Bob Delaney, the St. Clair County Clerk for the past 14 years, has resigned amid a hostile work environment investigation into allegations that he was a bad boss who subjected multiple employees to sexual harassment as well as racial harassment and discrimination.
The investigation was launched after former deputy county clerk Laura Romero filed a sexual harassment, racial discrimination, and wrongful termination complaint against the county.
The investigation, led by St. Clair County Equal Employment Opportunity officer Laura Beasley, interviewed 20 employees and witnesses to the incidents, concluded “that Ms. Romero’s complaints were overwhelmingly founded.”
According to the investigation’s findings:
“It is clear from the interviews that the St. Clair County Clerk’s Office is a difficult work environment due in large part to Mr. Delaney’s actions. Fifteen of the employees are fearful of losing their jobs as a result of speaking with this reporting investigator. Six people actually cried during the interview when talking about the work environment.”
“Six employees stated Mr. Delaney racially discriminates throughout the office by using such terms as ‘nigger,’ ‘monkey,’ ‘fag,’ and ‘Croatian cock sucker.’ Mr. Delaney had also made the comment after the last election that, prior to the next election, he was going to clean house and the first to go ar the ‘Mexicans.'”
“Five employees stated they also believed their wages are lower and are not treated equally due to their race and sex.”
“Three employees stated Mr. Delaney purposely does things to make a hearing impaired employee’s job more difficult. Mr. Delaney had people call using whispering voices to see if this employee could hear the phone call. He went up behind this employee and whispered and if she didn’t answer he’d verbally abuse her and make comments regarding her need to get hearing aids.”
“Four employees stated Mr. Delaney drinks while at work.”
“Four employees stated inappropriate sexual comments were made in the office by Bob Delaney, which include him saying ‘nice rack,’ that he and [said employee] ‘should have sex,’ and whispering in someone’s ear how her hair cut ‘turns him on.'”
“Eleven employees stated inappropriate conduct has hapened to them and other employees in the office, which include Mr. Delaney hugging people and touching their hips.”
Seven employees stated Mr. Delaney has grabbed employees’ buttocks while at work.”
“Two employees stated their breasts have been grabbed by Mr. Delaney while at work.”
“Thirteen employees have been kissed by Mr. Delaney on the face, cheeks, and lips.”
“Since filing Romero filed her complaint, four additional employees have indicated to this reporting investigator that they may file similar complaints or may pursue civil actions in state or federal court against Mr. Delaney for sexual harassment, racial discrimination, or violations of the Whistleblower Act.”
“People are afraid to be fired at all times. According to eight interviews, Delaney threatens to fire employees in the office for talking to, making statements to, or giving documents to ‘certain people.’ Most employees are fearful of losing their job every day they go to work, not because of their actions at work but because of Mr. Delaney’s actions and temperament. This is clearly a hostile work environment.”