TUE SEP 19, 2023, 11PM
The City of Bryant released a 47-page document detailing a former employee’s Complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This is the complaint that actually triggered Mayor Allen Scott’s eventual resignation, not the more recent lawsuit. But if you scroll way down in this document to bullet #3, you’ll see details of the recent lawsuit as well. Both cases have serious allegations against city employees and/or Mayor Allen Scott.
The following text was transcribed from the first 5 pages of the redacted document. Most names are replaced by letters that represent the same person throughout. At times, when the person’s identity is unknown, it’s replaced with question marks. Images of the full 47-page Complaint by the former employee and Response from the City of Bryant is at 👉🏻 www.mysaline.com/bryant-eeoc-081623.
FORMER EMPLOYEE’S FILING WITH EEOC – AUGUST 16, 2023
Allegations are Discrimination based on sex, retaliation, & disability.
Employer is City of Bryant.
I was hired by the city of Bryant in February 2020. I was a Systems Administrator for the city’s IT department. I was terminated June 1, 2023. During my employment, I was subjected to sexual harassment on the basis of my gender, which is female, and retaliation after reporting the harassment to my employer. Starting on or about May 2020, AAAAA the IT director and my supervisor, began asking me to do things with him outside of work (lunches, bike rides, happy hours, etc). I always declined. In March 2020, AAAAA told me “if we are going to date then you have to quit your job.” I reported his behavior to HR multiple times. As far as I could tell, no action was taken.
BBBBB the Mayor of the City of Bryant, who was my employer, propositioned me sexually multiple times. His harassment included touching me inappropriately slapping my butt as i walk down the hall, grabbing my hand and trying to force me to touch his genitals, sending me graphic and vulgar text messages, commenting on my physical appearance, and telling me he wanted to engage in sexual acts with me. This harassment was severe, ongoing, and pervasive, and my workplace was hostile as a result. I experienced anxiety and depression as a result of the ongoing harassment, and had to attend therapy to cope with the emotional trauma I suffered as a result. I was afraid for my position because he told me he was the mayor and could do whatever he wanted.
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As a result of the ongoing harassment against me, I was retaliated against. Specifically, in January 2023, my employer required me to take a test to receive a certification. This certification was not required when I began working in the position. I had recently been diagnosed with a disability that makes preparing for tests and taking tests more difficult for me, and my health care provider recommended an accommodation for me when I took the test. I did not pass the test. On June 1, 2023 my employer terminated me for failing to pass the test by a certain date.
The reasons for my termination were pretextual. I was actually terminated as a result of the ongoing sexual harassment from my employer, and in retaliation for making reports about this harassment. My employer’s acts violated Title VII of the civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.
CITY OF BRYANT’S RESPONSE TO COMPLAINT – DATE UNKNOWN
Employee is CCCC
CCCCC was hired by the city of Bryant for the position of Systems Administrator with an effective date of February 24th, 2020. (See attached exhibit A.) As shown in the job description for the position of Systems Administrator, the position requires intermediate to advanced skills in information technology. (See attached exhibit B.) It became obvious to CCCCC’s direct supervisor, DDDDD, soon into CCCCC’s employment that she did not have the skills required to perform the position. COVID-19 hit the nation soon after CCCCC’s employment with the city of Bryant began and a decision was made not determinate at that time. DDDDD instead put in extra time to train CCCCC on the skills required for the position.
CCCCC received a verbal warning on April 1, 2021 for failure to complete task as instructed on March 25, 2021. On the morning of Thursday, March 25, 2021, a switch at the Public Works facility failed. CCCCC was instructed to install the new switch as soon as it arrived and CCCCC’s failed to comply.
She was given a verbal warning in the HR director’s office for not following instructions which caused the network to the public works facility to be down for an unreasonable amount of time. During that meeting it is noted that CCCCC was disrespectful with her supervisors. (See attached exhibit c.)
CCCCC was giving her annual review on May 14, 2021. In that review it is documented that CCCCC gets sidetracked and sometimes has difficulty staying focused on the task at hand. It continues to state that CCCCC has learned quite a bit while working for the city but still has challenges with more complex tasks. The goals established in this review were for CCCCC’s practice skills to gain more confidence, reach out for assistance sooner when a task is overly challenging and to obtain at least one Windows certification. That certification was never obtained by CCCCC. (See attached exhibit d.)
