Former employee threatens to sue Grant County officials - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Former employee threatens to sue Grant County officials


A fired Grant County payroll clerk is threatening to sue county officials under the claims that she was discriminated against because of her age and political affiliations.

Connie McClure worked at the Grant County Fiscal Court for 25 years before being let go in June.
McClure's lawyer says there's video evidence proving that she was let go for the wrong reasons.

We filed an open records request for that video evidence which shows county officials discussing the pros and cons of firing long-time clerk Connie McClure.

The video, taken as part of the detention center's surveillance, lasts about two hours and shows four county officials discussing Connie McClure's position as a payroll clerk and the accompanying salary.

"You don't need to pay someone $48,000 a year to answer the d*** telephone,” said Grant County Chief Jail Lt. Jason Hankins. “You could hire somebody off the street for $10 dollars an hour to do that."

The men continue discussing McClure’s salary for the next several minutes.

Grant County Deputy Judge-Executive Scott Kimmich: "You've got a situation where quite honestly, a woman is getting paid $48,000 a year to be a payroll clerk."

Grant County Jailer Chris Hankins: "She's been there 26 years.”

Grant County Deputy Judge-Executive Scott Kimmich: "But the position is only worth so much money, I don't care if you have a brain surgeon sitting there doing it. The job is worth a certain amount of money."

The conversation takes a political turn about halfway through the video, when Jailer Chris Hankins tells Judge-Executive Stephen Wood that firing McClure could hurt him politically.

Jailer Chris Hankins: "I can tell you right now if you got rid of Connie, it would hurt you the next time around."

Judge-Executive Stephen Wood: “Why? Why?”

Grant County Deputy Judge-Executive Scott Kimmich: "She wasn't for him this time."

McClure’s lawyer says the political undertones of their conversation are inappropriate and unprofessional.

"It was shocking,” said Gail Langdendorf, McClure’s lawyer. “As a citizen, everyone thinks that this happens and that this is what goes on behind closed doors in politics and it's just shocking to actually see it happening."

As the discussion about McClure’s position wraps up, Judge-Executive Stephen Wood goes on to say this:

Judge-Executive Stephen Wood: "I told her if I was going to replace Connie, it'd be a blonde, 24, big t***."

McClure is now seeking $750,000 in lost wages and damages according to a letter filed with county officials. The letter states that the county has 30 days to respond and if they fail to do so, McClure's lawyer says a lawsuit will be filed.

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