This came to me today from a source inside the ECSO.
We are in a time that society views sexual behavior of our leaders through a microscope, as well as the people in the workplace. We review what is right and what is wrong. Our views may not be the views of everyone. In fact, we have all heard of issues in the national media condemning people for issues that occurred over 30 years ago in some cases. That seems less relevant, but that does cause one to ask why society did not have the same thoughts about sexual harassment as they do now? It simply isn’t possible that people didn’t care about sexual harassment or sexual assault years ago, but there is a hypersensitive to sexual issues now. Story after story about people being affected by #MeToo movement. People are being used to further a movement that treats everybody the same, with facts being omitted, because the point is better made without facts. This is all an insult to people who have to deal with this situation.
CEOs across the country have turned a blind eye to the issues that could cause embarrassment or be problematic. This was done to save themselves all the pitfalls that come with addressing the sexual harassment, such as having spouses of married people becoming involved in the workplace issues. That can get messy, but this lack of formal acknowledgement, it appears there is a complicity to the harassment. If you are not part of solution, you are part of the problem. The true intent of sexual harassment movements should be to inform the public and others of what is wrong with using sexual actions for any gain personally or in professional environments. In turning a blind eye, the message that this behavior is acceptable seems to rise to the top, not to mention the increase in employee tension, and the increased chance of being sued. We should trust our leaders in the workplace to ensure that employees are being kept from sexual issues at the workplace because it is not conducive to any professional environment. Leaders should be the gatekeepers of their employees’ overall well-being while they are at work. Included in that is the ability to perform the work requirements effectively without undue restrictions or complications. The responsibility to act appropriately at work falls on the workplace leaders, as well.
The leadership of the Escambia County Sheriffs Office has been questioned many times concerning leadership abilities. Names, such as Chief Deputy Eric Haines, are a frequently associated with criticism of failed leadership. The obvious question then, is why David Morgan as Sheriff does not stop Haines’s tactics are that clearly dismantling the agency? If not Morgan, couldn’t Chip Simmons, the man directly under the Sheriff do something? In fact, recently, a cry for help for went out to Simmons, when Haines held $9million + of deputies’ money and extorted the PBA into giving up rights to receive a reasonable wage. Could it be Simmons is not able to challenge Haines? Could Simmons be in a situation that Haines controls him? The question would be then, what Haines could have to hold over a law enforcement professional and leader like Simmons? We know it isn’t knowledge, ability, respect, or experience. Haines has not even a small fraction of law enforcement ability that is displayed by Simmons. Simmons was a law enforcement officer for a living long before reaching a leadership position. Haines performed very little law enforcement duties in a brief period before rocketing into a leadership post. With all these things going for Simmons, with deputy support, why not throttle Haines?
Simmons has a reputation for being less than faithful to his marriage. I am not passing judgement but stating what the “shop talk” has always been. Its possible Haines could have information on Simmons that could cause embarrassment or sacrifice a bid for the top office. It fits the scenario. Haines can be left to destroy lives and Simmons is in debt to him because of the information Haines has in his pocket. Simmons can enjoy the top spot and Haines has the continued joy of playing God judging subordinates and hailing down wrath on the future of others including Simmons. Simmons never answered the cry for help from the employees when their money was made a game for Haines to play with to achieve what he wanted, which was a loss of deputies’ rights in their contract. By not supporting the deputies, Simmons protected himself as well as Haines.
Maybe an investigation should be conducted by an outside agency to determine if this is true. If Haines has information that is being held, it is a violation of law. By federal law, sexual Harassment must be reported if Haines knows about it. FYI sexual harassment can occur even if the person involved in sexual acts isn’t the victim. If such a thing occurred and two willing parties were sexually active and married, the spouses could have a case to be reported as a victim. Especially if one of the victims was working for one of the offenders in a leadership position and fearful of losing his job if it was reported his wife was involved in an affair with a person that could terminate his employment.
I think this is a subject we will soon be hearing more about. Haines should look deep and decide if he truly feels he has responded with the information he may possess as a true Christian would respond. Should he possess information that tears a family apart for his personal gain or should he do what the law says. I challenge Haines to do the right thing and finally be honest and be satisfied with the turmoil he has created thus far.