Just a brief (if you can call anything brief from 57 pages) of Stacy Tebo’s Appeal against the decisions made by the Federal Judge in favor of the City of DeBary and Leo Daniel Parrott. Obviously Stacy worked on this redundant scattered mess for days, most likely on White Springs’ payroll. It is about as scattered as her EEOC complaint and I cannot imagine that her Counsel, Martha A. Chapman would have written such a display of redundancy, no facts, no law, but definite pounding on the Table.
First Stacy Tebo is requesting oral argument “whether the law regarding the honest belief of the decision maker applies to a decision maker who is the one accused of acting in a discriminatory and retaliatory manner” WHAT?
STATEMENTS OF THE CASE:
Tebo asserted claims against the City for sex discrimination and retaliation
Tebo asserted a claim against Parrott for “unequal treatment” (The City and Parrott denied the allegations)
The City and Parrott filed a Motion for Summary Judgment seeking dismissal of the case arguing Tebo was terminated for insubordination and acts of disloyalty, not due to discrimination or retaliation which Tebo opposed their motion
The District judge issued an order granting the summary judgment and entering judgment in favor of the City and Parrott.
Tebo then filed her notice of appeal on September 7, 2018
STATEMENTS OF FACTS
A. Tebo’s Employment
Tebo was hired as City Clerk on April 11, 2005
Tebo was supervised by the City’s Finance Director
In 2010 Parrott was hired as the City Manager and became Tebo’s direct supervisor
Tebo worked under Parrott’s supervision until her termination on May 17, 2015
B. Parrott’s Sexist Remarks and Tebo’s Complaints to City Council
Tebo was subjected to ongoing and pervasive sexist remarks by Parrott
Parrott said to Tebo and the Assistant City Manager “I’m not going to hire a woman because we got too much estrogen upstairs…We need to hire a man. You guys are too emotional” THAT’S A FACT – SEEN IT FOR MYSELF-TEBO IS WAY TOO EMOTIONAL – CAN’T BLAME PARROTT
Tebo was told by Seelbinder, Parrot after interviewing candidates for Tebo’s position said he was not satisfied with the applicants and didn’t want to hire another woman. Seelbinder put off retirement for a year. MORE HEARSAY HE SAID SHE SAID – PARROT ULTIMATELY REPLACED SEELBINDER WITH A WOMAN
Parrot told Tebo and Blissett “you know, you guys are just bitches and that’s why everybody downstairs hates working here” APPARENTLY NO ONE WISHED TO WORK WITH TEBO
Tebo overheard Parrott telling Blissett “You’re like the county whore; always running around the county.” THIS DID NOT APPLY TO TEBO SO WHY DID SHE BRING IT UP
The City’s Personnel Manual required Tebo report discrimination to her supervisor/and or the City Manager.
Tebo complained about Parrott’s conduct to him with no avail
When Tebo didn’t verbalize her disdain she gave Parrott dirty looks so he would know she was not pleased with his dialogue.
Only the City Council was above Parrott but the Personnel Manual did not provide any mechanism for employees to complain about the City Manager
Tebo complained to Two Councilors Hunt and Carson regarding Parrott’s statement he did not want to hire a woman to replace Seelbinder and his sexist comments – REALLY AND HOW DID THAT AFFECT TEBO?
Tebo also complained to Councilman Nick Koval in December 2013.
Tebo claims she complained to Parrott on numerous occasions about his comments WHICH AGAIN THESE COMMENTS DID NOT AFFECT TEBO
Childhood Friends and Councilors Carson and Hunt reported to Parrot that Tebo complained to them.
Assistant Manager Blissett told Parrott she had been approached by several members of the Council about Tebo complaining to them out of “frustration”.
Tebo was upset a resolution did not contain her name in December 2013 because she always attests the Mayor’s signature.
Tebo feared her job was in jeopardy and Parrott told Tebo not to “get paranoid” and explained it was a mistake.
Tebo doubted Parrott’s explanation and complained to Koval who called the City Attorney as to why Tebo’s name was not included on the Resolution and was told it was Parrott’s instruction to the attorney.
When Koval called Parrott, he maintained “one of the girls” at the City attorney’s office had “messed the resolution up.
Koval told Parrott that “it better be a mistake and nothing better happen to Tebo”.
