published Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Paul Page resigns City of Chattanooga post amid allegations of harassment

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    Paul Page, Chattanooga's director of general services

Paul Page's resignation letter
Paul Page's resignation letter

A saga that began in 2008 with two women filing sexual harassment complaints against Chattanooga General Services Director Paul Page seemed to end Tuesday with Page's retirement.

But some residents are still angry about the city's actions -- or lack of action -- about Page and are organizing an effort to review the city's personnel policies.

The city announced Page's retirement Tuesday morning, effective immediately. A hand-delivered letter dated Sept. 30 from Page to Mayor Ron Littlefield announced the retirement.

City spokesman Richard Beeland said Tuesday Littlefield "accepted this course of action."

Page has been under fire for several weeks after the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found that he harassed an employee in October 2008 and the city subsequently retaliated against her. A second woman filed a sexual harassment complaint in November 2008. In that incident, Page was disciplined with five unpaid days off.

Page has denied any wrongdoing.

But even after Page retired, a loose group of residents is questioning Littlefield's response to allegations against Page. The group is organizing on Facebook and by word of mouth, said Chattanooga resident Joy Day, a member of the group.

"We are looking at next steps," Day said. "He's just a symptom of a more systemic problem."

A Times Free Press review of personnel records from Page's previous jobs with other governments such as Soddy-Daisy, Fort Oglethorpe and Dade County, Ga., showed that he was fired from at least four other government jobs, including one in which sexual harassment figured into his termination.

"Apparently it's felt that [Page's] behavior was regular and he was being covered for by his superiors," Day said.

The city welcomes residents to review its codified harassment policy, Beeland said.

"We have a policy in place, and we have training all the time," Beeland said. "We welcome residents to review it."

Page began as the city's director of asset management in 2005. Littlefield later created the general services director position and appointed Page to fill it. Page currently earns $98,462 a year.

Littlefield twice served as a job application reference for Page, including Page's bid for a job with Chattanooga.

Though Page will receive no severance, Beeland said he is still eligible for his city retirement benefits.

Danny Thornton will head Page's former department until a replacement can be found, Beeland said.

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about Ansley Haman...

Ansley Haman covers Hamilton County government. A native of Spring City, Tenn., she grew up reading the Chattanooga Times and Chattanooga Free Press, which sparked her passion for journalism. Ansley's happy to be home after a decade of adventures in more than 20 countries and 40 states. She gathered stories while living, working and studying in Swansea, Wales, Cape Town, South Africa, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Ga., and Knoxville, Tenn. Along the way, she interned for ...

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fftspam said...

How much money did he cost the City of Chattanooga and what kind of retirement benefits will he receive?

October 5, 2011 at 3:29 a.m.
spktur said...

You people just don't understand. Littlefield had to make a job for him to pay him back for making a job Littlefield a job down in Georgia after Littlefield got run off from his job with the local equipment manufacturer.

October 5, 2011 at 8:47 a.m.
MasterChefLen said...

Ron Littlefield needs to be the next one out the door for hiring him in the first place, then taking a blind eye to his harassment actions.

October 5, 2011 at 10:39 p.m.
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