After an altercation at the hotel, charges of harassment against Hall’s tax commissioner, this is what the investigation concludes


Retaliation, discrimination, intimidation

Stivarius determined that Eden dissuades his subordinates from reporting formal complaints to county HR and retaliated against employees who did. The report concludes that she bullied one former employee in particular, Tag Division supervisor Pamela Clark, 70, and discriminated against her because of her age.

In a phone interview with The Times on Wednesday, October 6, Clark said everything she said in the report was correct and that she felt pressured by Eden’s actions towards her.

Eden retaliated against Clark by “stripping her of her post” on March 25, the report said. Before she was relieved of her duties, Eden tried to find out from Clark what she and Oglesby, the tax tag clerk, had discussed when they met on March 19.

“She has repeatedly told Clark that there must be more than Clark reported, and that Oglesby has an outstanding HR complaint that needs to be handled with care,” the investigation said.

Eden claimed that she relieved Clark of her duties so that she could be “rebuilt” as a manager and that Clark had a harder time adjusting to a new system of online work than other employees. Clark had more help than anyone, Eden said, and she didn’t demote her or cut her pay after changing her duties.

Eden claimed that she does not discourage employees from going to HR with problems.

“Everyone has an open path to HR,” Eden said.

Clark may have been slower to adapt to newer systems, such as DRIVES, an online service for renewing labels and other tax commission fees, according to the report.

But, “the respectful approach would have been to require such learning with training and support, as well as a vision of how that learning would enable Clark’s managerial tasks,” the report says.

Eden offered no evidence of meaningful communication with Clark about how she would be “built” and take on a non-existent “managerial” role different from one she had held for nearly three decades, the report said.

Stivarius also determined that Eden bullied Clark, as defined in the Hall County Code of Conduct, and she discriminated against Clark based on his age.

Stripping Clark of office without prior corrective action, negative performance reviews, or a fair opportunity to improve with the support of competent HR practices constituted bullying within the meaning of the county code, the report said.

Eden ostracized Clark by not inviting him to the May conference in Athens, despite having attended many years before, the report says. But, Eden said, she can only take a few people to each conference and Clark staying in May was not an attempt to ostracize her from the group.

On May 1, Eden texted her then confidant Griffin, “(Clark) will give up soon, I think,” according to the report. Eden said that she did not remember it and that she could not find a recording of the sending of this text. After Clark interviewed Stivarius on May 28, she quit without notice and Eden stated that she had not received a reason from Clark as to why she had quit.

“She forced me to stop – her actions towards me; the way she treated me, ”Clark said. “No one can take this for a long period of time.”

There have been other accounts of retaliation that Stivarius investigated. Eden texted Griffin after the altercation at the Athens hotel, demanding that Griffin prepare a detailed report on the incident and include information about his “breach of trust by attempting to breach cover. fire”. Instead of going to HR, Eden suggested that Griffin go to the Employee Assistance Program. She added that if Griffin reported the incident for a “third party reviewer” to see, then he would “stay away” from HR “for the time being.”

Eden’s conduct in calling the events of May 12 Griffin’s responsibility was further retaliation against Griffin for suggesting a report to County HR and for failing to adhere to the ‘unreasonable’ curfew, according to the ‘investigation.

Eden gave two written statements to HR describing her interactions with Griffin at the hotel. In a statement, she described Griffin’s “perceived inadequacies and unsavory behaviors.” But the statements left out “Eden’s substantial and inappropriate behavior and were drafted with the intention of portraying Griffin as insubordinate and dishonest,” according to the investigation.

Investigation shows that Eden continued her retaliatory behavior against Griffin by

  • Retired Griffin’s promotion to Deputy Chief Tax Commissioner.

  • Text him saying she had “bypassed” her to get permission to work from home while on paid administrative leave related to Griffin’s concerns for his safety from Eden.

  • Lock Griffin out of his remote access while working from home.

  • Unfairly blame Griffin for errors in a property tax summary.

“I find Eden has a reputation for discouraging and retaliating against any employee complaints to County HR,” the report said.

Eden also denied these claims. Griffin declined the role of deputy chief tax commissioner, Eden said. In June, Eden hired former Gwinnett County Tax Commissioner Richard Steele to fill the vacancy.

The issue with Griffin’s remote access was an unintentional technological error caused by poor communication with HR, Eden said.

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