Schatzman’s Nepotism Train Wreck: Negligence or Dereliction of Duty?


[Prelude to today’s Magnum
Opus: This prelude will be a repeat/summary of previous political issues
of relevance for the Forsyth County Primary 2014 voter.  If you are one of
the 45% of my readers who are return visitors, you’ve heard most (not all) of
the prelude in previous articles.  Feel free to scroll down 4 paragraphs
to the new article.  If you are one of the 55% of new visitors, I
recommend starting with the prelude.  I invite all new visitors to explore
the blog for pertinent information on Sheriff’s
candidates
and Board of Commissioner candidates in Forsyth County, NC.]

Many of the issues with our
Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) are the result of lack of
leadership.  Six
key traits
have been identified as indicative of the success or failure of
a Law Enforcement leader.  Called the “Six C’s of Success,” they
are caring, competence, credibility, communication, courage and
collaboration.

If you listen to the incumbent
Sheriff extol the virtues of his department, everything sounds wonderful. 
This election season he has talked of the professional standards of his CALEA
certified office.  With pride, he has talked of the dedication of his
staff, his commitment to them, his dedication to Forsyth County safety, and
strongly defended his collaborative efforts with outside agencies.  He promotes
his office as a well oiled machine with a high and tight command staff. 
Without question, if true, he presents himself as the total “Six C’s”
leadership package.

From interviews with current and
past FCSO employees, with close examination of discrepancies within FCSO Annual
Reports and media outlets, and various publicized
lawsuits
against FCSO, we get another picture of his office.  A dark
side.  We have heard reports of threats and intimidation from both past
and present employees.  Officers have been told their voting records are
not private and will be available to the sheriff.  Recently an email went
out suggesting to officers that Face Book activity could get them fired. Mistakes have occurred in the handling of prisoners, record keeping, and prosecutorial court documents.  Issues with 2nd amendment permitting and illegal county forms have been reported. Attrition
has been extremely high with careers abruptly ended over
political maneuvering or inconsistent sometimes retroactive policy. 
Lawsuits have been filed of which some remain open.  Other lawsuits have
been settled, one by the US Justice department that cost Forsyth County over
$150,000.  Both employees, other agencies, and the public have complained
the sheriff is unavailable, aloof, and uninterested in personal contact or
collaboration.

The personal conduct of the
sheriff has been less than stellar over these last 12 years as well.  He
has admitted
to drinking and driving
an FCSO issued car, developed a reputation
of unwillingness
to work with outside agencies in collaborative law
enforcement efforts, and appears to have covered
up
major issues with our sex offender registry, crime
statistics
, and gang
infiltration.

It is my opinion, based on
countless hours of personal research, the incumbent Forsyth County Sheriff Bill
Schatzman is lacking in the Six C’s of Leadership.  Consequently
our FCSO has lost accountability, reputation, and direction.  

April 28, 2014

Today I launch a new charge
against the incumbent.  Schatzman has failed
to control and properly supervise the behavior of his Chief
Deputy/subordinates, indicating either negligence or dereliction of duty,
creating a serious liability issue for Forsyth County Tax Payers.
  

It starts at the top.  The
top is the Sheriff.  From Police
Chief Magazine

For
subordinates to buy into a culture of ethics and integrity, employees must
trust in the chief’s own integrity…with a sense of balance between individual
privacy and organizational compliance…when officers perceive that they are
treated fairly…internal distrust is minimized, and the organization benefits
as a whole.

Not only must the Sheriff
possess personal integrity, he must be engaged with his staff.

Unfortunately, Schatzman has
turned his department over to his Chief Deputy (a
conflicted Republi-crat
) and has little to do with the day-to-day operations of
his office.  He is NOT a working Sheriff, has never worn a uniform that I
am aware, and exists as a figurehead.  He is a suit, if you will, that
presents budget needs to the Board of Commissioners, performs sound bites for
local media, and shows up for debates every four years trying to get his job
back.  Consequently, many FCSO employees do not trust in the Sheriff’s
integrity.

Furthermore, like a garden being
choked out by weeds, seeds of distrust
has been allowed to grow and spread for years at FCSO.  Much of the good fruit is
dead, choked out and dried up because the villainous weeds of Godlessness and nepotism have taken over.  While pursuit of Godliness is personal and private, nepotism and sexual fraternization in a county office is the people’s business.  

Nepotism defined
the unfair practice by a powerful person of giving jobs and other favors to
relatives

Fraternize defined:   to spend time with someone in a friendly way especially when it is considered wrong or improper to do so

Not only is nepotism a negative
indicator of leadership, it is contrary to the Six C’s of Leadership (see
prelude).  Allowing nepotism to occur unchecked will destroy a work
environment.  It is my opinion that Schatzman’s lack of engagement,
particularly as regards nepotism and sexual fraternization, has come close to destroying our Sheriff’s
office.  If this dysfunction has negatively affected productivity,
enthusiasm, and work ethic of sworn officers, which I believe it has, the
reduced standards have made our community more vulnerable to
crime.     

