Waste Watch Hendersonville TOSHA Investigation
Updated: Wednesday, July 9 2014, 10:42 PM CDT
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Fox 17 gets action with our waste watch reporting. Two fired whistleblowers could soon be back on the job after we exposed the hendersonville city manager who fired them. When former public works employees Loren Perdue and Robert Cox sued Hendersonville under the Whistleblower act, they couldn't wait to hear these words: "On the surface it appears this allegation is true" delivered by Steve Hawkins, a TOSHA Administrator.
At Hendersonville's Board meeting, this investigator from TOSHA.. the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration substantiated the Perdue and Cox's claims.
Robert Cox 00:01:14 It shouldn't have taken an outside entity to come in here and sit there and point out all the safety concerns.
Perdue and Cox, as we reported in a series of waste watch reports... (show bald tires) sued after they say they were fired for reporting safety concerns like bald tires ( pic of the latch here 3/7/14 Hendersonville Whistleblower) unlatched trailers and (show wreck pic ) wrecks by an unqualified employee dating then public works director Jerry Horton (take this preproduced graphic from the previous package as is 3/7/14 Hendersonville Whistleblower)) who admitted he "assisted her" in completing the job application---
(show all the credit card receipts and clothing from previous package 2/5/14 Waste Watch Hendersonville Jerry Horton piece ) all the while they say refusing to fix these problems and using his city issued credit card for personal purchases like pants, hats and shirts...
As Fox 17 first reported last week.. (show horton's pic again here) Jerry Horton has now been fired as a result.
Roland Mumford / Attorney 23:34:12 why wasn't the lawsuit sufficient ? why weren't the employees complaints sufficient? or that of citizens.. why did it take tosha. the tn occ safety administration health adm to do it 23;34:22 that is the main question.
Mark Skidmore / Hville Alderman 23:54:34 because of the legalities of the allegations we had to make sure everything was done properly and correctly and that's why I think it took this long to do it ---- unfortunately. 23;54:45
Roland Mumford / Attorney 23:35:02 there was obstruction and they were giving false excuses to tosha to have employees interviewed and the tosha investigator I know for a fact had to push and push and push against stonewalling by the city attorney and by the mayor and by other city officials to get to the truth.. but finally the investigator with tosha got to the truth 23;35:28
(1/30/14 WW Hendersonville (show a montage of me different days.. different clothes walking up or at front desk)
) As I outlined in previous reports... Fox 17 too experienced that same stonewalling..
Nat: I'm SC w/ Fox 17... I'd like to see Jerry Horton please.
On more than six occasions over several weeks this year
Stacy @ city hall 15;17:03 What about the mayor... anybody else? No
I too tried to get answers to questionable purchases, alleged misspent money and overlooked safety violations...
Stacy 15;17:05 Anybody else here city manager? No
23;48:34 ay... (voting)
But in this unanimous vote, Hendersonville voted to change course. After (show Horton pic) firing Horton, and in an effort to avoid the costly lawsuits... they decided to hire back Cox and Perdue with back pay... if they drop their litigation.
23:57:15 I'm always concerned about taxpayer money and what cost it takes especially in litigation .. it's so expensive these days.
23;59:23 I'm pleased the city is stepping up and actually trying to go in the right direction 23;59:29
The mayor of hendersonville declined to comment.
Hendersonville government also voted to offer jobs back to other employees who were demoted, intimidated or quit because of retaliation by former public works director jerry horton.