City paid consultant more than $11K for investigation of Finn


WATERTOWN — A consultant has completed its report on allegations against City Manager Rick Finn that he has caused a hostile work environment.

City Attorney Robert J. Slye confirmed on Tuesday night that he received a copy of the report in an email when he got in to work in the morning.

In November, a female filed a formal complaint against Mr. Finn accusing him of causing a hostile work environment.

“I’m not at privilege to say what comes next,” Mr. Slye said before going into an executive session with the City Council.

Previously, Mr. Slye has said it will be up to council to determine what is done from there.

Mayor Jeffrey M. Smith wouldn’t comment about the report or council’s next step. He also wouldn’t say whether the closed-door session had to do with Mr. Finn and the report.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I haven’t seen it yet.”

Councilman Jesse C.P. Roshia said he was unaware that Mr. Slye received the report, although he knew that the council would be dealing with the issue soon after he took office on Jan. 1.

Council members need to start handling the issue as soon as possible, he said.

“We don’t want this to linger as long as it has,” he said.

Mr. Slye had expected the report to be in the city’s hands before the end of last year. He has said he didn’t know why it took longer.

The Times is not identifying the female employee. An independent human resources consultant, HR Consultants, Glenville, conducted the probe.

Sources said a number of people were interviewed.

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. Sources said a handful of other female employees were interviewed by the consultant.

The firm handling the investigation is billing the city an hourly rate of $165.

Mr. Finn was not available for comment because he attended the executive session.

Before going into the executive session, council members acknowledged it had to do with the history of a particular employee and for collective bargaining.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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