City water superintendent resigns

Nov. 02, 2013 @ 04:54 PM

Water Resources Maintenance/Construction Superintendent Charles Sharp resigned from the City of Monroe, effective Nov. 8. He said a large factor in his decision to resign was the treatment he received from Director of Water Resources Russ Colbath.  

“The way I worded it was bullying,” Sharp said. 

Sharp said he filed a grievance in March of this year, and after the grievance his treatment worsened.

Sharp said from March on, Colbath would tabulate everything he did wrong and write him up. He said during self-evaluation they met with human resources. He said Colbath had a packet that included a final warning and a two-day suspension. He said he stands behind a lot of the mistakes, but a few of them were not true. He said he did not feel his side of the story was heard. 

“We do a good job and (Colbath) belittles us constantly, especially in front of other people,” Sharp said. “When I stood up to him, especially once I filed the grievance, it was every week.”

Sharp said that everything he turned in was wrong, and he decided “that’s it. I’ve had enough.” 

Communications and Tourism Officer Pete Hovanec confirmed in an email that Sharp submitted his two-week notice Monday, making Nov. 8 his last day.

Hovanec confirmed that on Wednesday, Sharp sent an email to Colbath and Human Resources Director Debra Reed with complaints and allegations.

After Reed shared the email with City Manager John D’Agostino, it was determined by D’Agostino, Reed and Colbath that it was in the city’s best interest to tell Sharp to leave his position that day and they agreed to pay him though Nov. 8, Hovanec wrote.

Hovanec said the city will address any potential grievances or allegations per policy as they arise. 

“The city will not publicly discuss this issue and will handle it according to our policy process,” Hovanec wrote. 

Sharp said he hopes that his email will be investigated. He said he is not the only one in the department who is treated the way he was.

“I’m just the only one that would say anything about it,” Sharp said.

He said in March he went to Colbath’s office and said he did not feel supported and that (Colbath) bullies them around. He said after March, the treatment got worse, and it felt retaliatory.  

Sharp has been in construction for more than 30 years and enjoyed working for the city. 

“I thoroughly enjoyed it,” he said. “They do a lot for the employees ... it’s really nice, the people are super. ... Everybody I worked with, I have great things to say (about).” 

Sharp had been employed since June 28, 2010, and his salary was about $64,000.