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#978885 - 08/06/17 01:17 PM and you thought it could not get worse
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 3265
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope

In no way do I have a view on if this is true or not as it is the thing that comes to mind is this could get ugly. It is followed by " what the hell "

Rape allegation against division manager reveals ‘highly sexualized’ culture at state agency
BY WALKER ORENSTEIN
worenstein@thenewstribune.comM
Editor’s note: This story was reported in collaboration with Austin Jenkins of public radio’s Northwest News Network.
An inappropriate sexual culture festered for more than a year within the upper ranks of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife until a rape allegation against a former division manager brought it to light.
A law firm hired by Fish and Wildlife to investigate claims of sexual harassment spawned after the alleged rape found that a group of workers in the agency’s upper echelon often held or tolerated sexually explicit conversations at work. Some engaged in other inappropriate behavior both on the clock and after hours.
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The firm, MFR Law Group, also reported that the behavior, including at least one case of workplace sexual harassment, largely went unreported and unaddressed by the agency’s top leaders.
The News Tribune, The Olympian and Northwest News Network obtained the report in May through a public records request. The report, issued in 2015, had not previously been made public.
The news outlets asked three experts on workplace culture to review the report.
Steve Hirschfeld, a San Francisco-based lawyer who investigates corporate harassment issues at Hirschfeld Kraemer, said the MFR Law Group investigation showed “a workplace that is highly sexualized with a lot of, presumably, unprofessional banter.”
More than a dozen people named in the report seemed aware of at least one instance of inappropriate behavior. Many were in management positions.
Information revealed by the MFR Law Group investigation forced reflection among top leaders at Fish and Wildlife, who say they were unaware of brewing problems. They took steps to respond to fallout of the rape charge and the agency’s problematic work environment.
But they also painted the issues as emanating from one small faction of an agency, which is composed of roughly 1,900 employees working in Olympia and six regional offices across the state.
“It looked to me like it was this small group of folks going beyond the norm,” said Joe Stohr, deputy director of Fish and Wildlife.
Stohr spoke for the department because Director Jim Unsworth joined Fish and Wildlife while police were investigating the rape allegations. The previous director announced he would retire a few months earlier.
Micah Alpern, a consultant at A.T. Kearney who has helped multiple Fortune 500 companies through culture changes, said the report also revealed other flaws in how the agency operates.
“It comes across as a culture of hesitancy to speak up,” he said.
Manager accused of rape
Scrutiny of the agency’s internal culture began after one of its division leaders, Greg Schirato, was accused of raping another agency employee.
Schirato has been charged with second-degree rape and first-degree burglary in the case. He’s pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial in Thurston County Superior Court.
Schirato, known as an influential and well-liked figure within Fish and Wildlife, joined the agency in 1983 and worked his way up to become deputy assistant director for the Wildlife Division in 2010. He held that position until 2015 when he was fired in response to the MFR report and the rape allegations. Schirato is appealing to get his job back.
According to court records, the alleged rape occurred in December 2014.
Former Fish and Wildlife employee Greg Schirato, 55, is pictured in a screen grab from a prior television interview with KING TV.
KING 5 TV Courtesy
Schirato attended the agency’s Christmas party and then went out drinking in downtown Olympia with three co-workers, the records show.
One of the women who accompanied Schirato and the others said she went home afterward and fell asleep while “very intoxicated,” according to police.
The next morning, she woke up with clothes undone and found signs of a break-in, according to court records.
She called police and said she had intermittent memories of being sexually assaulted while she slept, records show.
Schirato, 55, was charged in April 2015 after detectives said they linked DNA and other evidence to him.
His attorney, Richard Woodrow, said he is confident Schirato will be proven innocent. He said Schirato did not enter the woman’s home that evening.
I DON’T THINK YOU’VE HEARD ME SAY WE’RE NOT CULPABLE. I WISH WE DID KNOW MORE.
Joe Stohr, Deputy Director of Fish and Wildlife
The woman who made the allegations declined to be interviewed for this story due to the pending criminal trial. She has since left Fish and Wildlife.
In January 2015 — while police were still investigating the rape accusation — Schirato and the woman made accusations of sexual harassment against each other at the agency.
The resulting 29-page report by the MFR Law Group found Schirato sexually harassed a woman who reported directly to him and who is not involved in the rape case. The report shows that Schirato told that woman she would be “fun at night” and made comments such as “I can’t believe how beautiful you are; you look so amazing.”
Schirato denied the harassment claim.
According to the report, four women also told MFR investigators that Schirato looked at them or watched them “in an inappropriate manner.”
In addition, some co-workers told MFR that Schirato tried to recruit them for sex.
The MFR report also states that Schirato hosted parties attended by colleagues. People went skinny dipping during at least one of those gatherings, the report shows.
The report states Schirato routinely talked about sex at work.
The firm says at least 11 people reported hearing Schirato make sexual comments or tell stories with sexual overtones. One woman, a manager at Fish and Wildlife, said Schirato brought up “getting naked at parties ... more than a dozen times” at work.
A man who used to be Schirato’s subordinate told MFR investigators that Schirato would talk about sex the same way someone “might go to the office and talk about NCAA basketball.”
Even Stohr, the agency’s deputy director, said Schirato once told him about being naked in a hot tub with women while on vacation in Las Vegas. Stohr said he redirected the conversation, which happened briefly in passing.
_________________________
Dazed and confused.............the fog is closing in

