James Iovinelli, the main subject of the a workplace investigation into misconduct within the City of Bremerton’s Public Works Department, was terminated May 16.
Iovinelli worked for the Street Services Department and the investigation found that he was known to conduct a side business pouring concrete during work hours, as well as attempting to set up a deal to purchase two excavators – one for the city and one for himself – using city resources.
The workplace investigation report, conducted by Greg Wilson of PST Investigations led to the firing of Public Works Director Chal Martin on April 30, as well as the discipline of three city employees for a lack of supervisory oversight.
A pre-disciplinary hearing was held May 2 to give Iovinelli the opportunity to present any additional information, according to a notice of discipline. On May 9, Iovinelli wrote a letter stating “I believe my letter of November 8, 2018 to my supervisors which led to a subsequent meeting with my supervisors a few days later to address workplace issues was an honest attempt to set things right.”
“Indeed, I felt myself and my superiors were on the same page and all was well after meeting. Now, I see the whole investigation of me as retaliation.”
The City of Bremerton responded by stating “we do not believe that the investigation was conducted in retaliation.” The City advised that Iovinelli may appeal his discipline and have the right to process his appeal pursuant to the grievance procedure. If he selects the grievance procedure, it must be filed before May 30 or it will be denied.
In a press release sent out Thursday, the city will implement employee training in response to the internal investigation findings.
“All personnel must follow the city’s policies,” Bremerton Mayor Greg Wheeler said. “This training will make it clear to all staff what their obligations are as public employees.”
“I am committed to ensuring city resources and taxpayer dollars are managed responsibly and that we continue to restore public trust.”
Tyler Shuey is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org