Clark County elections employee fired for sexual harassment

The board fired elections specialist Michael Collier on May 10. An 18-page report completed in April by an investigator from Clark County Job and Family Services says Collier violated the policy for “conduct that creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment for persons of the opposite or same sex, including having of a sexual nature.”

Collier used offensive language to complain at least one time per week to a female co-worker about another female co-worker whom he believed spent too much time breastfeeding, according to the report. Collier continued to monitor the female employee’s breastfeeding time after his supervisor’s spoke with him and other employees about it, the report says.

The report also says Collier made comments about a lactating cow and large breasts. He was also cited for other failure of good behavior, including being manipulative to other employees and not being a team player.

Collier denied the allegations and said he didn’t have a problem with the employee breastfeeding, according to the report. He also said he believed he was a team player. Collier couldn’t be reached for comment Monday.

Clark County Board of Elections Director Jason Baker declined to comment.

Collier worked at the board of elections for more than eight years. He was one of two Republican election specialists.

In April former Deputy Director Tom Wilson resigned after two months on the job because he said he was disrespected by longtime member Lynda Smith.

In his resignation letter, Wilson said he was grilled by Smith and Baker about his residency without a member of the Democratic party present.

The issue should’ve been handled by the bipartisan board, not Smith, said Chairman Ted McClenen, a Democrat, at the May 10 meeting, according to the minutes.

Smith was worried about the board’s reputation, she said, and chose to speak with Wilson about his residency because she didn’t want to embarrass him in an open board meeting.

“What I feel is that if that upset him that much and all the things that he said in his letter about me, maybe it’s better that he’s gone,” Smith said. “If he was that upset about one discussion, then he wasn’t going to be able to handle the stress.”

According to the minutes, there may have also been a one-on-one meeting between McClenen and Collier, which the chairman denied took place.

Board member David Hartley took issue with the amount of time it took for Baker and Smith to tell other board members about the meeting.

“I don’t think this is a bipartisan board,” Hartley said. “I don’t feel like I am an equal participant with what goes on here, and I have a real problem with that. If that’s what it’s going to be, then why in the hell are we here?”

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