Longtime East St. Louis City Hall employee upset over losing job

News-DemocratJanuary 26, 2014 

— A veteran employee of the city's record department said she was forced out her job by city leaders.

Sue Pittman, who has been the supervisor in the record department for 37 years, said she is angry and disappointed with the way she was treated.

City Manager Deletra Hudson said, "Sue had a representative from her union at the meeting when we revealed what we had. She agreed to retire. She was not forced out."

Pittman said she had been on vacation from Dec. 1 through Jan. 15, which is her normal vacation time, and when she returned to work, she was called into Hudson's office.

Pittman said she took her union representative with her because she didn't know what they wanted with her. Once there, "the City Manager, Deletra Hudson, told me that the reason they were getting rid of me was that I was negligent. She gave me the ultimatum of getting fired or to retire. I didn't want to get fired so I chose to retire."

"But, what she (Hudson) did was not right," Pittman said.

Pittman said Hudson accused her of hoarding checks that were supposed to have been turned in to the treasurer's office.

"She told me that they found $80,000 worth of checks that I was supposed to have turned in. Most of them were voided checks and there was not $80,000 worth of checks in my office. The insurance companies had replaced most of the checks that were there. They were from 2012. The insurance companies told me I could shred them or send them back to them. I didn't have a shredder. I had been asking for one and asking for one and they never did gave me one," Pittman said.

"Some of the checks were there because the policemen had not completed their reports and their reports had to accompany the checks," Pittman said.

Police Chief Michael Floore and Monica Grandberry, director of Human Resources, also attended the meeting in Hudson's office.

"I have given 37 years of my life to the city of East St. Louis and for them to do me like this is a slap in my face. I feel like I didn't get any appreciation," Pittman said.

Pittman is angry and pursuing all of her options, including legal, because she said she was never disciplined in all the time she has been an employee with the city. Her salary was $31,000.

Hudson said she was not going to go into details about the conversation she had with Pittman. When Hudson was asked about what Pittman told the News-Democrat, Hudson said she personally did an investigation. And, she said Pittman was allowed during the meeting to explain, as well as was given an opportunity to step out and have a discussion with her union representative and then return to the meeting.

Mayor Alvin L. Parks said he was unaware that Pittman was leaving.

"I was very surprised, but Sue has retired. She was not forced out. We definitely appreciate her 37 years of service to this city. I am going to make sure she gets everything that she's rightfully due as a retired employee."

Contact reporter Carolyn P. Smith at 618-239-2503.

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