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#978891 - 08/06/17 06:23 PM Re: and you thought it could not get worse [Re: Rivrguy]
Old Guide Offline
Parr

Registered: 12/26/09
Posts: 46
there are lots of allegations well supported throughout members of the agency. This is not new news to many who work in WDFW in Olympia and Montesano. The report in the Olympian newspaper really underplayed the extent of the impropriety of the actions among some of the highest leaders in this agency. Real x rated stuff. Certainly not all leadership involved, and NONE of enforcement people. We will see if Schirato names any of his cohorts in a plea arrangement. There is a lot to tell here.

Question: do you think high level male administrators should take female interns and prospective employees alone to a mountain cabin?

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#978892 - 08/06/17 08:52 PM Re: and you thought it could not get worse [Re: Rivrguy]
Carcassman Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 5479
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
I wouldn't be so sure about no enforcement involvement....

Should be clearer. The article was about the Schirato incident. There was also a WSP investigation that has not seen the light of day once it went to the Director's Office.


Edited by Carcassman (08/07/17 09:07 AM)

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#978894 - 08/07/17 08:27 AM Re: and you thought it could not get worse [Re: Rivrguy]
WDFW X 1 = 0 Offline
Official Darkside Fucktard Whisperer

Registered: 01/27/15
Posts: 2515
"Question: do you think high level male administrators should take female interns and prospective employees alone to a mountain cabin?"

I think the women should be smart enough not to get involved in such situations.

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#978896 - 08/07/17 09:00 AM Re: and you thought it could not get worse [Re: Rivrguy]
BroodBuster Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 07/11/04
Posts: 3075
Loc: Bothell, Wa
So they should be smart enough to tell their boss to fuckoff? Sure that works.
_________________________
"Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them." Ronald Reagan

"The trouble with Socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money." Margaret Thatcher.

"How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don't think." Adolf Hitler

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#978900 - 08/07/17 11:51 AM Re: and you thought it could not get worse [Re: Rivrguy]
WDFW X 1 = 0 Offline
Official Darkside Fucktard Whisperer

Registered: 01/27/15
Posts: 2515
They should tell them exactly that or stay at home in the bedroom.

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#978907 - 08/07/17 03:26 PM Re: and you thought it could not get worse [Re: Rivrguy]
Jason Beezuz Offline
My Waders are Moist

Registered: 11/20/08
Posts: 2468
Loc: PNW
Humpygate
_________________________
The gear whore master-baiting anti-fly fisherman fly fisherman

“Fairness is a concept that was invented so kids and idiots could participate in debates.” – Dogbert

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#978922 - 08/08/17 11:10 AM Re: and you thought it could not get worse [Re: Rivrguy]
WDFW X 1 = 0 Offline
Official Darkside Fucktard Whisperer

Registered: 01/27/15
Posts: 2515
Plant fish....................not swimmers.

