leader right now and someone to stand up and answer our questions and be up front with us.
Enough with the fluff and kissing the babies and cutting ribbons and the rest of the feel good bunk!
Can you see it is more than the employees who are upset?
The same old bunk about you cannot control the staff is nothing but a bunch of BS. You can have Kimball removed from office and replaced with another senior staff person. REMOVE KIMBALL FROM OFFICE IMMEDIATELY!
Someone with the guts necessary to fire the rest of the abusers like Vargas and Swift to start. Enough with the we cannot do anything garbage! I can think of a whole list of people who need to go.
One of the people mentioned in the articles has tendered his letter this morning and decided to retire.
Same old BS from Rockville yet again. This time we have been dooped by the mayor!
Face it people just file lawsuits against the city. The double talk is nothing but trying to shut us up once and for all.
I would rather have my day in court than subject myself to being judged by the same damn people who created this mess to begin with.
What will it take for each of you to get the big picture showing you have a full scale revolt to deal with?
Will it take a massive sick walk out to get your attention? Heck I am feeling real sick right now from reading these comments.
Sorry mayor and council but I am not alone with these issues. DO YOU AS THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL READ THESE COMMENTS?
Rockville is nothing more than a sick joke!
When will you turn on us mayor and tear into us for raising questions? We have every right to be upset.
Nothing like dangeling the carrot in front of the scared rabbits and then (WHAT)?
I ask the Sentinel 2 allow freedom of the press on this issue. The mayor and council need to understand how serious the issues are and how upset the staff really are.
We have been beat down far too long now to just shut up!

Posted By: Employee Y On: 5/11/2012

Title: Already Called

got letter in mail. called number. telephone number not in service.

Posted By: Dedicated Employee On: 5/11/2012

Title: Employees Beware

Think before you act. The letter from Saul Ewing LLP is an insult to intelligent employees. The salutation should have read, “Dear Stupid Employee.” Read the letter very carefully before you decide to participate in this investigation.

The letter states:
• “The City…has retained my law firm to thoroughly investigate these matters.” Indicates only to investigate, not to act on complaints. Do not expect legal advice.
• “The hotline will be operated by Saul Ewing, not the City…” Count on all conversations being recorded and given to the City.
• “We will conduct our investigation in a manner that protects the privacy of employees…to the greatest extent possible.” A legal loophole to avoid penalty. Can’t be held liable.
• “…be advised that retaliation is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated by the City.” Not a protection clause. There are many types of retaliation.
Questions left unanswered:
• Will written results of the investigation be provided to the City?
• Who will assess the complaints and rule on them?
• If the ruling disallows a complaint, can the complainant be sued for defamation by the accused employee?
• Will the results of the investigation be disclosed to the employees and the public?
The proof is on you. If you intend to participate in this investigation, be positive you have solid, documented proof of the unlawful action(s) you claim (e.g., slander, discrimination, harassment, tampering with personnel files, etc.)
Be prepared to retain your own attorney because it appears the City will assess the complaints and make the final ruling - the guilty will go free and the innocent will be punished.

Posted By: Another city staff speaking out. On: 5/11/2012

Title: Say what?