November 2014 Parrot confronted Tebo about her lack of loyalty and instructed her to desist from complaining about him to the City Council.
Tebo agreed not to complain about him to City Council BUT SHE LIED AND DIDN’T KEEP HER PROMISE.
Parrot made no negative statements in Tebo’s 2013 Performance Evaluation despite he was aware of her complaints to Carson and Hunt.
C. Tebo’s Involvement with Kabbas’ Complaint of Sexual Harassment
October 2013, an admin to Parks and Recreation Director John Fletcher notified the City she would be resigning from her position in January 2014.
Tebo provided Kabbas with an Employee Exit Interview
Kabbas resigned January 10, 2014
That evening Kabbas, Tebo and co-worker Annette Hatch met at a restaurant
Kabbas told them Fletcher said “between you and me, I want to thank you for wearing that boobie shirt today”.
Tebo asked Hatch ad Hammock if they heard Fletcher say anything inappropriate and both women responded in the negative.
On or about January 29 2014, Kabbas returned to the office to give Tebo her completed interview form.
Kabbas said she had a good work experience but explained some inappropriate comments made by supervisors made her uncomfortable sometime.
When Tebo gave Parrot the Interview form, she told him she interviewed Hammock and Hatch, but they had nothing to report.
Parrott reviewed the complaint which he said was too vague as she failed to identify the supervisor(s) who made the inappropriate comments.
Tebo asked and Parrot emphatically forbade Tebo to contact Kabbas to get further information.
Parrott told Tebo it was his responsibility to investigate claims of sexual harassment and Tebo’s involvement was over.
In February 2014, Kabbas came to Tebo’s office to pick up paperwork required by her new employer.
Kabbas asked Tebo if anything had been done about her complaint and Tebo said Parrott didn’t think her complaint was specific enough.
Kabbas then amended the Interview form which Tebo scanned and sent to Parrott. Kabbas reported she told four of her female co-workers about Fletcher’s sexist comments to her. APPARENTLY A ONE TIME COMMENT WAS NOT THAT IMPORTANT FOR THE CO-WORKERS TO CONSTRUE DISCRIMINATORY – AGAIN THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH TEBO
Parrott assigned Blissett the responsibility of investigating Kabbas’ complaint but never contacted Kabbas.
February 17, 2014, Fletcher denied Kabbas’ accusations to Blissett.
On March 6, 2014 Parrott conducted an investigation and asked all females who worked around Fletcher if they heard or seen anything inappropriate.
Parrott found no proof of misconduct on Fletcher’s part but neither Blissett nor Parrott ever interviewed Kabbas. NOTE THIS SITUATION HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH TEBO AND SHE WAS UPSET THE DECISION WAS BASED ON FLETCHER’S DENIAL.
Once the interviews concluded, Parrott revoked Tebo’s HR responsibilities and reassigned them to Blissett. IT WAS OBVIOUS TEBO DID NOT UNDERSTAND HER RESPONSIBILITIES AS HUMAN RESOURCES.
Blisset however testified that Parrott did this as a “punishment” to Tebo. HE SHOULD HAVE BECAUSE IT WAS OBVIOUS TEBO DID NOT KNOW WHAT SHE WAS DOING.
D. Tebo’s 2014 Performance Evaluation
Between 2011 and 2014, Parrott assessed Tebo’s work performance using a standardized Employee Performance Evaluation form and gave Tebo a rating of “Exceeds Expectations” in all performance categories.
In Parrot’s draft of Tebo’s 2014 evaluation, he lowered Tebo’s ratings, assigned her a rating of “Meets Expectations” in three categories (Productivity, Dependability and Employee/Public Relations). He gave Tebo a rating of “Exceeds Expectations” in the remaining three categories “Knowledge of Work, Quality of Work, and Work Habits.
Parrot’s complaint of Dependability related to her expressions of dissatisfaction and critique of other employees to individual council members”
Tebo told Parrott she deserved high ratings in every performance category and did not appreciate some of the comments made in Parrot’s draft of the 2014 Evaluation in a meeting she called with Blissett and Parrot regarding the 2014 Evaluation.
Parrot voiced his displeasure with Tebo complaining about him to City Council and he warned Tebo he could fire her whenever he wanted and demanded she stop complaining about him to City Council.
