WASHBURN COUNTY – The investigation into the conduct & behavior of the Washburn County Finance Director, Jane Dvorak, has resulted in a bill to Washburn County in the tens-of-thousands, according to documents obtained by DrydenWire.com via open records request.
The firm of Weld Riley, S.C., via documents, stated that the total bill for their services rendered is $39,834.17. Sources close to the situation say that this is unlikely to be paid by insurance of the County. The firm of Mallory & Zimmerman, S.C. submitted a total bill of $5,644.21; DrydenWire sources say that this has been paid by insurance.
The cost of Ms. Dvorak's paid administrative leave from February 23, 2017, through May 24, 2017, is over $17,000.
In December of 2016, then County Board Supervisor Mike Bobin asked the Personnel Committee to meet with the Finance Committee and discuss in closed session certain concerns Washburn County Department heads and employees had about Ms. Dvorak and her professional relationships with them. Bobin, Chair of Personnel at the time, and Skip Fiedler as Chair of Finance decided to hold a joint meeting of the two committees. Within a week Mr. Mackie canceled that meeting.
Bobin stated to DrydenWire, at the time, that it was his opinion at that time that Ms. Dvorak be put on administrative leave pending an internal investigation, considering that was also "what the Washburn County Employee Manual policy stated."
“Since the meeting was canceled with no good reason, I resigned,”, Bobin said. “Soon after, it was decided to hire outside investigators at great expense to the County taxpayers and 7 months later there has been no action, other than the outside investigators suggesting that Ms. Dvorak be put on administrative leave.”
On January 16, 2017, Washburn County Sheriff Terry Dryden sent an email to all Washburn County Board Members, Department Heads, and media. The email stated Sheriff Dryden's concerns about Ms. Dvorak's work practices, actions, and behaviors, as well as saying that Ms. Dvorak had purported false information to the Finance Committee and to other county employees regarding the Washburn County Sheriff's Office expenditures. Sheriff Dryden also alleged that Ms. Dvorak had utilized confrontational and intimidating communication tactics when interacting with others. Shortly after this email, Ms. Dvorak was put on paid leave, and Weld, Riley & Prenn was to conduct an investigation.
In March 2017, Washburn County engaged the services of outside, third-party, investigators to investigate allegations that various County employees had violated one or more County policies regarding workplace conduct or otherwise engaged in unlawful workplace harassment.
On May 10, DrydenWire.com reported that the investigation was concluded. The investigators found that all unlawful harassment-related allegations were unsubstantiated and that there was no violation of federal or state anti-discrimination or anti-retaliation laws. The County Board will be working to redefine roles, update policies and procedures, and schedule Roles and Responsibility training for the County Board Supervisors.
Ms. Dvorak returned to work shortly thereafter.