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County commissioners meeting explores ‘toxic work environment’ complaint

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WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Tensions were once again on full display at a county commissioners meeting in Trumbull County Thursday. This time, it was after several employees of the commission’s office wrote a letter complaining of a toxic work environment.

The employees are set to discuss their issues at a public meeting Friday.

“Six months into a commissioner’s term and the environment has become toxic,” said County Commissioner Frank Fuda (D).

During a public meeting, Fuda read a letter signed by five employees of the commissioners office addressed to the Tribune Chronicle.

“You say you want to empower women and you’ve put these six women to the point that they’re writing the Tribune Chronicle,” said County Commissioner Mauro Cantalamessa (D).

“There’s nothing specific and did they do that during the workday,” said County Commissioner Niki Frenchko (R).

“Out of all the departments in Trumbull County, I think the Commission’s Office is the most dysfunctional,” said Kelly Glenn, husband of a Commissioner’s Office employee.

“This is exactly what someone could expect whenever they’re trying to change a system that’s been in place for 40 years. People don’t always like it, and there’s gonna be pushback and sometimes that includes dishonesty, scheming and manipulation,” Frenchko said.

Earlier this month, six women sent a written hostile work environment complaint to Human Resources Director Richard Jackson.

You can read the full complaint here

“They’re in fear here. They’re afraid of her. They’re afraid of what she’s capable of doing,” Fuda said.

Frenchko questioned why the complaint was time-stamped just one minute after she recorded the women walking out of Cantalamessa’s office where Jackson and Fuda were also present.

“I don’t know what happened behind closed doors. I can say that four of the employees in their office have reached out to me for raises,” Frenchko said.

“The very idea that staff members in this office could be somehow coerced or made to write that letter is completely preposterous,” said Cantalamessa.

Frencko says she’s already consulted with her legal team about ways to address what she claims are falsehoods in the employee’s letter.

She also questions why complaints made by their former clerk Paulette Godfrey prior to Frenchko taking office, were never addressed.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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