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#978923 - 08/08/17 11:10 AM Re: and you thought it could not get worse [Re: Rivrguy]
WDFW X 1 = 0 Offline
Official Darkside Fucktard Whisperer

Registered: 01/27/15
Posts: 2515
Plant fish....................not swimmers.

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#978927 - 08/08/17 02:31 PM Re: and you thought it could not get worse [Re: Rivrguy]
gooybob Offline
Spawner

Registered: 03/01/11
Posts: 993
Loc: Tacoma
Sounds like Fox News and their problems. It looks like too much hanky panky and not enough management. Something smells fishy!

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#978961 - 08/10/17 06:50 AM Re: and you thought it could not get worse [Re: Rivrguy]
stam Offline
Model Citizen, Zero Discipline!

Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 12388
Loc: wherever I want to be...
Idle hands are the devils playground.
_________________________
Go hard, or..... go home

http://community.webshots.com/user/stamtma?vhost=community

soremouth the works...

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#979100 - 08/16/17 11:48 AM Re: and you thought it could not get worse [Re: Rivrguy]
Carcassman Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 5479
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
Back on the front page of the Daily 0 with the report of firing 4 at the Wells hatchery. Boys continue to be boys at WDFW.

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#979101 - 08/16/17 12:08 PM Re: and you thought it could not get worse [Re: Carcassman]
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 3265
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope

OK it is to strange not to C&P

Report of sexually explicit ‘locker room talk’ leads to firings at state fish hatchery
BY WALKER ORENSTEIN
worenstein@thenewstribune.com
AUGUST 16, 2017 7:00 AM
Editor’s note: This story was reported in collaboration with Austin Jenkins of public radio’s Northwest News Network.
The four highest-ranking employees of a state fish hatchery were fired last week after an investigation into sexual harassment claims found rampant sexual conversations and hazing that led at least one woman to leave the office.
A private investigator hired by the Department of Fish and Wildlife to scrutinize behavior at the 17-person Wells Hatchery complex near Pateros found three male fish specialists routinely talked about sex and asked explicit sexual questions of coworkers.
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The investigator also reported the trio used insulting or profane nicknames for coworkers, such as “Miss Piggy,” and talked about the bodies of women who were visitors or state employees.
The hatchery’s manager, Jayson Wahls, was the fourth employee fired. Investigators said he did not stop “locker room talk” by subordinates and even brought Maxim magazines for the men’s bathroom at the hatchery.
The consulting firm Daphne R. Schneider and Associates said in its late-June report to Fish and Wildlife that Wahls “essentially condoned and promoted this sexualized atmosphere and sent a message to employees that it was acceptable.”
Fish and Wildlife is not pursuing criminal charges against the four because their misconduct did not appear to rise to that level, agency spokesman Bruce Botka said. Also, the consulting firm did not conclude anyone had been sexually harassed.
Fish and Wildlife Director Jim Unsworth said Monday the report showed graphic language that left him “startled and taken aback.” He said the behavior was unacceptable and the proper response was to fire the four managers.
“Looking at the evidence and how long it occurred and how it’s impacted some folks, it just seemed that was the appropriate level to take care of it,” Unsworth said.
The former employees could not be reached for comment. They can still appeal their firing. A lawyer for a union representing Fish and Wildlife employees did not return a request for comment.

