By Janice Morse
Enquirer staff writer
LEBANON - A Warren County Court employee who was demoted this week says she is being treated unfairly as the investigations into her former boss' alleged misconduct continue.
Under a public records request, county commissioners on Thursday released eight pages they had received from Libbie Gerondale and her lawyer, Bill Kaufman.
"Ms. Gerondale's work environment had become intolerable as a result of the apparent acrimony directed to her from her fellow employees and her supervisor," Kaufman wrote to Judge James Heath, who is overseeing court employee issues while Judge Dallas Powers remains on a voluntary paid leave.
County commissioners held a closed-door meeting after receiving the documents, but took no action. Commission President Pat South said commissioners advised Gerondale to discuss her concerns with an investigator from the Adams County Prosecutor's Office, which is involved in the investigation.
Five female court employees filed sexual harassment complaints against Powers, 70. Several allege employees saw Powers and Gerondale in sexual contact in the office. Gerondale, testifying in a case that involved her nephew last week, denied any unusual relationship with Powers.
Heath demoted Gerondale from probation officer to probation clerk in a letter dated Tuesday, citing unexcused absences.
However, Kaufman said Gerondale had not received the letter in the mail until Thursday.
Kaufman said Gerondale had faxed a doctor's excuse to the court for one absence last Friday. Then on Monday, Gerondale went to her doctor, "who suggested that because of her emotional condition that she apply for leave under the Family Medical Leave Act," Kaufman wrote.
She filled out forms and advised her supervisor, Dick Kilburn, about that application, Kaufman said. Kaufman asked Heath to reconsider his demotion of Gerondale. But he declined, Kaufman said.
Kaufman said he intended to refer Gerondale to a specialist in employment law "for whatever action may be appropriate on her behalf."
Meanwhile, Gerondale alleges that a female co-worker had touched her inappropriately and made her feel uncomfortable.
She also alleges that she believed a court employee was attempting to influence her testimony in her nephew's court case.
Erica Solvig contributed. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Bush, Kerry stress differences on Iraq
Portman to help Cheney prep
College-age audience had already made pick
Editorial: Listen to what they said, not how they said it
Your voices on debate
Error will force Hamilton County to reissue 17,500 absentee ballots
Woman, 49, killed in car chase
Feds puzzled by sheriff's terror alert
'A Picasso' is heady, clever
SPECIAL REPORT: TEST STRESS
Schools grapple with test stress
Doctors know when it's test time
Did you know?
Some Views on Test-Taking and Stress
Educators take steps to reduce test stress
Parents can ease stress of tests
IN THE TRISTATE
Attorney challenges legal tactics of Allen
Blackwell election decisions blasted
Cincinnati schools open campaign for tax renewal
Angels graduate as police sweep
Nuxhall pitches Fairfield tax levy
Owens endorsed by FOP in county coroner's race
Butler fugitive nabbed overseas
Proposed cuts languish
Finneytown looks at teacher layoffs
Monroe might be site for Indians' casino
Court: Reveal donors' names
Opera losing influential artistic director
Warren court worker says demotion unfair
Local news briefs
Downs: This race is about fun, forgiveness
Ralph Bolton, planned downtown
C. W. 'Bill' Wiebold, 61, art restorer
Students touch piece of history
N. Ky. news briefs
Judge won't preside in officer DUI
Independent voice at forum
Young people urged to vote
State workers sound off on health insurance plan