A second review was completed on CCCCC on July 14th, 2022. In that review it is noted that CCCCC’s skill level is not quite up to the level it could be but she is taking advantage of training. Goals set on this review were to obtain at least one certification on the Windows operating system or at least one COMPTIA certification in networking or security. (See attached exhibit e.)
During the month of October, 2022 it is documented that the HR director, EEEEE, became aware that CCCCC was having difficulty performing fairly basic IT support tasks and lacked the knowledge and skill to perform the role of system administrator. Before this date, CCCCC had been asked by multiple departments including the Police Department and the Parks Department to not send CCCCC to their facilities for IT problems.
The IT department has two employees, AAAAA, the director and CCCCC. CCCCC had been given unlimited access to online training during most of her employment. In October of 2022, it was determined that CCCCC needed a hard set goal to motivate her to learn more than basic tasks. (See notes from IT director attached as exhibit f.)
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It was decided that CCCCC should obtain COMPTIA A+ and COMPTIA Network+ certifications. These certificates are for basic knowledge and skills to perform the duties of the system administrator. CCCCC was originally given a January 31, 2023 date to complete Core 1 of the A+ certification. On January 20, 2023 CCCCC met with HR director EEEEE, Mayor BBBBB, and IT Director AAAAA, and agreed on some updated deadlines for her certifications because it was obvious CCCCC was not going to be able to complete the certifications by the January 31 deadline. During this meeting, CCCCC was given a verbal warning for failure to complete the deadline. At this time CCCCC mentioned for the first time that she had a learning disability and that she recently learned she had but stated she did not want any kind of accommodations.
An email was sent to CCCCC from HR director EEEEE on February 3, 2023 stating that the city was willing to provide any and all accommodations they can provide and asked CCCCC to submit a doctor’s note that specifies what those accommodations might be. (See attached exhibit g.)
CCCCC received a new timeline to complete the core 1. This gave CCCCC an additional 2 months to complete the first certification. During the time CCCCC was given to complete the certification, she was given no tasks to perform for her regular job duties and given complete 8 hours of the workday to study and complete these certifications.
CCCCC took the exam for the certification but failed to pass the exam by the March 31, 2023 deadline. CCCCC Then received a written reprimand on April 5, 2023 for failure to complete the A+ Core 1 certification by the deadline but also received an extension to complete the certifications by May 31, 2023. In this written reprimand CCCCC was told that failure to complete the certifications by this deadline would result in her recommended for termination. (See exhibit h.)
On April 14th, 2023, CCCCC stated to ????? that she received a letter of diagnosis of ??? From her doctor. ????? was able to view this letter but never received a copy. She stated to ????? That she did not want to be “labeled.” ????? sent a message to HR director EEEEE documenting his conversation with CCCCC. See attached exhibit i.) ????? Later had a conversation with ????? Regarding the letter but ????? Did not want ????? to have a copy and did not want it in her file.
On May 10, 2023, ????? sent a memorandum to ????? stating that the city will be providing accommodations for CCCCC and extending her deadlines. CCCCC had already worked with the examiners for accommodations on the test taking. CCCCC was given extended deadlines to complete her examinations.
May 31, 2023 she was to have her A+ core 1 certification, June 30th, 2023 she was to have her A+ core 2 certification and July 31, 2023 she was to have her Network+ certification. (See attached exhibit j.)
I have attached as exhibit k and l documentation regarding the COMPTIA A+ certification showing it as a beginner / novice level certification and a foundational certification these skills are required to perform the job duties that CCCCC was hired to complete.
On June 1, 2023 when CCCCC failed to receive her A+ Core 1 certification, the decision was made to terminate CCCCC. (See attached exhibit m.)
CCCCC alleges that she was subjected to sexual harassment from her supervisor, AAAAA, starting on or about May 2020. AAAAA states he would ask CCCCC to lunch as many co-workers do on a daily basis. They shared common interests outside of the work on environment and AAAAA would ask CCCCC If she would like to participate in any of those activities such as bike riding or happy hour. None of AAAAA requests were of a sexual nature and were asked only on a friendly basis.
There is documentation by HR director EEEEE regarding concerns ????? brought to her starting the summer of 2020. (See attached exhibit n.)
