MOBILE, ALA. (WALA)- Members of the Mobile City Council are taking steps to get to the bottom of ongoing complaints from public works employees.

Four council members now sponsor a resolution to investigate accusations of intimidation and harassment from inside the public works department. The majority of council members said they're confident it will pass next week.

A former public works employee addressed city council Tuesday, "There's no way I could sit quiet and allow what's going on and not say anything for guys that work hard on their jobs."

For months, former and current public works employees have voiced their concerns to the city council.

Current public works employee Michael Beech said, "The past few months has been real difficult for employees. We're running short handed, short of equipment and it's been just a lot of uproar about pay raise and the way we've been treated."

Beech said the most recent issue was when Mayor Sandy Stimpson fired 10 workers who chose to call in sick or use a vacation day to show up at a city council meeting with their frustrations. That same move though, grabbed the attention of the council.

Council Vice-President Levon Manzie said, "When we saw the 25 or 26 individuals who left their station of employment to come here for a cry for help I think that was startling to a majority of the council...A lot of serious allegations and we believe are serious enough to merit what will probably be the first city Council let investigation and the city's history."

Pictures like the one FOX10 News uncovered in Greg Beckham's emails that threatened to place disloyal employees in a room, nicknamed "the box" for punishment, put a spot light on what was happening at public works. Beckham resigned following the controversy, but some public works employees said the problems are still there.

Beech said, "Greg Beckham was a big intimidator but he's got a protégé that's still there that's still running that same type of fear factor, intimidation."

Overall, the hope of an investigation is a big win for many public works employees. According to the resolution, a Mobile attorney will conduct the investigation at the rate of $200 per hour.

Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson wasn't at the city council meeting Tuesday but issued this statement: "The Administration will fully cooperate with the investigation of the public works department and expect this process will be as transparent as possible."

All content © 2018, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved.

Investigative Reporter

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