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Richard J.

Frost
2388 Otisco Valley Road Marietta, New York 13110 July 22, 2013 VIA HAND DELIVERY Confidential to the Town Board and the District Attorney Councilors Peter Haikes, Thomas Lathrop, Kevin OHara, and John Scanlon Town Board, Town of Marcellus 24 East Main Street Marcellus, NY 13108 Re: Complaint regarding violations of New York State Law

Dear Town Board: I am a Town of Marcellus employee and have worked in the Town Highway Department for more than eighteen years. This correspondence is a supplement to the complaint I submitted to the Town Board in June, 2013. In that complaint, I identified a number of serious safety issues ignored by the Highway Departments management and exposed the systematic harassment and retaliation against me for opposing those safety issues. My earlier correspondence, however, did not identify all of the reasons I have been harassed and retaliated against. Accordingly, I am submitting this supplemental complaint to the Town of Marcellus detailing widespread illegal conduct within the Highway Department and the unlawful harassment and retaliation against me for opposing such conduct. Beginning nearly nine years ago, at about the same time Donald MacLachlan was elected to Highway Department Superintendent, a position he still holds, I began to witness certain inappropriate conduct by some Highway Department employees. The inappropriate conduct included violations of Town policy and procedure, violations of environmental protection rules and regulations, violations of safety rules and standards, and violations of law by the submission of false claims for payment to the Town. Specifically, I witnessed, among other instances of inappropriate conduct: (1) Highway Department employees using Town property and equipment for personal profit during side jobs; (2) Highway Department employees accepting air conditioners for disposal of CFCs, such as Freon, and instead throwing them away with general garbage; and (3) Highway Department managers blatantly violating safety guidelines and directing other employees to do the same by, among other examples, working in unsafe holes, driving equipment on roads and in unsafe weather, removing safety devices on equipment, using equipment with faulty brakes, digging

holes before checking with electric and gas operators, and working in highways without the proper safety measures. Significantly, I also witnessed theft of Town property and the submission of time cards for payment that included time that Highway Employees did not work. I never participated in the theft of Town property and I never submitted a time card that included time I did not work. However, my direct supervisors, Superintendent MacLachlan and Deputy Supervisor Michael Ossit, did take part in stealing Town property and submitting fraudulent time cards for payment. For example, on more than one occasion, I witnessed the following instances of false claims for payment submitted to the Town: MacLachlan and Ossit clocking in Ossit and other employees in and out of work on time cards before the other employee actually arrived for work or later than that employee actually left work; and MacLachlan and Ossit clocking in Ossit and other employees, in and out of work when the other employee was actually on vacation or away-from-work for entire days or multiple days. In one instance, I personally witnessed a Highway Department employee clocked in when in reality he was out of town.

With regard to the theft of Town property, I am aware of numerous instances of missing Highway Department equipment and property, such as chainsaws, and instances of missing Highway Department supplies, such as light poles that, a number of years ago, ended up installed on a private homeowners personal property. On numerous occasions, I made it clear to my supervisors and coworkers that I disagreed with the unlawful conduct occurring at the Highway Department by, among other things, advocating for a union and by suggesting the Town install cameras at the Highway Department. In each and every case, my efforts to end the stealing and false claims were rebuffed by Highway Department management. Moreover, one of my coworkers confronted MacLachlan and Ossit about their conduct and clearly stated to them that what they were doing was dishonest and illegal. Because I did not participate in the stealing and fraud, because my supervisors knew of my opposition to the stealing and fraud, and because I supported the coworker whom confronted MacLachlan and Ossit, MacLachlan and Ossit retaliated against me by harassing me, and at times, refusing to work with or speak with me. Examples of the harassment include, but are not limited to, the following: Ossit has said on numerous occasions that he hates me and has tried to get me fired, Ossit has driven recklessly at the Highway Department Town barn and came within feet of me with heavy machinery, and Ossit regularly caused unsafe working conditions

during Highway Department assignments. In addition, Ossit has, on numerous occasions, picked-on my daughter and made racist statements and noises about her in public, such as calling her a monkey and making loud monkey sounds because she is Mayan Indian. MacLachlan has stated publically that he would like to fire me, MacLachlan ignored my complaints about Ossit, and in fact, supports him, MacLachlan regularly assigned me to undesirable tasks and the most unpopular assignments, and MacLachlan has, on numerous occasions, picked-on my daughter publically about her needing braces and disclosed to Highway Department employees private matters concerning my daughter that MacLachlan learns about from his wife, who is a teacher at her school.

