News Column

Naperville leader reprimanded for 'off-color joke'

June 6, 2014

By Melissa Jenco, Chicago Tribune



June 06--Naperville City Manager Doug Krieger received a verbal reprimand for making an inappropriate joke several months ago, city officials said Thursday.

The city disclosed the incident in announcing an external investigation into allegations against Krieger has wrapped up.

"The only finding of the investigation was the verification of an off-color joke that was promptly and correctly investigated in January," officials said in written statement. "Krieger was given a verbal reprimand at that time and required to complete the City's harassment prevention and diversity awareness training before the end of 2014."

Margo Ely, who was the city's director of legal, human resources and risk management departments at the time, handled the discipline in that case, according to Communications Manager Linda LaCloche. Ely left the city for another job earlier this year.

Krieger, who has been the city manager since late 2008, could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday evening.

The investigation was prompted by a May 2 complaint from a departing Human Resources Department employee that accuses Krieger of "making racially offensive comments." The city hired attorney Terry Ekl to look into that claim.

Most of the three-page letter the former employee sent to the mayor and City Council focuses on the behavior of Human Resources leaders. It details "a string of appalling excuses for HR leadership" over eight years including name calling, smoking marijuana at conferences, bullying a co-worker who the complainant said eventually committed suicide and saying there were no promotional opportunities for women. It does not specify which leaders were responsible for those actions.

The complaint goes on to name two department leaders and accuse them of "inappropriate commentary which is degrading to women and minorities." It cites as examples comments allegedly made about preferring to work with "pretty girls," choosing vendors with male representatives, sexual references and suggestions about the former employee losing weight.

The city is still investigating those claims. One of those employees named in the complaint resigned last month, officials have said. The other has been reassigned, but that move was unrelated, Krieger said in a previous interview. The Tribune is not naming the Human Resources Department leaders in this case because no formal action has been taken.

Deputy City Manager Marcie Schatz is now overseeing the department on an interim basis.

mjenco@tribune.com

Twitter@melissajenco

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(c)2014 the Chicago Tribune

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Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)


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