UHRICHSVILLE - The search is on for a new city services director, with the man who previously held the position stepping down following an internal investigation.
Public records obtained by Tusco TV show the city convened a special committee earlier this year to investigate a sexual harassment claim made against City Services Director Joe Bollon. The investigation wrapped up in April, and on May 20th Bollon handed in his resignation.
The investigation involved claims made by a male street worker that Bollon touched him inappropriately on two separate occasions - one in the summer of 2017 and the other last May. After interviewing the worker and several other individuals, the committee recommended Bollon be dismissed from his position.
Bollon reportedly denied the allegations when questioned by the committee. He said the claims were "baseless" and motivated by an argument.
Bollon was hired in May of 2013. Mayor Rick Dorland says he did an excellent job for the city.
“He was involved in several projects around town. He was my right-hand man for the last three and a half years,” he says. “I didn’t have to go out and tell him to do stuff. He was just all around highly involved in everything going on around town.”
Dorland says he has temporarily taken over the duties associated with the part-time position until he can find someone qualified and willing to take it on.
"I’ve got a couple of people in mind. Nothing is definite yet. I’m doing both jobs temporarily," he says. "I may not find someone that’ll want to just be here for six or seven months or want to put in the time that’s required because we’re busy. We’ve got several projects going on."
The committee also indicates in their report that the worker took his concerns to the mayor last summer but that he did not take them seriously. Dorland told the committee that he thought the man was joking.
City officials received a letter in February from a Cleveland area law firm notifying them of the complaint. The worker told the committee he did not come forward after the first alleged incident because he was afraid he would lose his job.