City manager’s conduct examined

Rick Finn, Watertown city manager, gives opening remarks at the 2019 Annual Membership Meeting of the Watertown Downtown Business Association on Tuesday in Watertown. Julia Hopkins/Watertown Daily Times

WATERTOWN — An investigation into a formal complaint against City Manager Rick Finn that accuses him of causing a hostile work environment should be wrapped up by the end of the month.

A female department head filed the complaint last month to City Attorney Robert J. Slye and the city’s human resources department.

An independent human resources consultant, HR Consultants, Glenville, is conducting the probe.

Mr. Slye said he spoke to the person handling the investigation for HR Consultants on Tuesday, who told him that the investigation will be completed by the end of the month.

Sources said a number of people have already been interviewed.

Mr. Slye would not confirm who’s been interviewed, whether Mr. Finn has been brought in, the content of the probe or even where the interviews are taking place.

“I think it would be inappropriate to comment,” he said.

Once completed, the consultant will submit a report to Mr. Slye, who, in turn, will provide it to the City Council.

It will be up to City Council to determine what is done from there.

The Watertown Daily Times has not confirmed the identity of the female employee who filed the complaint. She accused the city manager of causing “a hostile work environment,” Mr. Slye said.

The Times has learned that the department head submitted reports of a series of incidents involving Mr. Finn and witnesses who could verify the alleged occurrences.

Mr. Finn replaced former City Manager Sharon A. Addison, whose contract was not renewed by council in January 2018. He is under contract with the city until July 2020, when council members could decide whether to renew it.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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