Jessica Randklev The News Tribune
The consultant’s report was obtained Friday through a public records request by The News Tribune, The Olympian and Northwest News Network.
The firings come after the news outlets reported last week on a 2015 workplace investigation that found a sexual office culture among some in the Fish and Wildlife department’s upper ranks.
That investigation, which had not previously been made public, was spawned after Greg Schirato, a deputy assistant director for the Wildlife Division, was accused in 2015 of raping a coworker.
Schirato denies the allegations and has pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree rape and first degree burglary in a pending criminal case.
He was fired, but no other disciplinary action was taken after the workplace inquiry.
Allegations in the report
Most of the 30-page report on the Wells Hatchery centers on the behavior of three top-ranking fish hatchery specialists.
One of the three is Scott Moore, who is a supervisor who reports to Wahls. The News Tribune and The Olympian are naming him and Wahls in this story because they had supervisory roles and responsibilities. The newspapers are not naming the other two employees fired because they were not supervisors.
A redacted version of the report appears to show at least seven people said Moore and the other two specialists “frequently” used sexual language, told sexual jokes, asked sexual questions and made sexual references. This usually happened in the hatchery’s break room.
The three deny much of the conversation or crude behavior took place, but all acknowledged some of it happened.
This alleged behavior went so far that it drove one woman from the hatchery, the report says.
She told the investigator “the major reason” she left for a seasonal position at the nearby Methow Hatchery was because of “constant, daily sexual banter” and negative comments from Moore and one of the specialists about her work and the work of other employees.
She said the three men frequently asked her sexual questions or made crude comments, the report says. At least one suggested she prostitute herself when she works on fishing boats in Alaska because she could “make a lot of money,” according to the report.
The woman told the investigator she didn’t complain about the behavior to Wahls because “she did not believe it would do any good, and was concerned it could be held against her.”
The investigator’s report was sparked in February when two employees of the nearby Omak Hatchery told a Fish and Wildlife police officer about concerns they had regarding behavior at Wells.
The report says several people who have recently left the Wells Hatchery said the sexual atmosphere was “part, or a significant part of their reason for leaving.”
Wahls told the investigator he did not hear much of the sexual banter or name calling at the hatchery and said what he did hear was all in “good fun.” He said he did not stop it because nobody had complained about it, the report says.
Moore acknowledged sexual talk in the break room happened, the report says. But he downplayed the significance of the behavior, telling the investigator it was “just a group of guys” engaging in “locker room talk” and that it “has never gotten out of hand.”
The report says 10 employees “regularly” heard sexual comments and jokes in the break room while Moore was there.
One of the specialists denied some instances of sexual conversations to the investigator. He acknowledged others or had slightly different recollections of them.
Another told the investigator “sex comes up every once in a while” and said it “could be” that comments had been made about the bodies of women who were visiting the hatchery. He denied some of the sexual comments and questions others accused him of saying in the workplace.
Coworkers reported to the investigator all three men used crude, sexual nicknames for others, such as “vag.”
While the men mostly denied using the nicknames, Moore and one of the specialists admitted to calling one employee “tripod” as a reference to male genitalia, the report says.
Possible agency changes
Unsworth, the Fish and Wildlife director, said Monday that agency managers are expected to keep their workplaces “free of harassment” and make sure “people feel confident to come forward” with complaints about misbehavior.
When they don’t, they risk being fired, he said.
He also painted the agency as one that may need to improve its workplace culture and management training.
Unsworth said the reports of a sexual environment at Wells Hatchery made him question whether the methods the agency was using are effective.
“In this case, I think you could say probably not with these individuals,” he said.
Unsworth said he is considering an agency-wide look to see whether fear of reporting misbehavior is common. The 2015 report of a sexual culture among some at headquarters states it went on for more than a year because nobody reported issues to top management or human resources.
Barbara Baker, a commissioner on the nine-member Fish and Wildlife Commission that sets policy at the agency, said the department’s sexual harassment policy is strong but managers need to implement it better to encourage reporting misconduct.
She recommended an “assertive” training program for staff members that “goes far beyond what we currently do as an agency.” She said managers need to reinforce alternative ways for people to report problems.
“Staff need to understand that there are other avenues to report this kind of conduct and nothing can happen until it is reported,” she said. “Then after that, they need to trust that, to the extent possible, their privacy will be respected and also that management will investigate or take other actions to ensure the problem is remediated.”
Unsworth said Fish and Wildlife is considering sending higher-level managers more often to the agency’s remote outposts to check in. The agency owns or operates 83 fish hatcheries, as well as other rural offices.
Unsworth said some agency issues might stem from being a male-dominated environment. The Wells Hatchery complex, which has oversight of some small nearby agency pit-stops, currently has 10 men and two women. The roughly 1,900-employee agency is about 31 percent women, according to Botka, the agency spokesman.
While Unsworth said fishing and hunting fields have made strides in hiring women since his early days working for Idaho, his agency has a ways to go.
He said Fish and Wildlife administrators started talking Monday about hiring people to better “seek out and promote people of different genders and different ethnicities.”
“We’re not experts on that,” Unsworth said.
State Rep. Brian Blake, D-Aberdeen, said Fish and Wildlife should look to get help for an agency culture that he said needs “serious work” in places.
“I think that the commission who governs this agency needs to step up, and through the director, communicate very strongly that there needs to be somebody in charge that does have this expertise and the ability to change cultures,” said Blake, chairman of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.
The private investigator’s report also notes other issues at the agency.
It says Wahls likely misused government funds in several ways, such as borrowing hatchery equipment for personal use. The report hatchery employees raised safety issues, but they were outside the scope of the investigator’s work.
Preliminary information from a Fish and Wildlife officer said there were allegations that Wells Hatchery employees were coached to provide false numbers for fish stocking records
_________________________
Dazed and confused.............the fog is closing in

