Contrary to Mayor Karen Alexander’s Assertions, Emails Demonstrate Councilman Kenny Hardin was Not Kept in the Loop about a City Investigation

Posted on April 20, 2017



RFP Staff

♦ Mayor Karen Alexander stated at the City Council Meeting on April 18th that emails would show that Councilman Hardin was kept in the loop about the investigation. But, emails obtained by the RFP reveal Councilman Hardin was not provided information even after he repeatedly requested information several times. It was not until Councilman Hardin met face to face with the Attorney, secured by the City to lead the investigation, that Hardin was presented with any parity or information.

The RFP reached out to Councilman Hardin and he verified the authenticity of the email exchange. He stated he stands behind his initial assertion that the Mayor orchestrated and spearheaded this investigation and does not believe her denials of involvement. Councilman Hardin said he was contacted by other City employees who shared troubling information demonstrating this investigation was more involved than previously thought and other employees were being coerced to get involved.

The Councilman stated he does not appreciate his character being called into question and the false allegations being made. He said he will vigorously defend his reputation even if it calls for filing an ethics claim and requesting an investigation into the City. He said that with all the real issues plaguing the city, he was disappointed the Mayor would engage in this pettiness that takes time away from addressing real concerns.  The email exchange below:

From: Patrick Flanagan <phf@cshlaw.com>
Date: April 9, 2017 at 4:11:07 PM EDT
To: Kenneth Hardin <khard@salisburync.gov>
Cc: Kenneth Hardin <kennethlhardin65@gmail.com>
Subject: RE: Information Request

Thanks. See you then
[Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP]
Patrick Flanagan
Attorney at Law

P +17049403419
F +17048315522

2907 Providence Road Suite 200
Charlotte, NC 28211

Post Office Box 30787
Charlotte, NC 28230

[Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP] [Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP] [Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP] [Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP]

WWW.CSHLAW.COM

Visit our award-winning NC Workers’€™ Compensation website
[http://www.cshworkerscomp.com<http://www.cshworkerscomp.com%5Dwww.cshworkerscomp.com
—–Original Message—–
From: Kenneth Hardin [mailto:khard@salisburync.gov]
Sent: Sunday, April 09, 2017 8:08 AM
To: Patrick Flanagan
Cc: Kenneth Hardin
Subject: Re: Information Request

Wednesday at 9am at Mean Mug Coffee is fine.

Sent from my iPad
On Apr 8, 2017, at 11:44 PM, Patrick Flanagan <phf@cshlaw.com> wrote:

How about Wednesday?
[Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP] Patrick Flanagan Attorney at Law

P +17049403419
F +17048315522

2907 Providence Road Suite 200
Charlotte, NC 28211

Post Office Box 30787
Charlotte, NC 28230

[Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP] [Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP] [Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP] [Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP]

WWW.CSHLAW.COM

Visit our award-winning NC Workers’€™ Compensation website [http://www.cshworkerscomp.com<http://www.cshworkerscomp.com%5Dwww.cshworkerscomp.com
—–Original Message—–
From: Kenneth Hardin [mailto:khard@salisburync.gov]
Sent: Saturday, April 08, 2017 7:07 AM
To: Patrick Flanagan
Cc: Kenneth Hardin
Subject: Re: Information Request

I’m available any morning next week except Tuesday. We can meet at the Mean Mug Coffee shop at 9am.

Sent from my iPad

On Apr 7, 2017, at 1:49 PM, Patrick Flanagan <phf@cshlaw.com> wrote:

Mr. Hardin

As part of the investigation into Ms. McElroy’s complaint, I would like to sit down and interview you at your convenience. Please let me know when you might be available and I will meet you at a location of your choice. Thank you.

Pat
[Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP] Patrick Flanagan Attorney at Law

P +17049403419
F +17048315522

2907 Providence Road Suite 200
Charlotte, NC 28211

Post Office Box 30787
Charlotte, NC 28230

[Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP] [Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP] [Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP] [Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP]

WWW.CSHLAW.COM>>

Visit our award-winning NC Workers’€™ Compensation website [http://www.cshworkerscomp.com><http://www.cshworkerscomp.com%5Dwww.cshworkerscomp.com&gt;
—–Original Message—–
From: Patrick Flanagan
Sent: Sunday, February 26, 2017 10:23 AM
To: Kenneth Hardin
Cc: Kenneth Hardin; Patrick Flanagan (phf@cshlaw.com)
Subject: RE: Information Request

Mr. Hardin

Sorry for the delay in my response. Attached are the relevant insurance policy and the Human Resource Policy Manual as requested. Please let me know if you need any additional information or if you would like to discuss further.

Pat
—–Original Message—–
From: Patrick Flanagan
Sent: Friday, February 17, 2017 12:11 PM
To: ‘Kenneth Hardin’
Cc: Kenneth Hardin
Subject: RE: Information Request

Ok, that is fine, I will be back in touch with you soon. Have a good weekend.
—–Original Message—–
From: Kenneth Hardin [mailto:khard@salisburync.gov]
Sent: Friday, February 17, 2017 12:06 PM
To: Patrick Flanagan
Cc: Kenneth Hardin
Subject: Re: Information Request

Since I have not been provided with any formal internal or legal complaint, I have not retained an attorney. I am however receiving guidance from an attorney. At this point I have received only verbal and written correspondence from the City Manager and Mayor of the employee’s intention of an HR complaint.