What does the below weasel language from Saul Ewing LLC really mean?
"We will conduct our investigation in a manner that protects the privacy of employees who raise complaints to the greatest extent possible."
This sure sounds like a loop hole! Sounds like we could be found out! GREATEST EXTEND POSSIBLE.... sounds like a cover the ___ statement from the law firm.
My damn name better not be revealed to anyone in city management.
Quite frankly there are two on the mayor and council that I do not trust at all. Who will tell these council members to keep their mouth closed?
I have every right to find out the answer to this question.
Stop playing games with our careers and lives!
Continued from letter;
Moreover, please be advised that retaliation against any employee who comes forward to participate in the investigation is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated by the City.
The above is just more bunk!
Read the City policy on harassment. What you have read from current and city employees being abused is not tolerated. Stop the BS people!
Who is going to take action? Jenny Kimball! The same person who supports the secondary employment confict of intrest of our favorite part time staff?
The same peson who has taken no action against people like Vargas, Swift, Hall, Purkey, Berg, and Susan F?
My supervisor is not even mentioned , but does report to one of the mentioned directors or senior staff.
The mayor and council cannot make this statement of protecting us staff! They have zero control of Kimball or any other staff person. Additionally who will fire members of the council that may have loose lips?
Oh wait! This is where you citizens play a part. You must mount a recall of the councilmember per the city code. Ha Ha good luck with that. In the interm we will continue to get the whip with no oversight.
We need more than a 45 second statement from the mayor. What we need is a public statement supported by all the Mayor and Council. The entire council must pledge that they will not discuss any person mentioned in the investigation to any senior staff person of supervisor in the city.
Sounds like we have a choice and it comes down to trusting people who supported the abuse and come forward or continue to take the abuse of no staff come forward.
Sound off city staff it is your lives and we need everyone to know our stories and see the residents are completely behind us, and will hold the mayor and council accountable for any action taken against us.

Posted By: City Staff. Going to blow the whistle! On: 5/11/2012

Title: Great start!

Many of us city employees recieved the letter from Saul Ewing mentioned by the Mayor and the Sentinel.
There is a special toll free number mentioned for us to call to speak to the investigators. The joke is on us since the toll free number is non operational as of this afternoon.
"To encourage employee participation and promote confidence in the investigatory process, my firm has established an independent hotline, which employees may use to notify me of any personnel policy violations or unlawful employment practices. The hotline number is 1888-XXX-XXXX. If you contact the hotline, you will be prompted to leave a message identifying your name, telephone number, and a convenient time for a follow-up call from me. The hotline will be operated by Saul Ewing, not the City, and it will be available to employees 24-hours per day from 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 9, 2012, to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, June 8, 2012. All employees with workplace complaints or concerns are encouraged to call the hotline"
What has mentioned in the articles and on the blog comments is nothing compared to the corruption and abuses in city hall soon to be reported.
Great job!

Posted By: Sam Woo On: 5/11/2012

Title: WHY?

Out of the estimated 80,000 active lawyers in the DC metro area can someone tell me why the city settled on this group?
Why should the city employees really trust the intentions of the mayor and council?
Why does the acting city manager fail to do her duty and fire Carlos Vargas and Susan Swift immediately?
Why is Kimball covering up for these poor managers?
Is the abuse that is being reported part of the management culure on Rockville?
How long has the mayor and council been aware of these reported abuses?
Why does the mayor seem to allow city staff to show complete disrespect towards her?
Why does city staff continue to provide inaccurate or evasive answers to the mayor and council?
Footnote: why the mayor allows this is just amazing!
What is the actual cost per FTE of each city senior city staff?
Why does the city condone clear conflict of intrest of intrest violations namely the unnamed 4 day a week employee?
I suggest there ais a culture of abuse in city hall and has been acceptible to some on the current mayor and council.
The city manager clearly was supported in his activities by former council members Britton, Gajewski and Pierzchala who voted to retain Ullery as city manager.
Do not tell us that these managers will be retrained.
Time to have a postivie change in rockville.

Posted By: Unsatisfied On: 5/10/2012

Title: Former Employee

That's fine they are mailing all current employees, but what about those of us that have been run out in the last 18 months. They need to talk to us too. I have sent twon emails already to this firm expressing my desire to speak with them and have heard nothing in return. Oh well, different year, same old dog and pony show.

Posted By: Dick Houston On: 5/10/2012

Title: Cover up

When will Rockville clean up city hall?
Every single week the city is being shown not to cooperate with the newsmedia and is keeping everyone to include the Rockville mayor in the dark.
I do think this contract should be avalible to everyone under the Maryland public information laws.
Not one citizen should have to lodge a MPIA request. Transparent government my %$#
I think we citizens have a right to know how much of our tax dollars is being used to fund this investigation.
Who the hell do you people work for?


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