Juvenile center co-director says he was fired

The co-director of the Gary E. Miller Children’s Justice Center says he was fired over the weekend after having been placed on paid leave in June.

“I won’t be coming back,” Bill Alexander said when contacted by phone on Monday.

The employment of Alexander was the subject of a 1-hour, 45-minute executive session that included the Canadian County commissioners, Associate Judge Bob Hughey and the county’s legal team.

Hughey, who handles the majority of juvenile cases, is based at the children’s justice center east of El Reno.

He was Alexander’s supervisor and was responsible for making the decision about Alexander’s future with the county.

Alexander said he was contacted over the weekend and informed that he would not be returning to the agency.

“I hate that because it is a wonderful place. It does great things for kids and families,” Alexander said.

Hughey did not return calls seeking comment about Alexander’s termination.

Alexander has been on paid leave since early June when a former employee filed a harassment complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Alexander said the complaint is not true.

“It is fictitious. It did not happen. They have learned that as well, the county has. They have figured out that it is false, and I am very, very confident that the EEOC will find I am not guilty of any of the discrimination that was listed in the EEOC complaint,” Alexander said.

“I am also confident the county will win the case because there is nothing to it … unless the county intentionally tries to lose it,” he said.

County Commissioner Marc Hader, who is chairman of the board of commissioners, did not confirm that Alexander had been terminated, only saying the county would release a statement later.

Alexander said he did make a mistake, but had previously been disciplined for his actions.

However, he felt that mistake was why he was fired.

Alexander would not go into detail about the incident.

The former co-director did question why the commissioners were involved in his employment since it was a personnel matter at the justice center. Alexander said they had never before been involved in such a matter.

“The commissioners treated me as if I were guilty. They suspended me. They felt I was guilty and never gave a second thought I might not be guilty. Now, they do an investigation and don’t come up with anything,” he said.

Alexander claims the commissioners used the old incident as cause for his dismissal.

Alexander also questioned whether the commissioners used a private investigator to look into a 2016 sales tax election that would have allowed a county sales tax to be used for other reasons than the justice center.

“The people of the county need to be asking a lot of questions about why I have been sitting at home for 16 weeks and then they hire an outside investigator…. It has been done illegally, and I believe in violation of the open meeting act,” he said.

Alexander said the Laflin Group was hired to conduct an investigation into allegations of wrongdoing at the justice center, but actually started asking employees about the 2016 election.

“That let me know what it was about all along. This was about the election,” he said.

He said the agenda item indicated the contract was for the investigation into the EEOC complaint. It did not include looking into the election and other aspects of the county.

“They didn’t want the people of the county to know they were financing their battle with the justice center at taxpayer’s expense,” he said.

The agenda does not include any item other than the investigation of the EEOC complaint.

The contract with Laflin does list political intimidation as one of the areas that Laflin was to review when talking to employees.

County Commissioner Marc Hader, who is chairman of the board of commissioners, said that the contract with Laflin does include an investigation into political intimidation, as well as other things like sexual harassment and wrongful terminations at the justice center.

Hader said the contract was prepared by then-assistant district attorney Paul Hesse.

Hesse is now the county’s district judge.

Hader said the county stands by its actions.

Alexander has worked at the justice center twice. Initially, he worked from its inception in 1999 until 2007. He returned in 2011 as the assistant facilities director. Alexander was promoted to co-director in 2012.

He was sharing duties with Dr. Bill Sharp.

“I’m not perfect. I’m not saying I never made mistakes, but that EEOC complaint is bogus,” he said.

Alexander said he is contemplating his next move. He has been in contact with an attorney to determine his options.

“I didn’t want to work anywhere else. I wanted to retire from that place,” he said.

3 Comments

  1. Anonymous on October 4, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    Bill Alexander is far from innocent. He was hired without his job being posted or interviews done at all which is a huge violation of HR policies and policies held by the county. He instigated questionable and at times illegal activities at the center which affected not only the employees but also the children receiving services. He secretly recorded and videoed employees. He held mandatory meetings for employees at 4:45pm and when 5:00 hit he would start talking about polical issues and the election. He said anyone could leave but everyone knew better than to make a move. That is the reason they are asking about the election in the investigation. There is no doubt he was involved in sexual harassment issues it would be the first time. Everything the man did was underhanded and slimy.

  2. AnonymousToo on October 6, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    The way his job was acquired, posted, etc. whether in violation or not (would have to see the county policies to determine) would not be a wrongful doing on HIS part, would it? Can you please give an explanation as to how “He instigated questionable and at times illegal activities at the center which affected not only the employees but also the children receiving services?” Just curious. Many employers secretly record and video employees…this is nothing new, nor is it a break in the law. Employers can actually use videotaping in companies that deal with the public and have you read the policies in depth? They’re on the shared network…or wait were the policies on surveillance removed those removed? They can also read everything you write, google, search, etc. on any company owned device/server. Whike there are somw instances this can be illegal and go against employee provacy rights, if policies are in place and if the videotaping is done in the right context, it may have been completely legal. What did he record exactly? Did you see it? You said yourself, “He said anyone could leave.” Get up and leave! If it’s 5:00 and you worked your required shift and are given the go ahead to leave, do it. He didn’t intimidate the employees into making a decision on the election. He simply stated facts and the truth. He was very dedicated to the center and helping those kids. It’s unfortunate that many have had their heads filled with nonsense about this man. He was a damn good boss who would have your back and also would tell you like it is. It takes a boss such as this to be a good leader, to encourage, and to coach and be a mentor….to help develop employees and not just turn your nose up at them and talk shit behind their backs because you don’t have the balls to address an issue with them properly. He was a good boss and he did a good job of investing his heart and soul into that place. He’s not innocent. He may have been flirtatious to a degree…but who is perfect? Does it make someone slime to be attracted to someone….thats human nature. Are we criminals for flirting…because i could go rounds with the countless times ive seen flirting from others. You have to let the person know something bothers you If you don’t like it. For God’s sake stop being a follower and learn how to speak up. If you felt threatened by his actions, intimidated, or sexually harassed in any way, it was your job to let it be known at that point in time so the actions could be corrected. But you didn’t did you? You waited til one brave little toaster gets the nerve to say she was treated unfairly because she didn’t use her badge as she was informed to do so on repeated occasions to go get your chance to claim mistreatment with the hopes that maybe, just maybe, something good will come out of this for you. I know that a lot of people who were fired or reprimanded came out of the woodworks on this one. And a lot of them deserved to be let go. Just saying. He cared about the center, the children, Canadian County, and his employees who invested their work towards the same goals and visions he shared for the center. He was right on a lot of things. So go take a look on the mirror and ask yourself how perfect you are, because I highly doubt you are! Oklahoma is an at will employer state, meaning that they can let you go for a good reasom, a bad reason, or any reason at all as long as it is not as a means of discrimination or retaliation due to reporting negligence that involves the public’s interest. Take special note of those words. Bill never discriminated. In fact, he was very diverse and multiculturally accepting.

  3. Thomas on October 16, 2020 at 9:38 am

    Bill is an amazing director. All of this is not right. He would have never been brought back and then promoted if he wasnt the right person for this job. Canadian county is just all about who you know now days

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