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Crescent Township Hires Attorney to Investigate Employee Harassment Allegations

An attorney said he is representing Crescent's manager in a workplace claim against the township.

Crescent commissioners have retained an attorney to investigate hostile workplace and harassment allegations made by township employees. 

Commissioners during their December meeting agreed to hiring special counsel Barbara Graham to investigate harassment charges made by staff members. 

Specifics of the allegations, which employees have made the claims, and the investigation itself were not immediately available. 

Bill Cook, president of the Board of Commissioners, declined to comment and referred Patch to township Solicitor Richard Start. Start and other Crescent commissioners could not be reached for comment. 

Pittsburgh-based attorney Charles Steele said he is representing township Manager Patience Eckhardt and has filed an intake form—a preliminary step—with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding a "hostile work environment claim." 

"The township is investigating the claim, and we have cooperated," Steele said 

Steele declined to comment further on the matter. Eckhardt also said she could not comment. 

The intake form is not available as a public record, according to the EEOC communications office. Filing the intake form does not mean a formal charge has been made, but it enables the commission to determine if a claim is covered by laws it is empowered to enforce. 

The hostile work environment allegation is the second labor-related complaint recently filed by township employees. Teamsters Local 205, which represents Crescent Police, filed and later dropped an unfair labor practice charge against Crescent Township in 2012.  

Hope January 17, 2013 at 09:57 PM
It is a shame that the residents of Crescent have no idea how many good employees have left because of the actions of certain board members.
tim palko January 18, 2013 at 12:36 AM
How many?
Marvin January 19, 2013 at 12:42 AM
I have a feeling those "certain board members" have cost Crescent residents more than we will ever know. We better start shwoing up at meetings and asking questions before they ruin our township.
mary ann smith January 20, 2013 at 12:26 AM
the residents have no idea how many bad employees have been let go as well . Those "certain board members" are trying to do whats right!
roberta January 20, 2013 at 03:07 AM
I don't think creating a hostile work environment and harassing the employees is doing whats right. Those certain board members claim there is not enough money to keep the Police Department however they can find enough money to pay THEIR legal fees AGAIN!!! "WHY IS THE BUDGET SUCH A MESS???
Jonathan Wright January 20, 2013 at 04:05 AM
Seems like we have a debate here. Employees let go? That's an interesting stat, I wonder how many have been fired for cause? Maybe this information should be given to the residents by the "certain board members". You seem to have some inside information on things Ms./Mrs. Smith......
roberta January 20, 2013 at 05:25 AM
Perhaps we do, debate is good! Facts are indisputable! I find it interesting in reading the article relating to the Police Depts lawsuit, that no one denied any wrong doing and could not be reached for comment? Then 3 months pass and certain board members meet with Moon to discuss disbanding the Police Dept. Could this be a retaliatory act to which a hostile work environment is created? Is it believable that the Township Manager would file an EEOC claim and find an attorney to represent, without substance? Further, in reading several other articles, certain board members habitually refuse comment or are unable to be reached for comment(just another fact), Is this transparency in Government? What in the world is going on here?
EB January 23, 2013 at 11:29 AM
Marvin I agree.. Those certain board members have cost Crescent residents more money than we will ever know. There has been so much money wasted to protect their wrongs and to fix the problems they have created. What happened with the road to Shouse Park? Why hasn't it been repaired? There were offers made by the Army Corp of Engineers. What happened with those offers?
Marvin January 24, 2013 at 04:41 AM
Doesnt say much for the judgment of those certain board members who hired thier friends and it didn't work out!!
Marvin January 24, 2013 at 01:48 PM
Roberta, debate is good but you will never get those certain commissioners to admit the truth. They have hosed the township, the employees and the voters of the township for several years and their ego's are to big.
Hope January 26, 2013 at 04:51 AM
Marvin, I agree with you totally. One of the most recent wastes was to spend $4000.00 advertising for a new public works supervisor. One of the requirements was to have a class A CDL. The Pres then appointed 2 commissioners to go back over the applications. He also declared that a class A was no longer necessary. (The prior supervisor had 25+ yrs with the township and a class B, but spent his own money to get a class A to qualify for the position). They then hired someone who lives by one of the two commissioners reviewing the apps. This person had NO CDL. The township then paid for him to get one. Surprised? This is the third time they have advertised for public works employees requiring CDL's, then hired people that had none and used taxpayer money to get them their certifications. One has already left to go to Moon. The really sad part of this bait and switch is that many qualified people were denied the chance to even apply, because commissioners had friends in mind. Just ask yourself, how did a person with no CDL even have an application to review?
Hope February 06, 2013 at 07:46 AM
It appears the waste of taxpayer $$ continues. According to police reports in The Times, another one of those employees that taxpayers bought a CDL for, has had a couple problems, that will most certainly make him lose that CDL. Too bad the board pres/public works commissioner didn't enforce a background check to begin with! That's what happens when you give your friend a job and toss all the rules out. I wonder who's in line to be "given" a job next??
Marvin February 07, 2013 at 03:47 PM
I wonder if the voters in Crescent are finally figure out that those certain board members have more skeletons hide in their closet than anyone could ever imagine? Tell the people what they want to hear to get elected then keep up the game until you completely make a fool of yourself. You can only hide a lack of management and finance skill for so long then it catches up with you. "You can fool part of the people all the time and all the people part of the time, but not all the people all the time."
Marvin February 08, 2013 at 08:30 PM
I think we need to be very carful about who gets elected in the future and try to get out of this mess. Business as usual ain't good enough for us any more so that means re election should not happen for at least one of the two commissiner jobs that is up this year.

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