• 9 Investigates employee complaints about Seminole County commissioner

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    SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - 9 Investigates uncovered complaints about a hostile work environment at the hands of a local county commissioner. One former aide even called him a nightmare boss.
     
    Channel 9's Karla Ray found an investigation that shows in the three years Seminole County Commissioner Lee Constantine has been in office, three of his aides have quit or asked to be reassigned to another office. In each case they had the same complaints.
     
    Soul-crushing, demeaning, unfair, inconsistent and rude were all terms used by former aides to Constantine. They all worked for him at the county's administrative headquarters.
     
    "I recognize that I am a very hard-working person," Constantine said.
     
    Ray took the completed investigation to Constantine after his most recent aide, Sharon Peters, sent a letter to the county's human resources department claiming a hostile work environment.
     
    "If she did not want to work that hard, she could've come to me and we could've rectified it," Constantine said.
     
    Peters told investigators that the former state senator berated her, chastised her and even accused her of having dyslexia because she had given him a wrong phone number.
     
    Constantine said the complaints all come from employees who wanted to keep the "status quo."
     
    "This, I think, in many ways was a self-fulfilling prophecy. They did not want to work with me, and it turned out that way," Constantine said.
     
    Though Constantine did nothing illegal, county policy sides with the employees in promising a friendly, productive, and harassment-free workplace.      
     
    Constantine said he'll go through management training.
     
    "When you work for the people you, should have the hardest work," Constantine said.
     
    The woman who made the complaint about Constantine still works for Seminole County and has been moved to another department.
     
    County leaders said that because commissioners are elected, they do not fall under the same code of conduct as county employees.


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