By Mark Vasto
Months after an aggressive audit of the Platte County Human Resources Department, County Auditor Siobhann Williams has been accused of sexual harassment by the HR Department's former director.
Leanna Fannon, 44, was recently demoted by the Platte County Commission -- an $8,000 pay cut -- and blames a vindictive Williams for the action. She filed a civil suit for sexual harassment on December 3, 2009. The claim was filed with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Fannon claims that Williams often stared at her, once bought her flowers and commented that she looked "gorgeous." Williams does not deny buying flowers -- an $8 bud vase that she said she bought to cheer Fannon up after an audit showed a few paperwork mistakes -- and denies having made inappropriate sexual advances to her.
Williams and Fannon have had a tenuous relationship insofar as auditors and office holders go. Williams conducted a high profile press conference on the Platte County Courthouse admonishing Fannon's department for paying benefits to deceased County employees. Those claims were largely refuted by Fannon and the Platte County Commission and it was learned that although certain health related payments were still flowing to one particular deceased employee, it did not affect the Platte County budget. Williams claimed that Fannon was not cooperative with her audit and the County Commission criticized Williams for calling a press conference without their knowledge. Still, the County Commission demoted Fannon, who now is apparently seeking retribution through the court system.
More in this week's Luminary.