At each conversation ????? had with ?????, ????? asked for nothing to be documented and she requested no action be taken. ????? stated multiple times to HR director EEEEE that she did not want anyone to know. Despite ????? requests, ????? documented the conversations and set up a plan regarding ?????
HR director EEEEE met ????? on at least two occasions and spoke with him about concerns she had noticed and stated ????? need to have a professional relationship with ?????. At no time ????? ever witness anything of a sexual nature towards ????? from ?????.
Bi-weekly meetings were also established in September of 2020 with BBBBB, AAAAA, CCCCC and EEEEE all in attendance. These meetings were established to mediate any concerns between ????? and ?????. These bi-weekly meetings continued until CCCCC’s termination in June 2023. ????? Never reported any other concerns with ????? after her meeting with ????? in August 2020.
????? also alleged sexual harassment and retaliation against Mayor BBBBB. In preparing for this response, it was discovered that there was a consensual relationship between ????? and ????? that was sexual in nature.
This relationship started prior to ????? employment with the city of Bryant and ended in January 2023. BBBBB and CCCCC knew each other for years prior to her being hired by the city of Bryant and disclosed themselves as friends. It was common knowledge in the workplace that BBBBB and CCCCC were friends and would frequently eat lunch together. CCCCC never reported any kind of harassment BBBBB and never reported any behavioral concerns other than those reported early on in her employment by ?????
The city of Bryant believes there is no merit to the claims CCCCC That her termination was pretextual and she was terminated based on retaliation and discrimination. The termination of CCCCC on June 1, 2023 is well documented and based on her lack of knowledge and performance as Systems Administrator for the City of Bryant. In CCCCC termination letter, she makes notations that “the job was not a good fit for me.” (See attached exhibit m.)
CCCCC failed to meet her employer’s standards and did not have the skills needed to perform successfully in her role as Systems Administrator and those were the sole bases of her termination.
Ashley E Clancy – Bryant City Attorney
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TUE SEP 19, 2023, 5PM
The City of Bryant has accepted a letter of resignation from Allen Scott as Mayor, according to a statement in a press release distributed late in the work day on Tuesday, September 19th, 2023. Scott’s resignation is effective September 30, 2023.
“The City is working closely with Bryant City Council to appoint an interim Mayor in the near future,” stated Jordan Reynolds, Communications Coordinator for the City.
In order to fully replace a Mayor, there must be a city election. City Council must decide when that election will be, and work with the County Clerk’s office and County Election Commission. Finding the best date for an election includes at least in part, observing the required lead times for…
- the City to prepare an ordinance,
- the county to prepare ballot, and
- the citizens to be educated about the particulars and get registered to vote.
We hope to learn soon if there will be another special called meeting, or if City Council will address the matters (of appointing an interim Mayor, and holding an election for a new Mayor) at the next regular meeting. That meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 26th at 6:30 p.m.
Read Allen Scott’s resignation letter below.
Council, It is with regret that I tender my resignation as Mayor of Bryant, effective September 30, 2023. It has been an honor serving as Mayor of the city. There have been great strides in improving our infrastructure and parks in the city during my tenure, and I hope there is continued improvement. My resignation is best for the city and my physical and mental health. —Mayor Allen E. Scott, City of Bryant
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TUE SEP 19, 2023 2PM
On Monday evening, MySaline published 3 things we know about the City of Bryant’s current issue with whether the Mayor will resign and why. We now know more – and there will be more information coming soon. Right now, we address why the Mayor was asked to resign, and what happens next.
The City of Bryant held a press conference at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 19, 2023 to announce more details of the current situation with Mayor Allen Scott.
The City Communications Coordinator, Jordan Reynolds, addressed the press with this statement: “On the evening of September 18th, 2023, Bryant City Council held a special council meeting to address a personnel issue. City Council went into executive session and as a result, asked for Mayor Allen Scott’s resignation.”
If you have been watching this story, you already learned that part, but Reynolds continued with more information, “The City of Bryant wants to make it clear that this has nothing to do with the previously filed lawsuit by a former Bryant police officer.”
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She is referring to the lawsuit that we show in detail below in bullet #3. It is Kristie Silor vs Allen E. Scott, and describes her allegations. The documents include allegations of instances of sexual harassment and ignoring criminal activity, along with other claims.
Reynolds continued in the press conference to say, “Since City Council was in executive session, the City cannot discuss what was disclosed, however, this matter deals with an EEOC complaint filed by a former employee. The City is working closely with City Council to resolve this matter quickly, not only for the City, but for the residents of Bryant as well.”
