You guys may remember that Slabbed broke the story about former Jefferson Parish Deputy COO Richard Hart causing a ruckus in the senior ranks of the Young Administration with his boorish behavior towards women. Then we covered who squealed to the media in Councilman at large Chris Roberts, a man with a purported need to see himself on the TeeVee regularly. Finally we covered Hart’s weekend departure from Jefferson Parish Government which supposedly brought this saga to an end.
I mention all this because Tom tipped us in comments yesterday evening that Travers Mackel at Channel 6 ended up with a copy of the supposedly confidential report prepared by Parish consultants on Hart, albeit a redacted version, and yes Virginia, all the bad things that were said about Hart’s workplace treatment of women were evidently true. Let’s review:
The report found that “several employees interviewed described the organizational climate as very intimidating and (one of) low morale.” Individual names are redacted, and the parish administration considers the investigation a personnel matter. Parish officials said they would have no comment and declined to answer questions regarding the investigation and its findings.
The initial complaint, according to the report, came from a female manager who raised concerns that Hart had created a “rude, demeaning and hostile workplace environment.” Among the specific incidents that are cited:
* Use of the term “thong Thursdays” as a joke referencing several employees who wore pink bracelets in support of a co-worker with breast cancer.
* Use of the phrase “booty call” in reference to after-hours phone calls made by Jefferson Parish President John Young to female employees.
* Use of the term “ass chaps” as a joke related to horseback riding and the “chaps” that are sometimes worn.
The complainant, according to the report, produced documentation dating back to March 2011 to support her assertions that she had contacted Chief Operating Officer Chris Cox in an effort to put an end to the conduct. The report notes that the complainant wanted Hart to “stop smearing her reputation and intimidating her. She wants to do the job she was hired to do by John Young without being harassed.”
So someone was complaining about Hart being an asshole almost a full year before he finally hit the chop shop and evidently nothing was done about his workplace behavior. Hart’s reputation was that of a man who could tame a bureaucracy and whip it into line. The reality is his management style was of the blunt force variety and his bad reputation preceded him had anyone in the Young Administration team bothered to inquire. The release of this report is designed to make the Young Administration look bad and frankly it is mission accomplished. Hiring assholes to senior management positions doesn’t have a big upside even after they are gone.