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WARREN – Documents obtained from the Tribune Chronicle indicate mounting tension between two Trumbull County officials.
Emails exchanged between Trumbull County Commissioner Niki Frenchko and County Human Resources Director Richard Jackson about complaints from employees after Frenchko brought their cat to work included attempts by Frenchko To get Jackson to withdraw statements he had made to the Tribune Chronicle about the issue, accusing him of being “out of control” for passing on the information to the press.
“I suggest that you immediately withdraw certain statements that support or relate to an employee’s claim.” Frenchko’s email to Jackson states. She also asked who authorized him to answer a reporter’s questions.
Jackson told Frenchko his comments had nothing to do with the complaint filed by an administrative assistant after she suffered an allergic reaction to Betty the cat. He said he made comments to clarify the problem.
“I have your quoted comments. The details were certainly discussed. Please withdraw the statements as they disadvantage (our) county and you are NOT a health professional to know if high heat was a factor. Your behavior is out of control. “ Frenchko states in the email.
Frenchko suggested earlier that the employee’s reaction to the cat was due to the high temperatures in the office that day, due to a faulty heating and cooling system, or to the fact that the windows were open and allergens could enter.
Jackson denied the claim.
“I’m not a health professional, and neither are you.” Jackson states.
Regarding Frenchko’s testimony about Jackson’s behavior “out of control,” Jackson replied: “Actually, I have the same thoughts about your behavior. Do you call yourself a manager when you endanger employees in your own office? “ Jackson replied.
The emails state that the employee who received the response returned to work on the condition that there was no cat in the workplace. Documents attached to the employee’s emails of the doctor’s visit state that she was allergic to shortness of breath and hives “Due to exposure to a cat at work.”
Additional emails between the two remained irritable, including exchanges about who had signed the employee’s complaint and allegations that the other was acting dishonestly.
Frenchko also asked Jackson to send their details and names of anyone who had complained about the cat along with email messages or notes on the matter.
The inspector had previously said that no one had complained about the cat and that Betty’s presence was reassuring. She said the cat hadn’t been there long and had only been to the office a few times in the past few weeks.
Jackson denied this on the grounds that there had been informal complaints and that the cat had been in the office more often.
Frenchko previously said that during the brief visits, the cat was mainly kept in her office and the cat did not stay long enough to use a litter box.
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