The private investigator probing allegations of a toxic work culture at the local United Way said a couple more weeks are needed before her findings will be ready for the board of directors.
At that time, Sindy Warren of Warren and Associates of Cleveland said her full report will be made available to the board of the United Way of Summit and Medina counties, which hired her at the recommendation of one of its members. The investigation covers allegations made or backed by more than 15 former employees and a couple who still work there but fear that coming forward could cost them their jobs.
All of the former employees are anonymous. Many work at foundations and nonprofits that support or receive support from the local United Way.
In a letter sent to the board of directors July 31, the former employees detailed previous retaliation when they said they tried to report racist behavior, bullying and sexual harassment by senior staff to the agency’s human resources department.
The board and its legal counsel will decide how much of the investigation, which would include sensitive and identifiable information, the public might see. Warren said that, at the least, an executive summary would be generated.
Board Chair Mark Krohn said a week ago that the report would be available shortly. He and the board hired Warren 24 hours after CEO/President Jim Mullen found a draft of the allegation letter on a former employee’s idle email account on July 24.
Warren said the investigation will take a bit longer as she’s already spoken with 18 people and has heard from “several” more who’ve expressed an interest in sharing what they know.
“So far, I have spoken with mostly current employees,” Warren said. “I am hoping and expecting to hear from a number of former employees.”
Several former employees interviewed by the Beacon Journal in the past week said no one has contacted them about sharing their stories. Questioning the independence of the investigation, others refused to cooperate.