Gardner reveals herself as Watertown department head who filed city manager complaint

Gardner reveals herself as Watertown department head who filed city manager complaint
Erin Gardner (Source: WWNY)

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The female Watertown department head who filed a complaint against City Manager Rick Finn has revealed herself.

In a statement, Erin Gardner, superintendent of Parks and Recreation, says she is identifying herself because her name was leaked on a local internet blog.

Gardner says she wanted to stay private and let the process play out, but now says "the submission of my complaint was not just about me, it was to stand up for other women too."

She also said, "It is my sincere hope that by speaking up, the City of Watertown will continue to grow and prosper where employees are treated fairly and equally."

Gardner's complaint against Finn accuses the city manager of creating a hostile work environment and cites more than half a dozen instances with witnesses.

The complaint is not sexual in nature.

An outside group was hired to do an investigation and those results came back this week.

City council members will hold an executive session Friday at 10:45 a.m. to talk about the results of the investigation.

Finn has made no public comments.

What follows is Gardner’s complete statement:

Today, confidential information was leaked to a local blog regarding a complaint I filed with the City. It was my honest intention to maintain both my own privacy as well as that of the official complaint process. However, since that is no longer possible, I want to make a statement. I want to make it clear that, currently I have no intention of filing a lawsuit against the City. The submission of my complaint was not just about me, it was to stand up for other women too.

As the Superintendent for the past 8 years, I have thoroughly loved every aspect of my job with the City and I plan to be here for many years to come. It is my sincere hope that by speaking up, the City of Watertown will continue to grow and prosper where employees are treated fairly and equally.

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