The hostile work environment in the Oswego County Clerk’s office has reportedly turned to violence in the work place as an employee allegedly threw a staple remover at another employee, hitting the employee.
Index clerk Justin White, who allegedly became enraged Tuesday, is said to have picked up a six-inch metal staple remover and flung it at a coworker.
The incident occurred in front of one of the security cameras located in the clerk’s office.
The clerk’s office has been shrouded in controversy with allegations of bullying and harassing. The office has an acting county clerk, a deputy clerk of operations and one senior index clerk, responsible for supervising nine employees.
Legislators on both sides of the aisle question how three supervisors could be present when the incident occurred yet there was no intervention and both sides are calling for County Clerk-elect Michael Backus to replace acting County Clerk Georgiana Mansfield and Deputy Clerk of Operations Matthew Bacon when he takes office at the first of the year.
“The atmosphere in the clerk’s office is toxic,” Legislator Shawn Doyle said. “Mansfield and Bacon bear the ultimate blame for this in my opinion. Backus must remove them to begin any reorganization and healing among staff.”
Legislator Doug Malone agreed. “I don’t know why we need deputies,” he said. “Bacon was supposed to be in charge of operations and it doesn’t look like it’s working.”
He added that the legislators don’t need to be babysitting the office everyday.
Minority Leader Mike Kunzwiler said, “I concur with Shawn. It’s well past the point of turning your head and saying nothing is wrong. It’s well past that.”