Parrot said “I don’t know what you want from me. I didn’t want to hire a woman, but I did. Liz is here now so you should both be happy” (Liz replaced the finance director Jimmie Seelbinder).
Parrot delayed the replacement because he did not want to hire anymore women because “there’s too much estrogen upstairs.”.
Tebo also related Parrot’s sexist statements to several council members, including repeated statements he didn’t want to have women hired to replace Seelbinder.
Tebo reports Parrott discussed with hostility his displeasure at her speaking with council members about him and referred to Tebo as too emotional and catty. THAT APPEARS TO BE THE TRUTH AND I WOULD HAVE DONE WHAT PARROTT DID. CAN’T UNDERSTAND HOW PARROT GAVE HER A GOOD RATINGIN WORK HABITS, BECAUSE ALL SHE SEEMED TO DO IS CAUSE PROBLEMS AMONG EVERYONE INVOLVED WITH THE CITY. THAT IS NOT A PERSON WHO SHOULD BE IN H.R.
E. The Pay Study and the City’s Resulting Compensation Plan
An outside firm conducted a pay study which Parrot was responsible for the final product and plan. Tebo complained Parrott’s pay implementation plan did not mirror the original report”
Blissett testified that Parrot’s pay plan yielded disparity in pay for genders across the board.
When the plan went into effect in January 2015, all employees received some form of pay increase; females receiving an average of 2.13% while male employee received an average pay raise of 12.54%. Tebo received a pay raise of 1.08%. REMEMBER TEBO HAD RECEIVED SUBSTANTIAL INCREASES FROM PARROT THAT OTHERS NEVER RECEIVED.
Blissett said she was present when Parrot personally and arbitrarily reduced Tebo two steps below any other department head BECAUSE SHE NO LONGER HANDLED HR AND BARELY COULD HANDLE HER CLERK POSITION.
Due to already being near the top of the salary range in the pay grade to which she was assigned, Tebo would have had little opportunity for subsequent pay increases.
F. Melanie Martinez’s Complaint of Sex Discrimination
In February 2015 Martinez complained to the City’s Finance Director that her supervisor Fletcher made inappropriate sexual innuendos and intimidated her.
The complaint was brought to Parrott by Bauer and Blissett who was HR. Parrott initially told Blissett that this was a he said she said situation and he had no intention of doing anything about it.
Blissett said doing nothing would create an environment of intimidation ad reminded Parrott that Kabbas complained about Fletcher.
Blissett explained there was a strong perception that male and female employees were treated differently (BUT YOU WILL RECALL IN STACY’S COMPLAINTS BEFORE FLETCHER TREATED HIS MEN POORLY IN THE COMMENTS RANK HAS ITS PRIVILEGES..SO FLETCHER WAS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY MANAGER IN MY OPINION)
Parrott and the City characterized Martinez’s complaint instead as a complaint “not of sexual harassment” but that she was being unfairly assigned duties, excessively criticized and not made to feel part of the team. POOR MANAGEMENT OF OTHER EMPLOYEES IS NOT DISCRIMINATION TO TEBO
Martinez felt threatened because Fletcher had questioned her about what she had said and warned her not to “air her dirty laundry” and that she must stay loyal to him.
Blissett wrote a memo to Parrott about her concern that he was not going to investigate Martinez’s complaint.
March 6, 2015 Parrott and Tebo interviewed Martinez about her complaints about Fletcher. Martinez said Fletcher commented” how’s your ass?” and she was scared of Fletcher and didn’t want to lose her job.
After the meeting Parrott told Tebo he was going to lay John Fletcher off.
G. Blissett’s EEOC Charge of Gender Discrimination and her Layoff.
March 6, 2015 Blissett filed a Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC
March 9, 2015, Parrott informed Blissett that he was eliminating her position due to budget cuts.
H. Tebo’s Informal EEOC Complaint
March 16, 2015 Tebo hand-delivered a letter she had sent to the EEOC to Parrot stating he had discriminated against her because of her gender.
Tebo uses this designation for her letter to the EEOC as not a formal Charge of Discrimination, even though City and Parrot referred to it as one.
The EEOC logged it as “Intake Mail” and distinguished it from her later filed formal EEOC Charge of Discrimination.
