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Firing considered in 2014: Personnel file says Schwartzkopf had undocumented absences

Jamestown officials were considering terminating City Engineer Reed Schwartzkopf at least a year ago, according to information in his personnel file.Schwartzkopf resigned his position effective immediately on Monday. Jamestown Mayor Katie Anderse...

Jamestown officials were considering terminating City Engineer Reed Schwartzkopf at least a year ago, according to information in his personnel file.
Schwartzkopf resigned his position effective immediately on Monday. Jamestown Mayor Katie Andersen said Monday the resignation followed his annual review and was not based on any single incident. The City Council unanimously accepted the resignation during a special meeting Monday.
Schwartzkopf did not return calls seeking comments.
Schwartzkopf became the city engineer in June 2008 after previously working as a road designer for the Nebraska Department of Roads. He was paid $7,840 per month by the city
A document within Schwartzkopf’s employment record dated Oct. 13, 2014, summarized a meeting between Schwartzkopf, Andersen, City Administrator Jeff Fuchs and City Attorney Ken Dalsted. The document indicated Fuchs gave Schwartzkopf written reprimands for failing to submit necessary leave forms following absences from work and disrespectful conduct during the Sept. 2, 2014, City Council meeting. The meeting also documented alleged verbal threats against wastewater and sanitation employees made by Schwartzkopf.
The document indicated that if Schwartzkopf didn’t resign, Andersen would recommend to the City Council that he be terminated.
The file contained a written response from Schwartzkopf dated Oct. 22, 2014, indicating he would not resign and would fight any termination process. He noted he had “nearly 7,000 hours of time over and above a normal 40 hour week” remaining from the 2009 and 2011 spring flood events in Jamestown. It was unclear from his response whether Schwartzkopf considered this time the equivalent of accrued paid time off.
A notation by Fuchs said Schwartzkopf’s position with the city did not accumulate overtime or compensatory time off for extended working hours.
Schwartzkopf also said in the written response he had “begun seeking other opportunities in my career path.”
The personnel file indicates Schwartzkopf continued to not file the proper reports concerning time away from work. A record in the file from Fuchs dated Nov. 16 said Schwartzkopf had 268 hours of undocumented absences between June 8 and Nov. 13.
Both Fuchs and Andersen filled out job evaluations for Schwartzkopf in November. The evaluations called for ratings from 1 to 5 in areas like job knowledge, communications, attendance and use of time. Andersen gave ratings of 1 in all categories she made ratings. Fuchs gave ratings of 2s and 3s.
Notations by Andersen in the job review included “Assigned tasks are not complete,” and “It has been documented that Reed has used profane and abusive language.”
The evaluations both called for Schwartzkopf to resign or the issue would move to the City Council for consideration of terminating his employment.
knorman@jamestownsun.com | (701) 952-8452

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