Opinion Piece By Linda Sutter – August 22, 2017 –
After giving Rural Human Services (RHS) ample time to comply with the City of Crescent City’s request to prevent RHS from losing their funding; RHS Board Members took a hard stance refusing to comply with the city resulting in the City Council with no alternative but take away their funding.
During public comment on this issue, Mike Riese who is currently an RHS board member stood up and told the public that the second sexual harassment suit RHS is facing will go to trial. Demonstrating to the City Council members, Mayor Inscore, and Crescent City’s, City Manager Mike Young, that RHS board members are the problem. Darin Short said it best, “Usually when someone files sexual harassment, the victim wants the issue to go away, they don’t want to go to trial.”
Mike Riese demonstrated there was no sexual harassment issue, by wanting to fight the issue in court. RHS Chair, Celia Perez, thought the best way to win the City Council over was to manipulate them by stating there would be hungry children. Not addressing the sexual harassment compliance issue whatsoever, or stating their Attorney, George Mavris, advised RHS not to comply with the request for information from the city.
Two separate sexual harassment cases have been filed, one is still current, and no one in RHS thinks there is a problem. Jolanda Obie, Director of Harrington House, stated she has made sure all her employees are in compliance with sexual harassment training.
Tonight the City Council had to make that choice either to lose $5 to 6 million dollars in Community funding or go along to get along with the good ole boys by pretending sexual harassment doesn’t exist at RHS. The City Council members did the right thing and it sucked, but our City was best served by our Council Members tonight.