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County employee accuses board member of workplace bullying

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A longtime Rock Island County employee is accusing a county board member of being a "workplace bully," after he publicly questioned some financial practices, including how much money she made in comp time in 2013.

County Board Executive Assistant Shelly Chapman filed a grievance letter against board member Don Johnston, accusing him of creating a "hostile work environment" for her and other female employees.

Click to read:  Shelly Chapman grievance letter - WARNING - Contains language that may offend some readers

Earlier this month, Johnston questioned a nearly $20,000 supplement paid to Chapman, after she was allowed to cash in 628 hours of comp time she says she accrued in 2013.

Johnston says that money was never approved by the County Board, and he called Chapman's grievance "bizarre."

"It's rather bizarre. I don't know what the heck she's talking about. I rarely talk to the woman. In the first place, isn't it bizarre that a county board member would have to (file a) 'Freedom of Information' (request for) information about the county he represents? In general, it's just crazy," Johnston said.

"It's almost like she's turning in comp time faster than she could use it, and the board had no idea that was going on," Johnston said.

Chapman sent the four-page letter to other board members, Rock Island County States Attorney John McGehee and local media outlets.

She states that Johnston's repeated FOIA requests "add to the hostile work environment and workplace bullying to which I have been subjected," and says if Johnston doesn't take the grievance letter to heart, she may sue.

She also says Johnston started asking for records about her comp time and pay after his girlfriend's daughter was let go as head of Human Resources for the county.

Chapman's total salary for 2013, with the comp time cash-out, totaled about $80,000.

Click to read:  Shelly Chapman grievance letter - WARNING - Contains language that may offend some readers


  • R.I.Voter!

    Sounds like she has something to hide. Anyone can file a FOIA request on me anytime they like. I would never consider any type of legal recourse!! Great job Don Johnston.Keep watch over the county finances the best you can. Don’t let one person who Can’t Understand Normal Thinking slow you down!

  • watchdog

    As a checkpoint in most businesses, any overtime or comp time recorded into payroll must be approved (and sometimes authorized before being worked) by the persons supervisor on the data sheet in writing. Does this not exist for government management? It should be if not. If it does, who is the person who signed off on her overtime and how does this person justify the amount?

  • Bryan C

    Again, how did she accrue that much comp time? Johnston should dare her to sue. He is doing what Rock Island County residents should be doing. Great job Mr . Johnston

  • TIM

    I dont know either of these people but reading that grievance letter makes Shelly Chapman look like a drama queen. Anyone with any type of education would know there is obviously more to the story and she is exaggerating. She reminds me of a girl in school that would always get in fights with people and thought if she called the police first they would believe her.

  • Al

    How, as an executive secretary, can you make 17k less than the county auditor or more than the county treasurer? Who approved her comp time? How did she earn or get that much time in the first place? I’d like that info in a FOIA request.
    From what I understand, she has no formal education of any kind yet, she is being paid more than those she works for.
    She now has the unmitigated gaul to file a grievance because someone is questioning her income. My vote and backing is for those who question fraud. Keep up the good work Mr. JOHNSTON. When will people learn, the money you are swindling is not yours!

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