By Pat Maurer
In an anonymous email to the Review Wednesday afternoon, conspiracy allegations were leveled against nine Clare County dispatchers, charging them with “conspiring to cause havoc within the operations of the [Clare County Dispatch] center [and conspiring] to prove Keith Yats and the commissioners of Clare County unfit.”
The email sent to the newspaper also said numerous emails between the dispatchers had been obtained proving the conspiracy. Those emails, six of them dated between July 7 and July 25, were also forwarded to the newspaper office.
The first of the emails forwarded by the source said, “We [dispatchers] would like to hold an off-site meeting for each group of shifts on pass days. Obviously, this is voluntary … If you are interested in making a change, please respond and we will go from there as far as times, locations and details.”
After a meeting of the dispatchers was held, another email listed some of the concerns over the management of the dispatch center including: a lack of training; lack of trust and lack of communication between management and employees; a lack of response by management to employees questions; secret surveillance of employees with cameras and recording equipment; unresolved scheduling difficulties and problems resolving them; poor and/or faulty equipment; a hostile work environment leading to medical and mental problems; unkept promises, and using CTOs as supervisors.
In the same email, a synopsis of the mid-July meeting, reminded recipients to schedule an appointment with a professional counseling service.
Clare County Central Dispatch Director Keith Yats said he only became aware of the emails when this reporter called Thursday morning. He said he wouldn’t comment until he could read them and talk to County Administrator Tracy Byard.
Later Thursday morning, Byard said “Keith forwarded the email to me late Wednesday afternoon, so he was aware of them then.” She said she did not want to comment because she had contacted the County attorney and was still waiting for a response from them.
Thursday afternoon Yats said, “After further review of the email content, an internal investigaton has been started this morning.”
Clare County Prosecutor Michelle Ambrozaitis said Wednesday afternoon, “I, along with a few other county officials, received an e-mail from ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ alleging that there was a conspiracy and cover-up ongoing in dispatch. This e-mail was unsigned. My office has no plans to act on this anonymous e-mail at this time. There wasn’t any context provided, my request of the person who sent the e-mail to provide more information has gone unanswered, and I don’t see anything criminal in nature in what was sent.”