Bath County Supervisor Stuart Hall Calls For County Administrator Johnson’s Resignation
Warm Springs,VA – Bath County Supervisor Stuart Hall has called for County Administrator Bonnie Johnson’s resignation. At Tuesday night’s Bath Board of Supervisors meeting Hall accused Johnson of verbal abuse and intimidation of courthouse employees and insubordinate verbal abuse towards citizens and another board member. He also accused Johnson and a fellow board member of making slanderous remarks against a county employee by falsely accusing her of taking documents from the County Administrator’s office without the Administrator’s knowledge.
Hall says Johnson is at the center of the problems in the Administrators office. He’s asking for her resignation as part of the solution.
“Our employees and the morale of this courthouse and the people that work here are the worst I’ve seen in thirty five years that I’ve been on this board” says Hall.
Supervisor Jon Trees responded by saying any discussion about an employee should be conducted in closed session.
“Mr. Trees, I’ve tried for two months to conduct it in closed session and it come on deaf ears” says Hall. “In fact my fellow board members tend to join in with the County Administrator and persecute the employees and other board members.”
Hall said the board broke policy when it accepted the immediate resignation of Betty Mace the executive assistant to Bath County Administrator Bonnie Johnson. He said employees are required to give two weeks notice and Mace was released 2 weeks before her resignation date without due process to resolve the issues. Hall said Mace was the employee that was falsely accused of taking documents out of Johnson’s office for him to see.
He said Mace felt intimidated by Johnson and resigned after 23 and one half years of service with the county. Halls claims that Supervisor Carol Hardbarger made the accusations against Mace that resulted in her resignation.
Hardbarger said she had received some complaints from employees about Johnson and said there are issues that need to be addressed. She said the accusations and character assassinations were totally uncalled for. Hardbarger left the meeting after a short heated exchange with Hall.
Supervisor Richard Byrd said the board accepted Mace’s resignation at a special meeting with the county attorney present and that the board did nothing inappropriate or illegal.
Supervisor Percy Nowlin said he disagreed with Hall on each and every item presented and with his assessment of staff morale at the courthouse. Nowlin also said Halls’ comments were uncalled for.
Hall also made accusations of discrimination in the hiring process for the county’s new tourism director. He said qualified applicants were not interviewed in the same manner as other applicants. He claimed that was a violation of the equal employment opportunity act.