SHAMOKIN — Housing Authority of the City of Shamokin Executive Director Ron Miller is serving a three-day suspension without pay after the organization’s grievance committee sided with one of his subordinates relating to alleged workplace mistreatment incidents on the job.
According to board president Dave Kinder, Miller is serving his suspension through Friday. Raspberry Hill project manager Jona Diehl filed a grievance against Miller concerning “harassment and retaliation,” Kinder said.
Diehl said she believes she has been retaliated against after she wrote a letter of support to the board for a maintenance man that Miller had fired in April.
“The board rehired (the maintenance man), and ever since then (Miller) has harassed me. He writes me up for every little thing that is not true,” Diehl said.
Kinder said a three-person grievance subcommittee of the organization’s five-member board unanimously found the grievance to be valid after Miller declined to attend the private hearing because his attorney was not permitted to be there.
“Mr. Miller is expected to return to work on Monday,” Kinder said.
During an interview with The News-Item Wednesday, Miller categorically denied the claims levied against him by Diehl and concluded that the board is wrong for suspending him for “just doing his job.”
“Everyone needs to follow the same policy,” he said. “I have done nothing wrong to warrant the suspension. The suspension isn’t fair. I got suspended for following our policies, procedures and HUD (Housing and Urban Development) regulations”
According to Miller, Diehl told him she doesn’t want him going to the Raspberry Hill Housing Complex and evaluating her performance, which is one of his responsibilities as executive director.
Miller, who has been the executive director at the housing authority for 30 years, said Diehl began working for the authority in 2012.
Miller rebuffed Diehl’s belief that the quarrel between the two began in April.
“(This all) started with a performance evaluation I did in January regarding (Diehl),” he said. “Three months later she brings it back, but she doesn’t want to review it, she says. Policy requires a review with your supervisor.”
Miller went on to say, “She was not following her job description and not adhering to her job description. Occupancy, maintenance work orders and property inspections are some of her duties she wasn’t properly fulfilling.”
Diehl said Miller began nitpicking her inspections after she wrote the letter of support in April.
“All of a sudden this inspection thing came out, but if you ask any tenant who has been there the last seven years, they will tell you I’ve done the inspections,” she said.
Miller also claims Diehl was never certified as a manager, which is mandatory for her to hold her position.
Diehl did not dispute that she is not certified.
“There is a description of having to do a property manager certification within 12 months of hire, but he never came to me and said I needed to go do it,” she said. “When I was hired he told me I might have to do civil service and that was it. As my supervisor, he should have come and said you need to (get certified), and he never did.”
Miller said he has contacted the Office of Inspector General, Department of Investigations, over issues going on that the housing authority board has ignored.
He also said he filed a complaint with Shamokin police over an allegation of missing funds from the Raspberry Hill complex.
“I requested a field audit and filed a report for missing funds with Shamokin police,” Miller said.
“His latest accusation is that I’m stealing money from our laundry machines,” Diehl said. “From what I understand, he hired a private investigator to do a handwriting comparison on the inspections, which came back as matched and showed nothing was wrong.”
She concluded, “In seven years, he has never looked at an inspection book, or a work order, and now all of a sudden he will report this and report that (about me). Everyone knows it is all retaliation.”