Since my request for formal information was ignored and no information has been shared, i have not officially retained services. I find the manner in which this is being handled a bit disconcerting. The reason I am seeking guidance is that i don’t have clarity or understanding of this process and who is aligned with whom.

I look forward to talking with you directly instead of based on information from the Mayor.

Sent from my iPhone

On Feb 17, 2017, at 11:50 AM, Patrick Flanagan <phf@cshlaw.com> wrote:

I am happy to do so but since you are represented by a lawyer, I will need permission from your lawyer to communicate directly with you after this. Your lawyer can just send me an email granting me permission to communicate directly with you. Thanks.
[Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP] Patrick Flanagan Attorney at Law

P +17049403419
F +17048315522

2907 Providence Road Suite 200
Charlotte, NC 28211

Post Office Box 30787
Charlotte, NC 28230

[Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP] [Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP] [Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP] [Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP]

WWW.CSHLAW.COM>>>>

Visit our award-winning NC Workers’€™ Compensation website [http://www.cshworkerscomp.com>><http://www.cshworkerscomp.com%5Dwww.cshworkerscomp.com>&gt;
—–Original Message—–
From: Kenneth Hardin [mailto:khard@salisburync.gov]
Sent: Friday, February 17, 2017 11:48 AM
To: Patrick Flanagan
Subject: Re: Information Request

Attorney Flanagan,

You can work directly with me so that I can get clarity and understanding of this process. I look forward to talking with you.

Sent from my iPhone

On Feb 17, 2017, at 11:45 AM, Patrick Flanagan <phf@cshlaw.com> wrote:

Mr. Hardin

I have been retained to represent the City of Salisbury related to the complaint made by an employee of the City. I understand that you have requesting a number of documents and I will assist in getting the information together. I also understand that you have a lawyer. Since that is the case, I will need to communicate directly with your lawyer. Please let me know who is representing you so that I work with your lawyer on these issues. Thanks.

Pat
[Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP] Patrick Flanagan Attorney at Law

P +17049403419
F +17048315522

2907 Providence Road Suite 200
Charlotte, NC 28211

Post Office Box 30787
Charlotte, NC 28230

[Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP] [Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP] [Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP] [Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP]

WWW.CSHLAW.COM>>>>>>

Visit our award-winning NC Workers'(tm) Compensation website [http://www.cshworkerscomp.com>>><http://www.cshworkerscomp.com%5Dwww.cshworkerscomp.com>>&gt;
—–Original Message—–
From: Kenneth Hardin [mailto:khard@salisburync.gov]
Sent: Friday, February 17, 2017 11:20 AM
To: Lane Bailey
Cc: Karen Alexander; hwright@nclm.org; Rivers Lawther; Patrick Flanagan; Zack Kyle
Subject: Re: Information Request

The insurance contract that provides legal representation is the information I’m seeking.

Sent from my iPad

On Feb 17, 2017, at 10:22 AM, Lane Bailey <lbail@salisburync.gov> wrote:

W. Lane Bailey, ICMA-CM
City Manager

Administration

City of Salisbury | 132 North Main Street, Salisbury, NC. 28144 Office (704)638-5228 lbail@salisburync.gov | http://www.salisburync.gov>>>>>>>&gt;
——– Original message ——–
From: Kenneth Hardin <khard@salisburync.gov>
Date: 2/17/2017 4:32 AM (GMT-05:00)
To: Karen Alexander <kalex@salisburync.gov>
Cc: hwright@nclm.org, Rivers Lawther <rlawt@salisburync.gov>, phf@cshlaw.com, Zack Kyle <zkyle@salisburync.gov>, Lane Bailey <lbail@salisburync.gov>
Subject: Re: Information Request

I would’ve appreciated a response to both of my requests since I have not had any communication with Mr. Wright. I am still requested my a copy of the insurance agreement. As a City Councilman, I should be able to review this information. Please let me know if this request can be met.

Sent from my iPad

On Feb 16, 2017, at 10:22 PM, Karen Alexander <kalex@salisburync.gov> wrote:

Mr. Wright, I am sending you a copy of Councilman Hardin’s request.

Sincerely, Mayor Alexander

Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:
From: Kenneth Hardin <khard@salisburync.gov>
Date: February 16, 2017 at 11:58:00 AM EST
To: Lane Bailey <lbail@salisburync.gov>, Karen Alexander <kalex@salisburync.gov>, Rivers Lawther <rlawt@salisburync.gov>, Zack Kyle <zkyle@salisburync.gov>
Cc: “karen@kkaarch.com” <karen@kkaarch.com>, “kennethlhardin65@gmail.com” <kennethlhardin65@gmail.com>
Subject: Information Request

Good afternoon,

My attorney has asked me to request a copy of the City insurance policy of the coverage that affords me legal representation.

Also, I would like to again request a copy of the formal complaint filed by the employee, the employee handbook and information that relates to harassment, and disciplinary action for employees

Please let me know of a time frame that I can expect to receive this information.

Kenny Hardin

Sent from my iPad

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