Watershed employees stage 'mutiny' after supervisor complaints


ATLANTA - Dozens of city employees have accused their supervisor of abusive behavior. After digging and filing requests, Channel 2 Action News has now finally been able to see that report.
On March 17, nearly 40 Atlanta watershed workers came before the city council telling them they would rather be fired then have Christopher Harris continue as their supervisor. 
Channel 2’s Dave Huddleston submitted an open records request and two months later received a file filled with disciplinary notices dating back  to 1995, where Harris served a two day suspension for cussing out his supervisors. He served a five-day suspension in 2013 for putting his hands on a fellow watershed worker.
Harris was required to submit to random drug and alcohol test because his behavior was so unusual and inappropriate in its nature, as to create an unsafe work environment.
Harris is paid $70,000 a year with the Watershed Department.
Huddleston went to the last known address for Harris looking for him, but the woman whom he talked to said he wasn't there and wasn't sure when he'd be back.
A spokesperson for Watershed said they don't comment on personnel matters.  But the spokesperson did say, Harris was on indefinite paid  administrative leave.
"I'm not surprised at what I’m reading,” said Watershed union president Gina Pagnato Murphy.
Murphy said the workers had been trying for years to tell commissioner Jo Ann Macrina that she had abusive managers but no one believed them until Huddleston got a copy of the file. Murphy said the workers felt it was time for the mayor to make changes in Watershed.
"They cannot trust anyone in that management team, for her all the way down,” Murphy said. "You have a mutiny on your hands.”
Just last week, Channel 2 Action News learned about controversial Watershed pay raises.
The Watershed commissioner told the City Council the $15,000 to $25,000 raises were needed to keep top employees. Earlier this year, city officials started looking into a series of thefts at the department that included high-dollar equipment.

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