The City referred t this as an EEOC Charge to Tebo removing her duties as custodian of records which was drafted by a lawyer for Parrott.
I. Parrott’s Demand to See All Documents Produced to Maguire.
March 9, 2015, City resident Maguire made a public records request for Parrot’s e-mails following the termination of assistant City manager Blissett.
Tebo tried to send Maguire the emails but Maguire’s email service provider rejected them.
Frankton advised Tebo to split up the emails and start sending them to Mcquire.
March 17, 2015- day after Tebo presented Parrott with her informal EEOC Complaint, Parrot requested Tebo provide him with all emails she sent to Maguire.
One week later, Tebo sent Parrott four separate emails containing 101 attachment but Parrott was skeptical that Tebo had not sent him everything.
Parrott asked Frankton to access the City’s Barracuda audit log and print what Tebo had sent and when she sent it.
He compared the emails Tebo provided to him with those she sent to Maguire.
There were some significant differences and a lot of emails and attachments were missing, according to Parrott.
The audit purportedly showed Tebo sent Emails to Maguire on March 13th, March 17th, March 19th and March 20th, with a total of 131 attachments.
Parrott concluded Tebo made a deliberate attempt to “sanitize” the emails she chose to send him
Tebo claims Parrott was mistaken in his belief since on March 13th Maguire did not receive any of the emails she sent to him.
Tebo admits that she did get “confused as to what (she) had sent…what (she) hadn’t sent and what (she) …forwarded but she asserts that she provided Parrott with a complete set of emails.
The City and Parrot failed to retain the audit.
J. Tebo’s Discussion with the Mayor after her Informal EEOC Complaint
March 18,2015 Tebo informed Mayor Clint Johnson she was leaving work for the night.
Mayor Johnson asked Tebo how to gain access to the City’s message archiver because he wanted to know what happened between Blissett and Parrott.
Tebo explained how to gain access but that the emails would not tell him what happened between Blissett and Parrott. (SINCE WHEN DOES AN EMPLOYEE PROVIDE ACCESS TO A COUNCILOR WHO WAS NOT GIVEN PERMISSION TO ACCESS THE CITY ARCHIVER?)
Tebo advised the Mayor that the archiver captured everything that came in but that there was one e-mail sh knew had an attachment she couldn’t find, so she didn’t but that she had total faith in the archiver.
Parrott had already informed the Mayor that Tebo had filed a complaint with the EEOC.
Former Councilman Koval says the Mayor was “adamant that Parrott needed to go” in a conversation they had in October 2014.
The Mayor asked Tebo how a councilwoman would vote on Parrott’s termination.
Tebo said she didn’t know but the Councilwoman was always supportive of Parrott.
He then asked Tebo how she thought a Councilman wold vote and Tebo responded she didn’t know.
On March 19, 2015, Parrot stated the Mayor told him that Tebo had approached him in his office, raised the topic of terminating him and discussed how members of the City Council might vote.
Parrott claimed the Mayor told him that Tebo had: (1) inappropriately accessed emails belonging to Parrott and other members of City Council to look for unflattering information; and (2) accused Parrott of erasing an email that she could not find.
Tebo denies all of these accusation. FROM OUR EXPERIENCE IN WHITE SPRINGS, I WOULD BELIEVE THE MAYOR AND COUNCILORS OF THE CITY BEFORE I WOULD BELIEVE TEBO.
K Removal of Tebo’s Duties as Custodian of Records, due to her Informal EEOC Complaint.
I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF AN INFORMAL EEOC COMPLAINT AND IT HAS ONLY BEEN MENTIONED IN THE APPEAL.
Parrott then sent Tebo an email notifying her she would not longer serve as custodian of records for the City because she had filed a charge of gender discrimination with the EEOC I WOULD HAVE THOUGHT SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN REMOVED AS CUSTODIAN OF RECORDS FOR ACCESSING PARROTS INFORMATION AND PROVIDING THE INFORMATION TO THE MAYOR. THAT IS MORE LOGICAL THAN WHAT SHE IS STATING.
Parrott did write that it came to his attention that Tebo had been accessing his email correspondence and the Mayor’s and Council Members’ email correspondence through the City’s computer system.
He further advised her duties do not entail these types of activities she is engaging in in the City’s Charter.
