The former general manager of the Harborside Event Center has filed a grievance with the city through an attorney, stating the city violated its policies.
The grievance letter, which has a June 12 date, states Rose Rundle was fired without being given opportunity to address the many claims filed against her. It also states firing her goes against what the city’s employee handbook suggests should have been the appropriate discipline for her actions.
William Powell, Rundle’s attorney, requests she be given a fair opportunity to address the allegations through the city’s dispute resolution procedures, in an attempt to promptly solve the matter.
Powell also said firing Rundle has damaged her reputation, her career and employment prospects.
“We intend to supplement this grievance with a point-by-point response to all allegations at the grievance hearing at the City Council,” Powell wrote. “Based upon this petition for a grievance, Ms. Rundle seeks the reversal of the City Manager’s termination, reinstatement, back pay, and compensation in lieu of severance damages or both.”
Rundle was fired last week after an investigation revealed she lived with a subordinate; allowed Andrew Thompson, Harborside’s assistant general manager, to bring his child to work and to use the Family and Medical Leave Act in a flexible manner; and allowed employees to telecommute.
Thompson filed the initial complaint against Rundle. The investigation revealed the relationship between Rundle and Thompson soured after Rundle told Thompson he had to stop bringing his child to work. A city memo states staffers knew Thompson kept his infant son in his office and took the child to meetings.
Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson said Thursday he could not comment on the matter.
On Monday, the employee accused of living with Rundle quit from her job as senior event coordinator at Harborside. Rena Tchekmeian expressed dissatisfaction with the investigation that led to Rundle’s firing in a letter of resignation.
Tchekmeian noted in the letter there was no indication her performance at work was substandard; one of the sustained allegations against Rundle is that employees shared the opinion Tchekmeian did not perform all her duties but was not held accountable by Rundle because the two shared a home.