McClure gets time to appeal his firing

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Former Augusta Animal Services Field Supervisor Bruce McClure, appealing to the Personnel Board after being fired over allegations that he sexually harassed three animal control officers, has been given an extra month to prepare his case.

He told the board Wednesday that he had just been handed a thick envelope containing investigative documents, and he needed time to read them. Hearing no objections from the other board members, Chairman Harold Simon granted a continuance until Feb. 17.

Mr. Simon didn't ask for a rebuttal from General Counsel Andrew MacKenzie before making the decision. Afterward, Mr. MacKenzie said Mr. McClure only requested the documents Sunday, and that when he tried to call, Mr. McClure's voice mailbox was full.

City Administrator Fred Russell fired Mr. McClure on Nov. 30 following an in-depth investigation that found many complaints of inappropriate behavior toward women back to 2004.

A case finding by the Augusta Equal Employment Opportunity Office also said Animal Services Director Diane Downs was aware of Mr. McClure's behavior, but did nothing, something Ms. Downs has denied.

"It is recommended that a severe discipline is issued to the Animal Services Director," the report by EEO Coordinator Jacqueline Humphrey said, "such that she is not in a position to supervise others."

Because she's a department head, taking disciplinary action against Ms. Downs will be up to the Augusta Commission. Mr. Russell said he will decide what to recommend later in the week.

The city's investigation began when three women complained to EEO that Mr. McClure, an animal cruelty investigator, was sexually harassing them. One woman said he groped her during an "inappropriate conversation," according to the EEO case finding.

The accompanying investigative report, reviewed by The Chronicle under an open records request, said the harassment started before the women had been hired, with Mr. McClure getting their phone numbers off their applications.

The investigation found a pattern of similar behavior. In 2004, a co-worker alleged that Mr. McClure twice exposed himself to her, the EEO report says. In 2005, a state Department of Agriculture investigator complained that he made a crude pass at her.

Also in 2005, Mr. McClure was charged with simple battery after a co-worker on an outside security job accused him of holding her against her will and forcing his tongue in her mouth. The case wasn't prosecuted because she didn't show up for court.

The investigative file also includes affidavits from two women involved in the ongoing animal cruelty case against Loo's Cuddly Critters on Walton Way. Proprietor Rebecca Loo said that, before citing her, Mr. McClure asked her to sit in his vehicle with him, where he asked if she lived alone, asked if she had a boyfriend and said he would come by her house some time to see for himself.

A store worker said Mr. McClure came to her home, threatened to write her a citation, said his badge gave him power to "do anything," asked her astrological sign, asked if she had a boyfriend or husband and asked if she lived alone.

The report, written by private investigator J. Alexander Chilton, who was retained by the Law Department, said there was a "common denominator" among all the complainants.

"Bruce McClure approached them all when they were alone and/or in an induced isolated situation with him," Mr. Chilton wrote, adding later, "When Bruce McClure is accused of and/or confronted with any wrong doing (sic) or inappropriate behavior, he immediately goes on the attack. Bruce disparages, impugns, insults and denigrates the character of his accuser. In some instances he has actually accused his accuser of the same accusation levied at him."

This was the second time Mr. Russell had fired him. He did it in 2004, when Mr. McClure was accused of falsifying records so he could take a female boxer out of the pound, then breeding the dog for profit while letting her heartworms go untreated.

Mr. Russell's decision was later reversed by the Personnel Board.

Reach Johnny Edwards at (706) 823-3225 or johnny.edwards@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (9) Add comment
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guess who
0
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guess who 01/14/10 - 06:00 am
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0
do not hire this sex freak

do not hire this sex freak back,he is going to be more trouble
than you want.he need his head check,all the female are not lying on him.he falsifying records is a sign,if you lie you will
steal.

TWright987
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TWright987 01/14/10 - 06:50 am
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If you have in the past few

If you have in the past few years worked in the field with animals, you KNOW who Bruce McClure is! He is a pitifully lonely person, with no respect for women. Yes, he has made advances toward me. I refused a job with RC as the advances started before I was even hired as this article refers. He needs help, not an official position. If he is hired back this time, he will think his behavior is ok, and that he is untouchable.

shootamonkey
12
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shootamonkey 01/14/10 - 08:16 am
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why isn't this guy being
Unpublished

why isn't this guy being prosecuted criminally for sexual battery?

grinder48
2051
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grinder48 01/14/10 - 08:25 am
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don't we need to give him a 9
Unpublished

don't we need to give him a 9 month severance package, a $125,000 check to not sue, appoint him fire chief, then elect him mayor?

NANF
4
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NANF 01/14/10 - 09:20 am
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It's all in who ya know in

It's all in who ya know in Augusta. What a shame. You powers that be have a great nights sleep folks.

terry67
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terry67 01/14/10 - 01:55 pm
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grinder48 - Now that's funny!

grinder48 - Now that's funny! Then again it might happen! He might get a big bunch of bananas!

ispy4u
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ispy4u 01/14/10 - 04:56 pm
0
0
I wonder why this guy was

I wonder why this guy was hired in the first place? Naw, it cannot be?

corgimom
38280
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corgimom 01/14/10 - 06:56 pm
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Ugh, I was nauseous just

Ugh, I was nauseous just reading this story. Those poor women. If the best I could do was that slime, I'd just give up.

DEVGRU
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DEVGRU 01/14/10 - 07:43 pm
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One day a jealous husband

One day a jealous husband will offer a man like this a testicular removal procedure with a dull pocket knife.

ispy4u
0
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ispy4u 01/17/10 - 08:57 am
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Amazing how Lancelot, Andy

Amazing how Lancelot, Andy War and Johnston are absent from this article but all over Chiquita Johnson.

Hearts for Animals
19
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Hearts for Animals 02/01/10 - 10:09 am
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A private citizen harrassed

A private citizen harrassed and tormented mentally by Bruce McClure,with full knowledge by Diane Downs...it was not just them,but 2 other officers as well,one of which was reportedly disciplined. I wrote to Ms. Downs,to Mr. Leverette and Mr. Russell on numerous times and called...all to no avail..all the while this was happening to McClure..nothing was said about his actions towards me. Mr. McClure used his badge to terrorize me,threaten me into submission and used a guardian ad litem as his co conspirator to manipulate me...his actions behind the closed doors of my home are another thing entirely....he destroyed my life,killed my dogs,helped a custody case against me,even though he knew my animals were well care for and so was my home...that is corrupt government..they protect their own and will destroy anyone who gets in their way with the flick of a pen.

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