Escambia Commission censors Doug Underhill for threats against County District Attorney: NorthEscambia.com
The Escambia County commission voted Thursday night to formally censor Commissioner Doug Underhill for his alleged conduct and threats against County District Attorney Alison Rogers.
The vote was 4-1, with Underhill against the action. Censorship is an official statement of disapproval, condemning a person for misconduct.
The county attorney and county administrator are the only two county employees who work directly for the commission as a whole.
“You are my employer and I have been very lucky for many years never to have felt the need to come to you with an employment problem or a complaint. I have certainly had my share of very difficult conversations with my bosses, some of them more difficult than others, but I never felt the need to come and complain, ”Rogers said after handing out a letter. written to the board of directors.
“Unfortunately, however, last week I was threatened in a way by Commissioner Underhill, of which you, as (my) employer, must be made aware. Twice I was threatened that he would “undermine my reputation until the day I resigned”. And he has clearly shown the ability to do it and to achieve it. The heartbreaking part of it all is that he resents me for doing my job. He is angry with me for asking the Ethics Commission for an advisory opinion, which is part of my job. I even bought one for him already. We only made the trip to Tallahassee at the express request of the Director General and the Deputy General Council of the Ethics Commission in part because the issue was more complex than usual.
“I can assure you that I would have much preferred to be here to do my job,” said Rogers, his voice audibly breaking with emotion.
“If this had been one of the other four of you who asked me for an advisory opinion, I would have done the same, including Mr. Underhill.” This is not the way an employer should treat their employee and I think it is blatant to want this to be commemorated, ”Rogers said, asking the commission not to take any specific action other than placing its letter in the minutes of the meeting.
Underhill strongly denied Rogers’ claims.
“I will categorically say that the words quoted here have never escaped me, nor have they done so twice,” Underhill said. “I said it was because the lawyer’s conduct put that advice to shame. And I said that I think by the time this is all said and done, it will be very surprising that you do not escape the consequences of these things. It is indeed part of my duties and my responsibilities to supervise one of the two full-time employees that we have as commissioners.
“The verbiage has changed a bit. When I said she says here knows I have the voices to hold my position, what I actually said was, you know, you are obviously very secure in your position because the discontent that I I have with the lawyer for his actions is not something that is mutually agreed upon by this council.
“Certainly Madam Advocate, nothing I said was intended to be a threat. Nothing that I was supposed to be other than my supervision of your work, which is my duty. Underhill continued. “Certainly, there was nothing to denigrate a reputation and there was nothing to denigrate your reputation. Until the day I quit, it’s obvious that you and I are going to disagree on this. But you know, it’s just the facts as I know them today.
“I just want to say that as another employer of Madam Advocate, the quotes attributed to the colleague are very worrying. I mean, this is very concerning… any of us would talk this way to any of our employees. It is therefore worrying, ”said Commissioner Steven Barry.
“Madam Attorney, none of us individually have the right to treat you this way,” said Commissioner Jeff Bergosh. “If it was me, if it was one of us in particular who told you something like that, I would just say… you should have shown him the door.” This board is your employer and not the individual board members. If Doug told you that, he’s out of bounds doing it.
“Doug, I mean, are you saying you didn’t threaten to ruin her reputation until she quit?” Is that what you’re saying here?
“I say absolutely that. Yes, commissioner, ”replied Underhill.
Bergosh replied, “Are you saying she wrote that down and lied?” “
“Yes, Commissioner, that’s what I’m saying,” Underhill replied.
” I do not believe you. I don’t believe you, ”Bergosh replied. “I believe her. “
“You don’t have the right to say anything to him. This advice is her boss, not you. You don’t have that right, ”Bergosh said. “This upsets me so much with a lot of other bullshit I see online from you guys, I think it’s time for this board to take action. You are constantly overthrowing us. Your help from the office is constantly wearing us out. You are a source of consternation on this unnecessary forum. And I’m pretty much fed up with it.