Former Wright State police chief releases second statement
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following statement was sent to The Guardian by former Wright State police chief Michael Martinsen Monday morning in response to informal allegations that were made against him, hours before Wright State announced that he was “relieved of duties.” The statement reads:
Dear Wright State University Community,
In response to the persistent media outlets and lingering questions impacting my reputation across the region and on the internet, I must once again defend myself from the false informal allegations.
On Friday, I discovered in the media, of all places, that the informal allegations of sexual harassment were dropped after I responded with the facts. WSU then reported to the media that I am still being investigated for informal allegations of hostile work environment and retaliation by two female staff members. As much as I would like to name the female employees, I will refrain to spare their family members the media discomfort my family has endured over the past couple of weeks.
As for my treatment of our WSUPD female administrative staff, as the CEO of WSUPD, I provide the following workplace environment for all of them to enjoy, all administrative female staff are treated equal:
-I have promoted all of them at least once, one of them twice in five years
-I restructured all of their positions to provide enhanced responsibilities and higher salaries
-Gave them each an office with a window, which are superior to most command staff members, when they observed specialized opportunities being created for sworn police officers and felt left out
-Issued each of them awards for performance numerous times over the past 5 years
-Allow the staff to wear business-casual attire year round
-Set their very own hours, start time, end time, lunchtimes, and breaks (using the honor system for them to get 8 hours in each day, as long as the office area is attended) Working as a team of course
-take lunches and daily breaks together, as long as the office is attended
-take college courses in the middle of their work day, as long as they look out for each other as a team
-workout or jog in the middle of their work day, as long as they cover for each other as a team
-babysit their own child in their office during the work day when no other options for their family
-babysit their nephew in their office during their work day on very rare occasions
-leave work early when a major snow storm is approaching and take a project home with them to fulfill 8 hours of work
-come in late when they wake up to ice or snowy weather when officers are at HQ, fulfilling 8 hrs of course
-attend a variety of out of state training courses at places such as Key West, Florida, San Diego, CA, Vas Vegas, New Orleans, Louisville, Kentucky, and Charleston, South Carolina, etc.
-gather together in one office and engage in lengthy dialogue to prepare for their workday
-enjoy the internet, music, and even knitting in their office spaces during daily breaks
-work from home on projects when they need to attend to a sick relative
-work from home when they are coping with a family death or crisis
-leave work to go to a doctor, dentist appointment in the middle of the day (as long as they get in 8 hours and cover each other as a team)
-leave work early for a major repair or family issue, as long as they use time or complete 8hrs
-work from home on a project when coping with a major relationship crisis
-stay home and work on a project when they are coping with the loss of a pet
-leave work to pick up their child from day care or school when their spouse is unable, covering as a team
-take last minute vacation days, comp hours, etc.
-celebrate birthdays for those who want their birthday recognized
-I even bought one of their children a Christmas gift when he attended an office Christmas party
-I bought one of the employees a book to study for a certified counselor’s exam upon her graduation
-send the supervisor to the finest leadership school in the region for her to advance into the administrative hierarchy
Need I say more…. I don’t think we will have a difficult time filling a position at WSUPD in our administrative staff area, in the event of an opening. Ask anyone working at WSUPD if any of the administrative staff are slighted in any way, and they may faint. For someone to suggest that I have created a hostile work environment, for our administrative staff members is thoroughly outrageous in light of the manner in which they have been treated. Also, I have kept every text and e-mail ever exchanged. I provided them to the law director for review when I was placed on leave.
It is important to note, that I still have not received a single written informal or formal allegation from WSU, and never disciplined a single female administrative staff member in five years, until a recent letter of counseling had to be issued to one of them after behaving in a turbulent and unprofessional manner in the police department hallway just days before an informal allegation was made.
Be advised, a letter of counseling is the first step in the disciplinary process (very minor). The discipline was very reasonable in light of the fact the incident was captured on video (objective evidence) and disrupted a staff meeting. A few days after the employee was disciplined, an extremely concerning post (also objective evidence) was made by the employee allegedly on her Facebook site, where she identified herself as an employee of our police department. This was brought to my attention by another WSUPD staff member, concerned for her safety and the safety of others in our department, particularly on the heels of the turbulent event in the headquarters hallway.
My entire command staff met with an HR representative and reviewed the aggressive video and extremely disturbing posting. I was advised by the HR professional to call the employee by phone and immediately place her on paid administrative leave. During the phone call, the employee extended her two week notice. I still extended WSU services at that time, but the offer was declined during the call. The following Monday, I was advised by Asst. Chief Dave Finnie that she reported to HR and signed the resignation document. Approximately two days later, the other two female employees allegedly filed informal verbal complaints against me. All phases of the interviews and conversations afterward with administrative staff were recorded by command staff members.
When I was placed on paid administrative leave the HR Director advised me the same employee who resigned was permitted to change her mind despite the turbulent video and disturbing posting. That particular decision took ONLY two days with OBJECTIVE video evidence and an OBJECTIVE photo of the disturbing posting. I have been sitting at home for over a week without a single update or written allegation of the informal claims. In fact, I just learned today from Asst. Chief Dave Finnie, the identity of the two employees who filed the complaint against me, which prompted me to exercise my right to write this letter in my defense, which I was advised was not prohibited. I have to look out for my family, my professional reputation, and my internet image.
It would not be appropriate for me to provide the media a copy of the video of the hallway incident, the disturbing Facebook posting, the WSUPD letter of counseling, the HR letter placing her on paid administrative leave, the HR letter of her signed resignation, or the HR letter of re-instatement. I have been too busy comforting my family to begin to question HR’s logic in this matter on behalf of my WSUPD staff (concerns over workplace violence and safety on campus). I must assume Acting Chief Dave Finnie is looking into the decisions potentially impacting the safety of our staff and campus community.
When I was an undergrad at Miami University, I walked past an archway on a daily basis which read,
“Ye Shall Know the Truth and the Truth Will Set You Free.”
Now twenty-seven years later, I understand and value and wisdom of the statement. Hopefully, it was not overly optimistic.