This serious issue at FCSO has
the potential to hit the county deep in the pocketbook.  We already paid a
large lawsuit settlement when Schatzman illegally fired Mike Russell, a
returning veteran.  Lurking deep within the walls of our FCSO is another
yet undisclosed financial threat that could be equally as costly to Forsyth
County.  It is time somebody grew the courage to discuss it.  So here
goes.  Get offended if you want.

There were three key Supreme
Court decisions on sexual harassment in 1998 (Burlington Industries, Inc. v.
Ellerth
, 524 U.S. 742 (1998); Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524
U.S. 775 (1998); and Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc., 524
U.S. 75 (1998)).  With careful study of these decisions, it becomes clear
that the situation is ripe for another big lawsuit against the  Forsyth
County Sheriff’s Office.

In 2010, our Sheriff hung his
hat on the concept that he could hire and fire at his pleasure with disregard
for the employment rights of a returning veteran.  It cost Forsyth County
tax payers over $150,000.  He now seems to be hanging his hat on the
concept that he cannot be held liable for gross violations of federal and state
discrimination laws as they relate to sexual harassment/hostile work
environment.

The
1998 Supreme Court decisions had several key lessons:

  1. Any sexual harassment
    between any employees can lead to liability
    , not just a man harassing
    a woman, or a woman harassing a man, but also a man sexually harassing
    another man,
    or a woman sexually harassing another woman.
  2. If the harasser is in
    some kind of superior position in the company compared to the victim of
    the harassment, and a tangible job action occurs that is unfavorable for
    the employee, there is no way for the company to
    escape liability
    ,
    even if it did not know of the harassment
    and had no way of knowing about it.
  3. If the harasser is in some
    kind of superior position in the company compared to the victim of the
    harassment, but no tangible job action occurs that is unfavorable
    for the employee, the company can escape liability if it can show
    that it was not negligent
    in allowing the harassment to occur. 

Nepotism is not illegal. 
However, it is a bad business practice that will cause at the least hostility in the work
place.   Nepotism has not been addressed by the FCSO leadership.  It
has, in fact, been flagrantly allowed.  Because nepotism was allowed to
continue unabated…for years…it has become public knowledge
that the Chief Deputy in charge of FCSO is engaged in an ongoing sexual
relationship with a Sergeant.  This unchecked sexual fraternization between the Chief Deputy and a subordinate has the
potential to blow up Forsyth County’s budget via potential lawsuit (s), and it
is ignored daily by our Sheriff. 

Chief Deputy at FCSO is Brad
Stanley.   He has been employed with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office
since 1993.   He is second in command at FCSO.  He oversees all aspects of the sheriff’s office to include the Enforcement Bureau, Detention
Bureau, and Administration Bureau. 

Brad’s live in partner is
Van Loveland.  Loveland worked at FCSO from 2001 to 2005 when he quit to pursue
real estate.  He was rehired in 2006 to fill his old position.  Since
his rehire, he was promoted in ’07 to Corporal in Civil division, in ’08
promoted to Sergeant in Training division, and now serves as Sergeant on
patrol. 

The perception at FCSO is that
Brad Stanley promoted his romantic partner above more qualified
candidates. It is also the perception that Brad Stanley runs the FCSO, a
defacto sheriff if you will.  Take my word for it.  FCSO is a hostile
work environment.  How could it not be? 

The damage caused by the
uninhibited practice of nepotism to departmental functions and employees is
minor compared to the financial liability sexual fraternization may impose on
FCSO and Forsyth County taxpayers.  The first liability is the potential
for SEXUAL HARASSMENT charges should Van Loveland experience any unfavorable
tangible job action or intangible job action (see #3 above) while in a
sexual relationship with his superior.  

It appears Mr. Loveland
has Forsyth County between a rock and a hard place.  He can’t be
fired, reprimanded, written up, or demoted without potentially stirring up a
fiscal disaster for Forsyth County taxpayers.  

The second liability is
NEGLIGENCE .  This falls directly in the lap of Bill Schatzman for failing
to put a stop to the sexual fraternization between supervisor and staff member
either through new written policy, or enforcement of current policy.  The
ONLY major defense to liability in a harassment claim or lawsuit is showing
your organization was not negligent.  We have NO defense because Bill
Schatzman has done nothing to address this issue!  How do we know? 
Because the situation remains unaddressed today!  Sexual fraternization
continues at FCSO!