MySaline has already reached out on Monday to file FOIA requests with the City of Bryant and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. We hope to have more details soon. Meanwhile, unless the Mayor resigns, or is elected out of office, or is proven to have disqualified himself from office in some way, he is still the Mayor. As of 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept 19, he had not resigned, according to Reynolds, but he had turned in all City property.
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Reynolds confirmed that if Mayor Scott does resign or leaves office in some manner, the City would likely hold a special meeting to appoint an acting Mayor. That person would act as Mayor until the City was able to hold an election. Reynolds could not confirm if that would be a special election, or the City Council would wait until the Primary Election in March 2024.
Speaking of elections, there is one currently slated to happen in November of this year – yes, in under two months from this writing. The discussion of creating an Advertising and Promotions (A&P) Commission and tax has been ongoing with the City and Council. This discussion has included a lot of back and forth with the Parks and Recreation Department regarding what amount would be dedicated to that Department’s projects. For example, there is a plan to construct an indoor tennis and pickleball facility. Find our article with details for that election at this link.
At this writing, the A&P election is still ready to go, but City Department Heads and City Council Members have a lot to think about.
Read more of this story below, along with video and lawsuit documents. Share and watch this page for updates as well: www.mysaline.com/bryant-cc-091823.
MON SEP 18, 2023 11PM
The Bryant City Council convened Monday in a special called meeting to discuss a personnel matter. It turns out the matter was concerning Mayor Allen Scott. While we don’t have all the details yet, we are working on it and will update. Meanwhile, here are the facts that we do know.
1. City Council Members that were present unanimously stripped the Mayor of everything they could by law, but some powers will remain.
There were seven out of eight City Council Members present. All seven went into executive session to discuss the only thing on the meeting’s agenda – “Personnel Matters.” They asked the Mayor to remain in the Council Chambers during this private discussion. After a little over an hour, the Council Members returned.
Council Member Rob Roedel then made a motion to request the Mayor to resign from office. In a roll call vote, all 7 Council Members voted Yes. The Mayor then stated that he “will take it under advisement.”
See part 1 video of these statements at www.facebook.com/reel/1761828084248762
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Next, Council Member Star Henson made a motion to have a vote of no confidence in Mayor Scott to lead the City. In a roll call vote, all 7 Council Members voted Yes.
Finally, Council Member Lisa Meyer made a motion to remove amend the City’s Personnel Policy Handbook to remove the duties assigned to the Mayor, and turn them over to Council Member Jason Brown. She noted that there are certain powers the office of Mayor holds by State law, that the City Council cannot remove. In addition they ask that the Mayor turn in “the City credit card, City key to the building, and all property belonging to the City, to include the laptop, cell phone, and any other City property… The car allowance, community resignations to Municipal League and other outside organizations, and to suspend the travel budget.” In a roll call vote, all 7 Council Members voted Yes.
See part 2 video of these statements at www.facebook.com/reel/690383552650514
2. Mayor Scott did not resign. He is still the Mayor until either he resigns, or citizens vote him out, or he is proven by law to be disqualified from office.
Before you read #3, it’s important to note that we now know that it is not related to the City Council’s request for Mayor Scott to resign. It’s a separate and newer issue:
3. Former Bryant police officer Kristie Silor filed a lawsuit versus “Allen E. Scott, Individually and in his Official Capacity as Mayor of the City of Bryant.” Silor is represented by Attorney Luther Sutter of Sutter & Gillham PLLC in Little Rock, Arkansas.
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The complaint in the lawsuit is as follows in text and images. They are currently allegations and have not yet been proven in a court of law.
PARTIES AND JURISDICTION
I. Plaintiff KRISTIE SILOR is a female who is a resident and citizen of Saline County Arkansas. Plaintiff worked for Defendant City of Bryant as a police officer. Allen Scott is the Mayor, and a policymaker for the City, who employs more than 300 persons.
