Sheila McLaughlin reports
They might both be Republicans, but that doesn’t mean Butler County Commissioners Chuck Furmon and Cindy Carpenter agree on everything, especially when it comes to throwing F-bombs and yelling at staff.
Furmon fired off a letter this week to Carpenter chastising her about swearing at interim County Administrator Mike Campbell and engaging in a “very loud and angry professional rant” that could even be heard in the public elevators.
It’s the second time that Carpenter has been accused of berating employees.
Pete Landrum, Director of the Management and Budget Office, hired an attorney last November to stop Carpenter from making further threats against him.
The latest tirade involved Carpenter telling Campbell that she was a “(expletive) commissioner,” said the letter The Enquirer obtained from the board of commissioners.
“Your tirades and tantrums are becoming the norm rather than the exception. You seem to be driven to continually create a hostile work environment,” Furmon wrote in his letter to Carpenter.
“Our staff does not deserve your hostile behavior. Day after day they live with the threat of your outbursts.”
- Letter: Exchange between Furmon and Carpenter
- Story: Butler Co. official may sue Commissioner Cindy Carpenter
Reached Wednesday for comment, Furmon said, “I’m just disappointed in what she does. If it was an employee, we have zero tolerance for that. She should understand that.”
He was referring to the county’s personnel policy on threatening behavior and workplace violence. The policy does not apply to Carpenter because she is an elected official.
Carpenter did not return a call for comment, but sent a copy of her e-mail response to Furmon.
She said she considers Furmon’s letter “a political attack in light of the fact that you distributed the letter to the press prior to giving it to me.”
Carpenter also said she expressed her “frustration” to Campbell over an unfinished report that she wanted on establishing a Land Bank project in Butler County.
In Landrum’s case, Carpenter was accused of defaming him in public meetings, verbally abusing him and threatening his job security. His attorney warned Carpenter against further attacks.
Landrum was among a handful of employees Carpenter and Commissioner Don Dixon were jockeying to fire and replace as Carpenter was taking office in January 2011. Dixon backed out of the plan at the last minute.
Carpenter’s subsequent threats about firing certain employees in the commissioner’s office and shooting them prompted Landrum to file a formal complaint that Furmon, who was then commission president, forwarded to Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser for advice.
Nothing was done.
At the time, Carpenter told The Enquirer that she was dissatisfied with Landrum’s performance.
“He doesn’t understand he is not a county commissioner,” she said.