City of DeKalb Response to Harassment Allegations

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City of DeKalb Statement Regarding Talkington Allegations

It is very unfortunate that Ms. Talkington has linked the City’s decision to place her on administrative leave related to potential misappropriation of funds with the recent
complaint she has filed regarding harassment. The two are serious matters. But they
are wholly separate.

Ms. Talkington was placed on administrative leave on Monday, November 5 after the
discovery of the potential misappropriation of $250,000 in order to plug a budget gap.
We took the necessary step of placing her on leave so that we are able to fully and
properly investigate this matter and her potential role. That investigation continues.
The City will take whatever steps are appropriate related to the possible mismanagement of funds after it has gathered all the facts.

Separately, if there is any kind of harassment happening in our workplace, be it sexual
or otherwise, we want to know about it so it can be fully investigated. We are currently
reviewing the information she provided to the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission and will thoroughly investigate this matter. Part of that investigation should
include an opportunity for the City to speak with Ms. Talkington about this matter.

On November 7, two days after she was placed on administrative leave related to the
potential misappropriation of City funds, Ms. Talkington made these allegations to the
City. Since then, City has attempted to speak with Ms. Talkington in order to fully
investigate her complaints. She has refused thus far to answer our questions. We are
hopeful that she will cooperate in the future so that we can get to the truth in this matter
and take whatever action is appropriate.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Smith said he then instructed Lowery and Frieders to schedule “two-on-two” meetings with City Council members to gauge their opinion [..} members can meet in groups of two without violating the letter of the Open Meetings Act. — Daily Chronicle report

    Placing Talkington on administrative leave was final action and as such is prohibited in closed session without immediately affirming that vote in public session. Such action conducted through “two by two” meetings to “gauge opinion” (polling) is certainly against the spirit and letter of the Open Meetings Act.

    Should someone ask for a formal review of an OMA violation in this matter how would the Attorney General’s office investigate? Are there minutes, or audio or video files of these two by two meetings? Was the City Clerk even notified of such action?

    The city attorney’s job is to keep the city out of such messes, not get them into them.

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