All Politics is Local

From iPad Wizard to ‘disrespectful and insubordinate’

Acting County Manager Mark McCauley

County Manager Mark McCauley

Little more than an hour before the Clark County Council deliberated on granting County Manager Mark McCauley an 18-month contract, Councilor David Madore sent him a “letter of reprimand.”

“You made a commitment in your email dated November 4, 2015 to correct the failing behavior that you acknowledged as lessons learned as itemized in my email to you on October 26, 2015,” Madore wrote to McCauley, referencing a harsh email the Republican councilor sent to McCauley last year.

“I am very disappointed to see that your commitment proved false in every respect,” Madore went on. “Not only did you fail to correct any of the specific unacceptable behaviors and trouble areas, but those patterns have grown much worse and intolerable.”

Madore went on to list a slew of grievances to McCauley. He accused him of having “exercised poor judgement and cruel behavior” when he fired Don Benton and three other Environmental Services Department employees in the reorganization of that department. He remarked on the time that, when asked how a contract with an outside attorney to investigate alleged ethics violations by Madore, McCauley responded by saying “I used a pen.” He rehashed his anger over last December’s eight symbolic resolutions being added to the agenda to be repealed by the new council in their first meeting of the year.

“This brief letter is a very short list of the unacceptable behaviors, actions, and attitudes you have displayed since your November 4 emailed commitment to improve,” Madore said toward the end of the 448-word email. “There are many more examples that I will not list here.”

But as we reported earlier this week, the other councilors were not having any of Madore’s last-ditch effort to block McCauley’s hiring. Republican Councilor Jeanne Stewart criticized Madore for issuing a “manifesto” on McCauley minutes before the meeting.

“That’s not the way effective performance reviews are done,” Stewart says. “It is not the professional way to do it.”

The text of the entire email is below. By way of explanation, McCauley told me earlier this week that he has not removed Human Resources Director Francine Reis, as Madore accuses him of doing. Reis will take on a new job at the county analyzing the effectiveness of departments and programs and reporting her findings to McCauley. But at the end of the day, remember, it doesn’t matter what Madore thinks. McCauley has sole executive authority over the Human Resources, and any other, department at Clark County.

From: “Madore, David” <David.Madore@clark.wa.gov>
Date: June 7, 2016 at 4:51:51 PM PDT
To: “Madore, David” <David.Madore@clark.wa.gov>, “McCauley, Mark” <Mark.McCauley@clark.wa.gov>, “Reis, Francine” <francine.reis@clark.wa.gov>
Subject: Professional Performance evaluation follow up

Mark,

You made a commitment in your email dated November 4, 2015 to correct the failing behavior that you acknowledged as lessons learned as itemized in my email to you on October 26, 2015.

I am very disappointed to see that your commitment proved false in every respect. Not only did you fail to correct any of the specific unacceptable behaviors and trouble areas, but those patterns have grown much worse and intolerable.

In addition to behaving in a way that appears to be unfair and retaliatory toward those who honorably bring problems to light, but your actions have been openly disrespectful and insubordinate.

You exercised poor judgment and cruel behavior not only by what you did, but how you did it. In addition to firing four employees who had been performing excellently by your own admission, you did so in a way that openly disgraced them by having them escorted out of the building in front of their peers by sheriff deputies.

When you failed to follow the requirements adopted by ordinance detailing the process required to authorize you to sign a county contract. When questioned in a public meeting how you did that, you expressed open contempt for your employers, the county council, by answering “with a pen.”

Before the new members of the county council took office in January, your insubordinately tasked staff to craft documents to repeal the policies adopted by the county councilors you were to serve. You then placed those documents on the Grid in December against the will of the county council. The authority to work to repeal policy adopted by the legislative body, did not belong to you. Yet, you excused your actions with a rebellious attitude inappropriate for your position.

This brief letter is a very short list of the unacceptable behaviors, actions, and attitudes you have displayed since your November 4 emailed commitment to improve. There are many more examples that I will not list here.

HR reports directly to the county council. Yet, I have heard that without the council’s knowledge or approval, you have removed the HR director. Is this true?

Such behavior and attitudes manifest insubordination that, in my judgment, make it clear that you are unfit to serve as county manager. I am so disappointed, especially since I was the original county commissioner to invite you to serve as interim county administrator and then as acting county manager.

I strongly object to your appointment as permanent county manager and direct that this letter of reprimand be placed in your personnel file. I ask HR to acknowledge that this has been placed in your personnel file.

Sincerely,

David Madore
County Council Member
June 7, 2016

Kaitlin Gillespie

Kaitlin Gillespie

I'm the education reporter at The Columbian. Get in touch at kaitlin.gillespie@columbian.com or 360-735-4517.