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#979102 - 08/16/17 12:12 PM Re: and you thought it could not get worse [Re: Rivrguy]
Carcassman Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 5479
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
And they still haven't released the WSP investigation...........

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#979130 - 08/18/17 03:42 PM Re: and you thought it could not get worse [Re: Rivrguy]
LocalTalent Offline
Juvenile at Sea

Registered: 06/30/14
Posts: 125
Rape? Did she buy a fishing license? If so, then I'd say yes, she was raped.

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#979364 - 08/30/17 02:38 PM Re: and you thought it could not get worse [Re: Rivrguy]
Carcassman Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 5479
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
Bit on the news today that Douglas PUD has pulled their contract with WDFW for Wells and Methow. In the past I have heard rumblings from others who fund mitigation hatcheries that they are unhappy with how some things are done. Wonder if more will follow suit.

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#979376 - 08/31/17 08:52 AM Re: and you thought it could not get worse [Re: Carcassman]
Salmo g. Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 12530
Originally Posted By: Carcassman
Bit on the news today that Douglas PUD has pulled their contract with WDFW for Wells and Methow. In the past I have heard rumblings from others who fund mitigation hatcheries that they are unhappy with how some things are done. Wonder if more will follow suit.


It's possible. I know that Tacoma Power has the option in its FERC license to contract with another party or operate the Cowlitz hatcheries itself. They have continued to contract with WDFW since the new license was issued in 2002 however.

The Douglas action should send a clear message to WDFW that in addition to producing mitigation fish, the hatcheries cannot reflect negatively on the PUDs image.

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#979377 - 08/31/17 09:30 AM Re: and you thought it could not get worse [Re: Rivrguy]
Carcassman Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 5479
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
I know Tacoma has been at least unhappy in the past, as has Seattle. I wonder that if Douglas is successful then some sort of consortium, like NWIFC, might be set up for the PUD facilities. Some sort over oversight, maybe a single location for Fish Health, an so on while the individual PUD operates things.

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#979390 - 08/31/17 03:28 PM Re: and you thought it could not get worse [Re: Rivrguy]
wsu Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 06/23/04
Posts: 399
Why wouldn't they all choose someone else? I would think TP would look at WDFW's complete incompetence on the Cowlitz and make a change.

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#979391 - 08/31/17 03:45 PM Re: and you thought it could not get worse [Re: Rivrguy]
Carcassman Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 5479
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
Who would that "someone else" be? Maybe the Cowlitz Tribe if they get more organized but I think Douglas' issue was that WDFW essentially embassassed them as it is their facility and money. Douglas wants to have more control of what goes on. Image is probably a big part of it.

Coming on the heels of the Schirato Incident it really looks bad.

Draining the swamp??

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