Third, this is dereliction of
duty; the willful neglect of his duty as Sheriff.  Schatzman has abandoned
and neglected his duty to the citizens of Forsyth County.  His lack of
attention i.e. tacit approval has made FCSO/Forsyth County vulnerable to
damaging legal action.

Title
VII
of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII),
which prohibits sexual harassment, and
EEOC guidelines have imposed on employers the duty to take positive
steps to prevent and correct promptly sexually harassing behavior. These steps
include establishing, publicizing and enforcing anti-harassment polices and
implementing effective training programs.  This has NOT happened at FCSO
under the failed leadership of the incumbent.  How do we know? 
Because the situation remains unaddressed today!  Sexual fraternization
continues at FCSO!

Don’t worry about the morale
problems at FCSO.  Don’t worry that the perceived lack of fairness gives
employees less incentive to perform their responsibilities diligently or proficiently. 
Don’t worry that FCSO employees feel the path to promotion is undermined by
nepotism.  Don’t let the lack of productivity concern you.  Don’t be
concerned over the disruption in the work place caused by unhinged nepotism and
fraternization. All these things can
be FIXED with a NEW SHERIFF
who possesses the Six C’s of leadership and
knows how to write and enforce policy.

DO
Worry about Sexual Harassment Lawsuits
.  DO worry about Hostile Work
Environment lawsuits.  DO worry about the financial implications to our
county.  Why should we be concerned about this?  Because the
situation remains unaddressed today!  Sexual fraternization continues at FCSO!

Average settlement costs related
to such complaints are very high and the negative effect they have on workplace
staff morale is significant.  From the
Fiscal Times
, on sexual harassment allegations against San Diego Mayor Bob
Filner:

 “While
most cases are settled out of court, companies that are found guilty at trial
can face eye-popping verdicts. Federal law caps settlements for large companies
at $300,000 (not including lost wages and legal fees), but state laws are often
more generous to the accuser. If a judge finds egregious behavior, a
seven-figure settlement is not out of the question
.”

From Slates 2011 article What’s
the Going Rate for Sexual Harassment?

“One
study looked at 50
sexual harassment settlements
(PDF) in cases before Chicago magistrate
judges, and found that amounts average around $53,000, with a median of about
$30,000. Employees who take their case to trial—and win—fare significantly
better, averaging more
than $217,000
, according to a separate study…Quid pro quo harassment,
in which a superior trades preferential treatment for sexual favors, usually
leads to higher awards.”

News flash.  We have no
defense!  Should an action be taken against Forsyth County Sheriff’s
Office re: Stanley and Loveland, it will be simple to prove negligence. 
If Chief Deputy Brad Stanley in any way creates a hostile work environment for
his subordinate boyfriend, and Van hires a lawyer to handle it, Forsyth County
better hang on.

Talk about “here’s your
hat, what’s your hurry.” Three years ago the Justice Department handed Bill
Schatzman his hat and charged him $150,000+ on his way out the door.  Of course, Schatzman suffered no financial recourse because Forsyth County footed the bill.  What
is to stop it from happening again?  Because the situation remains
unaddressed today!  Sexual fraternization continues at FCSO! 

We must make a change at
the Sheriff’s office.  Even if the incumbent is re-elected, somebody
is going to have to stop this oncoming train wreck. 
A Sheriff
must minimize employee and citizen lawsuits.  Otherwise, Schatzman will
drive Forsyth County into bankruptcy.  The rank and file at FCSO must be
properly trained, supervised, and held accountable all the way to the
top.  Starting with the Sheriff.  The practice of nepotism and fraternization at FCSO must be addressed.  If the Sheriff won’t do it, then it is up to us…the people…to force change.

If this information does not
encourage you to RUN not WALK to vote out the incumbent, then I can’t help
you.  

On the other hand, if this
information is new to you, please pray over it, get in your car, go downtown or
to one of the satellite voting centers and vote DAVE GRIFFITH for Sheriff of
Forsyth County.    

Why Dave Griffith?  Dave
Griffith will straighten out the mess at Forsyth County Sheriff’s office while
restoring order and pride.  Dave Griffith’s excellent qualifications,
experience and leadership clearly set him apart from the other
candidates.  As a chief deputy U.S. Marshal, Dave Griffith was responsible
for an enormous annual budget and all aspects of fiscal and operational
missions of the U.S. Marshals Service within the 24 county middle district of
North Carolina.  Dave has the knowledge, skills and insight acquired from
having 45 years of law enforcement experience.   Dave is well
respected within the law enforcement community and will use these connections
to help Forsyth County.

Don’t waste your vote!  A
vote for the other candidate is a vote for the incumbent.  See
here to understand why.

Now GO!  VOTE! 

Copyright
©Sandra Robles 

This
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