ity hall at Parkville has been abuzz with reports that Deborah Hammond of Parkville has been removed from her position as an administrative assistant.
According to a Landmark source, the lock on Hammond’s office door has been changed and her access card to the premises was deactivated. City officials recently hired an Overland Park firm specializing in human resources to investigate claims of falsified time sheets, among other things.
Hammond denies that she has been terminated, telling The Landmark she is on vacation. Parkville Mayor Kathy Dusenbery was out of town and unable to comment while City Administrator Joe Turner said Friday afternoon he was unable to comment on personnel issues.
“I can neither confirm nor deny she is employed by the city,” Turner said.
On Friday afternoon, The Landmark took a Missouri Sunshine request in writing to City Clerk Claudia Willhite requesting all documentation between Turner, Mayor Pro Tem Marvin Ferguson and the remaining board of aldermen concerning Hammond’s actions as a city employee. Specifically, emails, memos, and other correspondence were requested, as well as documentation showing the cost to taxpayers for hiring the investigator.
“I was unaware this was public information,” said Willhite after reading the Sunshine request. “I’d like to know who told you.”
Sources said some city hall employees had been advised in previous weeks to personally document Hammond’s comings and goings to later check against her time sheets. At one point, according to a Landmark source, Turner sent an internal memo to all employees making it clear the workday consists of hours between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., there will be no working from home, and lunch breaks are to last exactly one hour. It is unclear whether that email was targeted for Hammond.
When contacted Friday by telephone, Hammond adamantly denied reports she has been terminated.
“I don’t know who would have told you that. I am on vacation,” Hammond responded before hanging up the phone.
As first reported in The Landmark last February, Hammond was hired with a start date of Feb. 15 to fill a position titled ‘assistant to the city administrator’ with a starting salary of $32,000. Board of aldermen members voted unanimously in favor of the addition, saying the position was advertised in three publications and had 34 applicants. Turner recommended her services, saying the decision was an easy one.
Before beginning her new post, Hammond said she was ready to take on this new task.
“Everything we do is for the citizens’ benefit,” Hammond said last February. “It’s all about how we can better serve the community. I have the utmost respect for the staff at city hall and we’re a team.”