Your boss is watching porn. What would you do? Ask Ferris city employees what they did…

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By Rita Cook / The Ellis County Press

(Warning – Graphic Details)

FERRIS – When an employee valuing his or her job is so worried about being terminated that conversations are routinely recorded for self-protection, when a government office is split between the south and north cliques, when the city manager is watching porn and sending the city secretary photos she requested of escorts in Las Vegas – well, you know there is a problem.

When one of the people in one of the cliques is the city manager who has the power to hire and fire at will – and does so – then the environment in an office is less than what a city would hope for at city hall.

When the findings are the same city manager is watching pornography on city computers and sending inappropriate photos from his personal phone – for which he gets a stipend – then the problem has then escalated to an improper level of conduct.

This is not a movie script.

It’s the facts taking place right now at Ferris City Hall.

It is a diverse group of employees involved in the drama, and a 500-page investigative report released May 10 by the Bowman Group out of Arlington has concluded the findings listed above and a litany of other indiscretions as well.

As the report is unraveled and the south and north cliques revealed, it has led some to be scared for their job or what Bill Jordan will do – and rightly so.

The main topic of the report is Jordan’s inappropriate sexual conduct such as masturbation innuendoes that included female employees in his clique, and sexual innuendoes to employees who were in the other clique – who were more than disapproving.

However, it is still not clear who the chain of command to report sexual harassment to is in Ferris.  It should be the city manager, but what happens when the charges are against the very person you need to report the charges to?

Jordan alleged in the report he believed certain complaints were a result of those concerns expressed to Ferris Economic Development Director Sean Overeynder, that Ferris Police Chief Eddie Salazar and Ferris Police Detective Walter “Gator” Weiss were working together to oust him as city manager.

“By exercising poor judgment and speaking to someone he knew was a friend and peer of the police chief, Jordan himself created his concern about motive,” the report went on to reveal. 

“This is further evidence of a dysfunctional management style. Mr. Jordan may have had valid concerns, but severely deficient management control and professional leadership undermines the legitimacy of any concerns he brings forward.

“This is especially detrimental to the welfare of the City if any of his concerns about the police department are valid.”

The report states Salazar and Weiss, identified a motive to protect an officer they felt was being targeted by the mayor, may have partially driven some of the dysfunctionality due to their asking leading questions and making comments about their personal opinion of the situation.

It was also noted in the report Salazar might have been the appropriate person to report the sexual harassment charges to, but was not conclusive as noted in the personnel policy.

The report went on to indicate Jordan, who is responsible for the operations of the office, significantly contributed and supported the dysfunctional office environment.

“He socialized and participated in horseplay with those in the south clique, potentially empowering and polarizing the office. According to testimony from a north clique member, Jordan has had limited communication with north clique members for several months and this would be consistent with behavior he has reported himself in regard to not speaking with Chelcee Moore in two years.”

The report also included information about Ferris City Secretary Callie Green was willing to perjure herself during her deposed testimony under oath to protect Jordan.

“Green, under oath in testimony, denied in at least two questions knowledge about what information was contained in the complaint,” the report revealed. 

“Moreover, she denied seeing Jordan’s response.

“But, after she was informed of the criminal ramifications of lying under oath, Green admitted she knew of three specific allegations and Jordan had read to her parts of his response.

“The fact Jordan spoke to these potential witnesses about the specific alleged violations undermines the veracity of their testimony.

“Testimony revealed throughout Bill Jordan’s short tenure with the city of Ferris and during both management executive assignments, he has exercised poor judgment and demonstrated repeated instances of behaving inappropriately despite correction,” the report indicated. 

“Although not a part of this investigation, two witnesses retold accounts of Jordan acting inappropriately with a peer director during a retreat in Glen Rose while he was the Building Official.

“During incident he was reported to have repeatedly called a female peer while he was in his hotel room and asked her to assist him out of the bathtub despite male coworkers being available, if truly needed.

“Furthermore, while still the Building Official Jordan sent a video a witness described as pornography and Jordan downplayed as nudity to a lower ranking city employee. Despite both being off duty at the time, the incident showed poor judgment and a consistent theme in Mr. Jordan’s conduct.”

The report indicated Jordan’s testimony during the findings for the report demonstrated a lack of recognition or appreciation for the seriousness of his conduct and of his subordinates. Jordan testified he intentionally sought to establish an office environment was not, “stuffy,” and demarked a different level of professionalism with the public than was expected with other employees.

He also testified he considers some comments made between two people acceptable as long as others who may be offended don’t hear the conversation.

It was also noted repeated testimony indicated subordinates advised Jordan of his misconduct over an extended period, yet he repeatedly re-offended.

“The environment during his tenure is characterized with periodic, if not frequent, sexually suggestive comments, insults, and innuendo and allowing the same behavior from subordinates to go uncorrected.

“It is apparent despite efforts to manage the fiscal affairs of the City of Ferris, Bill Jordan has lost management control of the City work environment and completely compromised his ability to lead and discipline his staff,” the report stated.

Other allegations go on to offer evidence perhaps the Ferris City Council did not conduct business as they should have either.

Per City of Ferris Personnel Policy, if the city manager is accused of sexual harassment, the City Council will conduct the investigation into the allegation.

“One City Council member cannot, without formal Council authorization, legally act on behalf of the governing body,” the report stated. 

“Moreover, the City Council can only act during meetings which must be posted a minimum of 72 hours in advance. The police chief’s assertion Council Member Swafford authorized him or his department to conduct a preliminary investigation into initial allegations and Mayor Pro-Tem Barrett authorized a more in-depth investigation on its face implicates the council members in taking actions inconsistent with their legal authority.

“If a council member authorizes an action reserved for the Council, he circumvents the open meetings law.”

There were many other lewd comments and reports in the Bowman Report about sexual misconduct and discussion, one happened in January of this year was in regard to Brittany Spears and it stated, “In the month of January 2018, City Manager Bill Jordan, in the offices of the City Hall of the City of Ferris, used inappropriate behavior and language when Bill Jordan verbalized and said to City of Ferris employee Callie Green words to the effect, ‘you know how you can make my day better? Set it up so I can stick my dick in Brittany Spears.’

“This utterance was made in the presence of city employee Callie Green, city Employee/Fire Chief David Petricca, and city employee Sean Overeyuder.”

The report indicated Jordan had discussed this allegation with potential witnesses Green and Petricca prior to the interview. Petricca testified the alleged conversation did not occur.

Green testified Jordan had not discussed Britney Spears in the office. Jordan testified he did not say what was alleged, but he may have said something about if Britney Spears was there he would do something.

He testified he did not say anything crude as was alleged.

The report indicted follow-up areas needed to be considered including misconduct by Jordan involving sexual harassment and oppression; false statements under oath and sexually suggestive comments by Green; inappropriate behavior by Weiss and Salazar; fraudulent record keeping and sexual comments by Ferris employee Misty MacDonald; inappropriate behavior by Petricca and inappropriate actions taken by councilmembers Jim Swafford and Rick Barrett.

Many actions were violating the Texas Penal Code and several violating Ferris’ personnel policy.

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