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Riemann challenges mayor, investigator report


Farragut’s public relations coordinator Chelsey Riemann issued a response to Farragut Mayor Eddy Ford’s memorandum supporting an assessment that Riemann’s complaint of sexual harassment against Dan Olson had little supporting evidence.

A response dated Feb. 25, seven days after Ford’s memo and 15 after Riemann’s official complaint with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, stated: “Upon reading your memo and the attachment [Attorney Pam Reeves’s findings], it appears that substantial evidence was ignored, misstated or down played [sic] and I feel I must respond.”

Riemann tells Ford: “Although you state conclusions in your memo, it is clear you have not read the actual witness statements that were provided to Ms. Reeves.”


Riemann attached the statements, provided by Interim, then Associate, Town Administrator Gary Palmer, Parks and Leisure Services Director Sue Stuhl, Anne LaGrow, Alexis Crawford and Community Development Director Ruth Hawk.

“The statements corroborate my charge of sexual harassment which basically is a case of Mr. Olson stalking me over the last two years to the point I could not go [to] certain places at work alone for fear that Mr. Olson would approach me,” the memo stated.

Riemann also alleges Reeves’s report “does not even address” several of the witness statements in her report, which provide eyewitness accounts of odd behavior on Olson’s part, including staring, body language and inappropriate comments.

Riemann especially took offense to Reeves’s assessment that one or two uncomfortable events did not qualify as “pervasive” harassment.

“This type of behavior occurred numerous times since 2006, and my pleas for help fell on deaf ears,” Riemann’s memo stated.

Riemann also called Ford’s attention to Reeves’s treatment of pornography found in Olson’s desk. Reeves’s report states: “it was not appropriate to conduct an official investigation into this situation since there was no policy violation and since the person who had located the material initially was a male.”

“Ms. Reeves downplayed the testimony concerning the pornography and the fact that a large stack of very graphic sexual photographs was allowed to remain in town administrator, Mr. Olson’s office desk, from late February when the pornography was reported to the town attorney until at least through August,” Riemann’s memo stated.

According to Reeves’s report, she and Town Attorney Tom Hale had decided not to tell Olson who discovered the illicit materials, but to “discuss this situation informally … [to] resolve the situation.”

According to Reeves, this conversation took place June 25.

“Mr. Olson was allowed to maintain a horde of gross pornography in his town desk for 7 or 8 months with seeming approval of the town attorney. No wonder my complaints of sexual harassment have been ignored as well,” Riemann’s memo alleged.

Finally, Riemann said the investigation was not “unbiased” at all.

“When [Reeves] interviewed Sue Stuhl, she started the interview by asking Ms. Stuhl: ‘What are we going to do about Chelsey?’” the memo stated.

Riemann stated Stuhl allegedly told Reeves that Riemann was not the problem, Olson’s “stalking and sexual harassment of” her was.

Riemann requested a copy of her response be placed in her personnel file.

 

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