Problems mount for library director - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Problems mount for library director

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Posted: Thursday, November 20, 2003 8:47 am | Updated: 2:17 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

The troubles keep coming for Mesa library director Patsy Hansel.

Six months into her disciplinary probation for alleged sexual harassment of a female employee, an independent investigation found Hansel retaliated against a top library administrator who supported the harassment victim’s claims.

Neither Hansel nor Mesa deputy city manager Debbi Dollar, who ordered the new investigation, returned calls Wednesday.

The new findings support other reports that Hansel has made little progress during her probation period, even though the city spent about $12,000 on consultants to reform Hansel’s management style and patch relations between her and library staff.

Keith Sobraske, president of Phoenix-based Investigative Research, wrote the report that details the new complaints. He declined to comment on the report, which was released by the city this week.

The administrator — one of three who serve under Hansel — complained that her boss cut her out of meetings and decisions, the report states.

Overall, Sobraske examined 18 allegations of retaliation and found three credible.

One sustained allegation details how Hansel took the library’s volunteer program from the administrator, who had supervised it for 22 years, and put someone else in charge of it. In another claim found credible, the administrator accused Hansel of failing to put her in charge during Hansel’s absences.

During the sexual harassment investigation of Hansel, city investigators concluded Hansel had created divisiveness and fear in the library system, which has three branches and about 200 employees.

The investigators recommended that Hansel be fired. City managers instead gave Hansel two weeks of unpaid leave and a year of disciplinary probation. The sexual harassment victim, Jancie Gennevois, transferred out of the library to the Mesa Arts Center. Gennevois settled the case with Mesa last month for $87,000.

Since the probation began in April, Hansel has fallen short in three performance reviews conducted by her supervisor. She was also slammed by a majority of staff members responding to a survey in September.

Sobraske noted in his report that Hansel appeared to lack a commitment to change.

"While the majority of the incidents mentioned by (the administrator) did not, in this investigator’s opinion, rise to the level of harassment and retaliation . . . a clear pattern of management deficiency, most notably insufficient communication and forums for communication, was evident," Sobraske wrote.

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