I believe that I have been subjected to the above harassment and treatment because I would not take part in the theft of Town property or submission of fraudulent time cards and because I opposed MacLachlan and Ossits illegal conduct. Still, I endured the above-described harassment and treatment at work for a time because MacLachlan and Ossit were my supervisors and because I feared that I would be fired from my job, something I knew MacLachlan and Ossit had desired. My ability to endure, however, eventually ended when, earlier this year, the degree of time card fraud perpetrated by MacLachlan and Ossit expanded to unprecedented levels. Beginning in 2013, MacLachlan and Ossits use of fraudulent time cards presented for payment to the Town expanded beyond any level they had committed before. I personally witnessed the crime and decided to report it to the Town Board. On or about March 13, 2013, two fellow Highway Department employees and I met with two Town Board members and reported the rampant time card fraud and theft of Town property committed by MacLachlan and Ossit. Because of our report, the Town Board held an emergency executive meeting to alert the other Town Board members, the Town Supervisor, and the Towns attorney of MacLachlan and Ossits fraud and theft. Because of the sensitivity of the subject, especially given MacLachlan and Ossits positions as supervisors, the Town Board representatives promised me that no one would immediately notify MacLachlan or Ossit that I had reported them, along with my coworkers. Despite the Town Boards assurances, the very next day at work, another Highway Department employee overhead MacLachlan receive a phone call from Supervisor Ross notifying MacLachlan of the fraudulent use of time cards and theft of Town property. That same day, another Highway Department employee notified a Town Board member that Supervisor Ross had told MacLachlan of the report, despite the assurances of privacy. The town board member immediately contacted the Onondaga Sheriffs Department and submitted a report. Thereafter, approximately one week later, two fellow Highway Department employees and I met with Sheriffs Department investigators and submitted official statements that reported MacLachlan and Ossits use of fraudulent time cards and theft of Town property. We also

reported the violations of Town policy and procedure, the violations of environmental protection rules and regulations, and the violations of safety rules and standards. Shortly thereafter, I witnessed Supervisor Ross meeting in secret with MacLachlan and Ossit, the two individuals I reported, at the Highway Department. I suspected that MacLachlan and Ossit all learned that two other Highway Department employees and I reported them all to the Town Board and Sheriffs Department. Almost immediately, MacLachlan and Ossit all stopped speaking with me, started to treat me poorly, started to threaten me physically, acted hostilely toward me, and acted recklessly toward me with equipment in an effort to intimidate me, among other examples of retaliation. I suspected that during MacLachlan and Ossits secret meetings with Supervisor Ross, the group discussed my employment and my report, and ways to discredit me in the future. It was clear that Supervisor Ross had sided with MacLachlan and Ossit as the secret meetings occurred nearly every day and my coworkers and I were always excluded. In addition, around this time, I overheard statements by Highway Department staff and others that I would be targeted for retaliation because of my reports to the Town Board and the Sheriffs Department. The rumors, suspicion, and hostile environment at the Highway Department caused me extreme stress, anxiety, frustration, emotional pain and suffering. Because of this, I visited my physician on or about April 24, 2013, and explained my condition. Pursuant to my physicians order, I used all of my vacation time and then went out-of-work for a medically necessary leave of absence, which continues to this date. I intend to return to work with the Highway Department as soon as I am medically cleared. Even with medical clearance, however, I still fear retaliation against me for reporting MacLachlan and Ossits use of fraudulent time cards and theft of Town property to the Town Board and Sheriffs Department. I have taken the time to write this complaint to you for the purpose of reporting and ending the criminal activity committed against the Town and for the purpose of protecting my rights under New York State law, including, but not limited to, State Finance Law 191. I trust that the Town Board and Sherriffs Department will use the information I have provided to remedy the illegal activity committed by MacLachlan and Ossit. I appreciate your time and kind consideration of this correspondence. Sincerely, Richard J. Frost cc: John L. Valentino, Esq Bousquet Holstein PLLC

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