Murray County Sheriff asked for immediate resignation by Board of Commissioners
SLAYTON - The Murray County Commissioners on Tuesday asked for the immediate resignation of the Murray County Sheriff Steve Telkamp based on an investigation into workplace harassment and a hostile work environment, according to information released by the county.
As an elected official, the board cannot terminate Telkamp's employment - only ask for his resignation.
Murray County retained investigator Michelle Soldo to conduct an independent investigation into Telkamp's conduct after video footage of alleged disturbing behavior was brought forward by a concerned employee. As the independent investigator noted in her report, the conduct in the video footage “does not depict an isolated incident but reflects a continuing pattern of aggressive, defiant, disrespectful, abusive, and threatening behavior that adversely impacts the work environment.”
Based on the report, the board felt that it needed to take this action today. A news release states a Personnel Committee will be implementing and employing operational measures to protect employees against retaliation. The Sheriff’s position is the only position that will changes associated as a result of this investigation, the release states. All other positions remain unchanged.
The 69-page report states Telkamp never responded to attempts by the investigator to schedule an interview.
The finding listed in the report include that on video, Telkamp made disparaging, contemptuous and threatening remarks about county commissioners and verbally berated and threatened the job of a female dispatcher related to one of the commissioners.
The report states video of Telkamp shows him making disparaging remarks and threatening to use his position in law enforcement for retaliation. In the video, Telkamp also makes threatening and disparaging remarks against the county coordinator,
He also talks about people who are on his side who plan to run for county commissioner, stating if one of the witnesses in the video also runs, he will have three commissioner votes to get the coordinator fired.
As an elected official, the board cannot terminate Telkamp's employment - only ask for his resignation, or ask the people to recall his election. Telkamp's latest term is up this year, so retain his position, he will have to run for re-election in November.