Parrot stated Blissett recently filed gender discrimination with the EEOC charges against the city, there has been a hold placed on certain public records in light of the litigation in place and that is why Tebo was unable to access these emails. And then he advised her she was no longer the records custodian for the City’s records.
Tebo denied inappropriately accessing any emails. OF COURSE SHE DID.
L. Tebo’s Removal as City Clerk after her Informal EEOC Complaint
April 1, 2015 Councilman Rick Dwyer in executive session which discussed Tebo’s EEOC Charge, appointed Parrott as City Clerk in accordance with the City Charter. The motion was seconded by Councilwoman Handy-Peters and passed unanimously.
The next day Tebo phoned Dwyer to why he made the motion to appoint Parrott as City Clerk.
Dwyer said he couldn’t answer because it was addressed in executive session.
Dwyer asked her if she had asked Parrott and she said she had not.
Dwyer said Parrot and Tebo could discuss the matter with a third party such as the City attorney, but Tebo rejected the idea because of the cost to the City. I DOUBT IF THAT IS THE REAL REASON…TEBO DOESN’T CARE WHAT THE COSTS MAY BE, ONLY THAT SHE GETS HER DUE.
Dwyer then emailed Parrot and told him Tebo had called and attempted to discuss the reason for his motion. Parrott also claims that Dwyer said he could not discuss the issue and Tebo became insistent on trying to get the information out of him and it made him feel uncomfortable.
Parrott testified there had been no discussions of eliminating the position of City Clerk until after Tebo filed her Informaal EEOC Complaint
M. Tebo’s Termination
April 17, 2015, Parrot notified Tebo, by letter, that he was terminating her employment Effective May 17, 2015
Between April 17, 2015 and May 17, 2015, Tebo was suspended with pay.
As grounds for her Termination, it was stated Tebo had violated several provisions of the Personnel Policy by (failure to comply with Parrot’s requests to send him all the Maguire emails; approaching the Mayor and holding an inappropriate discussion where she gave an opinion on how each Councilor would vote to terminate Parrott and that she could convince Councilman Carson to vote to terminate Parrott.
It also stated she inappropriately searched Parrot’s emails, opined that Parrott had erased an email she couldn’t find, untruthfully stated that Parrott had previously attempted to fire her, but the Council prevented it; failing to tell Parrott that she investigated Kabbas’ complaint and by attempting to inappropriate influence Hatch to make negative comments about Fletcher, and telephoning Councilman Dwyer and attempting to discuss and determine the reason for his motion to appoint Parrott as City Clerk.
April 24, 2015, Parrott sent Tebo an addendum to the Termination letter, stating she was also being terminated for violating Personnel Policy by creating an unauthorized and private email address on the City’s behalf – Tebo blamed it on Frankton the IT person telling her how to handle electronic transfers of large documents and Drop Box and Google Drive which she said she discussed with Parrott.
Subsequent to receiving the initial Termination Letter, on April 23, 2015, Tebo filed an official charge of discrimination with the EEOC.
On May 16, 2015 Tebo submitted a letter in response to the Termination Letter and Addendum, proving her explanations on each of the bases cited for her termination.
N. Additional Evidence of Pretext
March of 2014, Parrot turned the Kabbas complaint about Fletcher into an investigation of Tebo, which ultimately resulted in Parrott removing the HR responsibilities from Tebo on March 27, 2014.
Parrott removed Blissett from directly supervising Fletcher by making all department heads report directly to him.
May of 2014, Parrott tried to get Blissett to terminate Tebo, saying that it would help Blissett in becoming City Manager when he retired.
In May of 2014, Parrott tried to get Blissett to terminate Tebo saying it would help Blissett in becoming City Manager when he retired.
Blissett refused as she had no basis to terminate Tebo’s employment and Parrott called her a “bitch” and told her Tebo was “continually going behind his back to council members” and since Blissett would not take care of his “Stacy problem”, he would have to “make other plans”.
In March 2015, in response to the Blissett EEOC, Fletcher prepared a memo stating Blissett created a “hostile work environment” for him.
Fletcher said Blissett called in employees of his without notice to him trying to “drum up negative information”
Fletcher conveyed that despite the complaints made against him by Kabbas and Martinez, he never received any form of disciplinary action.