‘Wrongfully terminated,’ former CCSO employee says

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

By Scott Loftis


A former dispatch supervisor who was fired recently by the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office says she was “wrongfully terminated.”

Felicity Berner was fired from her position as lead dispatch supervisor on Feb. 26. Maj. Jerry Williams, chief deputy for the sheriff’s office, said Berner was fired for “stealing time.”

“She wrote down time that she had worked on her time sheet that was false,” Williams said. “It was investigated and seen that there were certain times where she had wrote down that she did not actually work. We have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to stupid stuff like that, and she was terminated.”

Berner responded in an email Tuesday to an earlier report on her firing.

“I was wrongfully terminated,” Berner says in the email. “The investigation that they did was not thorough and only investigated two days that I had worked. One of those days I had asked an employee to stay late for me because my child was sick. I had already filled out my time sheet so it showed that I had worked 12 hours that day when I had only worked 11 hours, however that same pay period I worked the extra hour. I asked the person that does our time sheets if I needed to change the hours and they told me that no as long as it equaled out to my normal 40 hours it really didn’t matter where the hours were wrote on the time sheet.”

Williams said Wednesday that although Berner didn’t change her own time sheet, she did alter the time sheet of the employee who had filled in for her.

“If you didn’t have time to fix yours, how did you have time to cross someone else’s time off?” Williams said.

When Berner was questioned about the incident, Williams said, she initially denied asking an employee to fill in for her. But Williams said text messages between Berner and the employee confirmed Berner’s request.

Berner said she was fired shortly after she filed a complaint against a supervisor.

“2 weeks previous to my termination I made a complaint on my immediate supervisor for his hostile work ethics,” Berner’s email said. “When I say hostile, I mean hostile, spit coming out of his mouth he was yelling so loud, yelling at myself in front of multiple other dispatchers because one of the dispatchers on night shift had made a mistake. I can not tell you how many times I had been yelled at by the same person and nothing was ever done other than him being told to please not do it again.”

“I guess she’s inferring that this is retaliation,” Williams said. “Nothing was ever brought to us about any kind of situation with a supervisor.”

Williams said he was not Berner’s immediate supervisor, and that he conducted the internal investigation into Berner’s activity himself.

“This information wasn’t even brought to her direct supervisor,” Williams said. “… This was not retaliatory.”

The sheriff’s office did not publicly announce Berner’s dismissal, but confirmed it after being questioned about it.

Under county policy, Berner had three working days to appeal her firing. That deadline would have been Monday, Williams said. On Wednesday, he said he had not been informed of an appeal. County Clerk Connie Doss said Thursday morning that she also was not aware of an appeal.

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