2. Defendants terminated Plaintiff on 9/1/2023
3. At all times relevant, Plaintiff performed her job satisfactorily
4. This is an action for retaliation under the ACRA for violation of 16-123-108, her right to free speech and right to remonstrate as allowed by the Arkansas Civil Rights Act the Arkansas Whistleblower Protection Act, and the Arkansas Constitution, as allowed by ACA 16-123-105
5. Accordingly, this Court has personal and subject matter jurisdiction over the parties
6. Since the acts giving rise to this action occurred in this county, venue is proper.
7. All actions by Defendants were taken under color of law. The Mayor is sued in his individual capacity and their official capacity. No federal claims are brought.
8. Plaintiff has demanded a name-clearing hearing.
GENERAL ALLEGATIONS OF FACTS
9. Plaintiff began working for the City in 2018.
10. At all times relevant, she performed her job satisfactorily. Just days before the termination, Plaintiff was promoted to detective.
11. Plaintiff complained about sexual harassment and participated in an investigation to determine whether a violation of law had occurred. Plaintiff then requested leave as an accommodation for her disability, and the City then subjected the Plaintiff to a hostile work environment, so she complained again. These were protected activities.
12. Then, the City forbid Plaintiff from interacting with her fiancé, Tim Green, because the City believed the Bauxite police department was engaged in unlawful conduct. The City instructed to the Plaintiff not to interact with Bauxite.
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13. Plaintiff also arrested the stepson of a Bryant officer and commenced an investigation.
14. The Bryant police officer then obstructed justice by removing the child from the hospital before a blood test could be performed. The City then covered up one of its officers step-son’s arrest and the commission of a crime.
15. Other male officers have been suspected of criminal conduct like child pornography, yet the City did not terminate them.
16. Then, Defendants fabricated reasons for Plaintiff’s termination.
17. Plaintiff was replaced by a non-disabled person who had not engaged in a protected activity
18. Plaintiff realleges the foregoing as if more fully set out herein.
19. Plaintiff complained to the City about violations of the law, which are matters of public concern and protected activity under the AWPA.
20. Plaintiff participated in an investigation and reported these concerns through her chain of command, which is an appropriate authority under the AWPA.
21. Each Defendant has deprived Plaintiff of her clearly established right to freedom of speech and her right to petition for redress of grievances under the Arkansas Constitution.
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22. Defendants have retaliated against the Plaintiff for the exercise of rights protected under the ACRA, the AWPA, ACA 21-1-503, 16-123-105, and Article 22 of the Arkansas Constitution.
23. The Mayor is a policymaker.
24. So, Plaintiff brings this action against the Defendant Mayor in his official capacity for Declaratory and prospective injunctive relief, the AWPA, and the ACRA.
25. As a result of Defendant’s violation of Plaintiffs State and Federal constitutional rights, Plaintiff has suffered severe mental and emotional distress, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and incurred medicals expenses, both past and in the future.
26. Defendants’ actions have been so egregious so as to warrant the Imposition of punitive damages, as allowed by the Arkansas Civil Rights Act of 1993 against Defendants.
27. Plaintiff realleges the foregoing as if fully setout herein.
28. Plaintiff is a Female with a disability because she is she suffers from a blood disorder.
29. Defendant did not terminate male or employees without known disabilities for circumstances under which Plaintiff was terminated. In fact, other employees had engaged in more serious misconduct, yet have not been fired.
30. Defendant treated employees who had not engaged in a protected activity as severely as they treated Plaintiff.
31. As a result, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant has discriminated against Plaintiff on the basis of her sex in violation of the ACRA and retaliated against her for complaining about sexual harassment.
32. As direct and proximate cause of Defendant’s acts and omissions as alleged herein, Plaintiff has suffered severe mental, emotional, and physical distress, lost wages, lost earning capacity, incurred medical bills that she would not otherwise have incurred, and lost retirement benefits.
33. Defendant’s actions have so egregious so as to justify the imposition of punitive damages in an amount to deter future conduct,
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for compensatory and punitive damages; for back pay; for front pay or reinstatement; a jury trial of all issues so triable; for an injunction requiring Defendant to remove all adverse employment information from Plaintiffs personnel file; for a declaratory judgment that Defendant’s acts and omissions have violated Plaintiffs rights as guaranteed by the Arkansas Constitutions, the AWPA, and ACRA; for a reasonable attorneys’ fee; for costs; and for all other proper relief.
Respectfully Submitted, SUTTER & GILLHAM, P.L.L.C Attorneys at Law
Again, while we don’t have all the details yet, we are working on it and will update. Watch this page at www.mysaline.com/bryant-cc-091823.