County Employees File Harassment Complaints

DeFuniak Springs, Fla. - Walton County Commission meetings are generally calm but, that was not the case during today's meeting. Several residents accused Commissioners of bad behavior. 

The allegations raised during Tuesday's meeting involve county commissioners allegedly mistreating county employees. 

"There are some allegations that are being made against some county commissioners. We are investigating it right now. We have called in an outside council," explained Cecilia Jones, Walton County BCC chairwoman.

Walton County Commissioners did not get into the specifics of the mistreatment accusations against employees but, residents did. 

"They thought Dede Hinote, who has been with this county for 26 years, and has an exemplary employee record, must be the leak," said Suzanne Harris, Walton County resident.

Harris informed those gathered at the meeting, that another harassment complaint was filed October 23 with the county on behalf of another employee. 

"...and his complaints are the same many, many employees that are scared to death to lose their job are calling and saying we want to talk," said Harris.

In documents obtained by News 13, county employees have filed harassment and whistle blower complaints and are asking for action to be taken. 

"We will be letting both sides be heard and then a report will be coming forth and at this time legal has said we should not make any other comments," said Jones. 

Walton County officials say they are taking this seriously and will continue to dig into the issue. 

No one has filed an actual lawsuit, so far and no word as to when the county will complete its investigation.

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