Underhill censured for alleged harassment (podcast)

At the end of last night’s county commission meeting, County Attorney Alison Rogers notified the board that she had been threatened by District 2 Commissioner Doug Underhill.

“I have certainly had my share of very challenging conversations with my bosses, some of them more challenging than others, but I have never felt the need to come to you with a complaint,” Rogers said. “However, unfortunately, last week, I was threatened in a manner by Commissioner Underhill, which you as my employer need to be made aware of. On two occasions, I was threatened that he is going to ‘bash my reputation until the day I resign.’ And he has clearly exhibited the ability to do that and carry it out. The most heartbreaking thing about this is that he’s mad at me for doing my job.”

The point of contention has been Rogers’ role in helping County Commissioner Steve Barry go before the State Ethics Commission to get a ruling whether Barry could discuss the 401(a) annuity plan during a commission meeting. The PNJ editorial board has insinuated the county attorney did so illegally, even though Rogers has repeatedly explained her role in the proceedings. Read post.

Rogers also gave the commission a letter that outlined the alleged threats and once again explained her role as county attorney. We will post the letter today.

For his part, Underhill denied Rogers’ allegation: “I will say that categorically the words quoted here did not ever escape my lips, nor did they do it twice. I did say that it is that the attorney’s conduct has brought shame on this board. And I did state that I think that by the time all of this is said and done, it will be very surprising if you do not escape consequences for those things. That is well within my duties and my responsibilities for the oversight of one of the two full-time employees that we have as commissioners.”

The vote to censure Underhill was 4-1, with Underhill voting no.

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2 thoughts on “Underhill censured for alleged harassment (podcast)

  1. Mr. Hawthorne is spot-on in his assessment. The very notion that Doug harassing management, staff, the Administrator and Attorney, or anybody else unlucky enough to cross his path that day is new to anyone is absurd. Doug was harassing people on the Fourth Floor before he was even sworn in to office. His verbal abuse and coercion are legendary, and he has even physically threatened–repeatedly–female staff. I only wish that this would have been done a few years earlier. We might have retained some really amazing people who fled the County as a direct result of not wanting to suffer his abuses any more.

    Look, I did not agree with a PAC putting out the information about Doug’s restraining order one bit, mostly because I felt it would be pointless and offer him an opportunity to self-victimize all over again. If people didn’t believe it, or care, the first time around, why make the same mistake twice? Nonetheless, the man has track record–emphasis on record–of abuse. And he has a violent temper that is legendary at the County. I’ve long considered him a ticking time bomb and have encouraged others to take his lack of impulse control seriously. Commissioner Bergosh is right–he ought to just resign. Maybe they can bolt town like they did their last time through here. But he’s good for less than nothing, at this point. His press secretary Jacqueline Rogers has already let people know that he is done with agenda reviews, which is why the ones he has missed recently have been pleasant and productive. Remove him from the regular meetings, as well, and watch how quickly a large part of the dysfunction at the County sorts itself out. A man with his destructive bent should not be in a position of policy maker, and he is the sort of pathological liar who believes his own lies. Six years has been long enough for any community to have to suffer him. Hopefully they will head on down the road soon, and find the next place to blow up. Maybe if they leave soon we might get a road fixed in our district. Because Doug Underhill is a trash-talking bully who can’t fix traffic.

  2. In all of my dealings with Alison Rodgers, I have only known her to be professional, honest and by the book in her legal actions. Additionally, she always has stressed that her actions will always be at the best interest of the County. However, I can’t sal the same about Doug Underhill, in my dealings with him, I have experienced a propensity to make statements that he has subsequently denied; be a very vindictive person that tries to distort the character of those people he disagrees with or disagrees with him; make public statements that are totally fabricated, and; retaliate against County staff and constituents that expose his duplicitous character. In this instance, if it would come down to “who is telling the truth?,” I would wholeheartedly believe what Attorney Rodgers is saying instead of believing Doug Underhill, who has repeatedly exhibited a propensity to lie, deny facts and retaliate against his detractors!

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