Tuesday morning officials with Hyde City Council provided a statement regarding the events which stated, in part:
“We want to assure our residents and those that do business with Hyde Park that they are safe. We feel confident this was an isolated incident. We feel the comments and statements being circulated through social media have not always been accurate and are counter-productive. We hope that as residents we can move forward and come together to address the issues facing the city.”
Click here to read the statement in full.
A pair of public employees, in a small Utah city, are saying they are afraid to go back to work until city officials figure out what to do about their boss.
The reason? Their supervisor pulled out a handgun during a staff meeting and pointed it at them. Now that they have obtained legal counsel, the city is reviewing their decision to let him back on the job.
“All those in favor?“ “Aye.“ “O.K., we will move into closed session, and we will dismiss those who have shown up.“
And with that, Monday’s Hyde Park City Council meeting adjourned, 33 seconds after it started, forcing ABC4 out of the room, and leaving city leaders to reconsider the fate of the long-time director of the public works department.
They were talking about Mike Grunig, and an incident from November 14, 2018. The employee’s attorney recounts his clients’ and witnesses’ stories about what happened in the department’s weekly staff meeting that day.
“Mr. Gurig then made some comments,“ says attorney Sam Goble. “And then turned, according to the employees, and pointed the gun at each one of them while commenting… Something to the effect of, ‘I hate it when my friend does it to me, and so-and-so (the name of his client, which Goble wanted to protect) would look better with a dot on their forehead, don’t you think?’“
Mayor Sharidean Flint requested a police investigation when she heard about the incident last January. The former North Park police chief responded with a letter to the mayor, although he didn’t file a police report. Mayor Flint demoted Grunig, so that the offended employees wouldn’t be subjected to working for him. The Mayor also cut Grunig’s pay commensurate with the demotion.
Then, shortly after the mayor’s action, the city council held an emergency meeting, to which they invited Grunig and character witnesses. The employees were not invited, according to their attorney. The city council overturned the mayor’s disciplinary action against Grunig and restored him to his position.
Their declaration read in part: “The city council hereby modifies the discipline imposed by the mayor for this charge as follows: You are restored to your position as Hyde Park City Public Works Director.“
Attorney Goble says that decision is just another one, in a series of mistakes made by city leaders, regarding this case.
“That’s the problem,” says Goble. There are rules. There are very explicit rules to make sure that employees feel comfortable in the workplace. Those rules weren’t followed.”