Personnel dispute leads to alleged threats, Meier denies allegations

in News

Read the incident report here.

By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

A dispute over personnel issues at the state treasurer’s office led to an allegation of threats being made in March by state Treasurer Curt Meier against employees in the state Human Resources Division, according to an incident report filed by Wyoming Highway Patrol officers.

However, Meier, in a news release issued Tuesday, denied making any threats and noted that the incident did not result in any charges being filed.

“Let me be clear, I unequivocally deny that I made any threat,” Meier said. “My conversations with Human Resources have always been professional and, in fact, I have never even visited HR since my election.”

The report also referred to an alleged dispute between Meier and state Auditor Kristi Racines while both were attending a meeting in the Jonah Business Center. Racines noted the report was more than a month old and said she and Meier get along well.

“I believe Treasurer Meier and I have a good working relationship,” she said Tuesday. “I have every confidence that we will continue to work well together in the future.”

According to the report filed by Trooper Erik Shoden and obtained by the Cowboy State Daily, he and one other Highway Patrol officer were called to the Emerson Building on March 21. The Emerson Building houses the state’s Department of Administration and Information, which is the parent agency for the state Human Resources Division.

According to the report, Anne McGee, manager of the Human Resources Division, told the officers that Meier threatened violence against the division that prompted the division to institute a “lock down.”

Human Resources employees said Meier and his office “had become increasingly agitated with employees leaving his office for employment opportunities at other state agencies, such as the governor’s office and state auditor.”

The employees said Meier was not happy that he could not easily reclassify existing positions within his department to provide higher salaries for his employees, the report said.

The report quoted employees as saying Meier was particularly unhappy with the departure of one employee who joined the state auditor’s office at a position two levels higher than what Meier could offer.

“Believing he was being treated unfairly by the Human Resources Department, he stated he had already verbally beat up the department, but now he was going to have to do it physically,” the report said.

The report was not clear as to whether the comment was made over the phone or in person. The comment prompted the lock down of the Human Resources Division.

The employees also told officers of Meier “aggressively cornering” Racines during their meeting at the Jonah Business Center to discuss her office’s hiring of one of Meier’s employees.

Russ Noel, deputy director of the Department of Administration and Information, was quoted in the report as saying he had spoken with Meier two days prior to the alleged incident.

“Noel … stated Treasurer Meier sounded very annoyed on the phone, but was not acting rude towards him,” the report said. “During the phone conversation, Meier was bothered he was not able to reclassify positions and hire people in a timely manner, hinting the Human Resources Department and subsequently A&I were not doing everything they could to help him with his staffing situation. He concluded by saying this (the issue) WILL get taken care of and this was the last straw.”

The report said no criminal violation was identified and the investigation was closed.

Meier’s office, in an email accompanying the news release, said there would be no further comments made by the treasurer about the incident.

Note: This story has been updated as of 7:40 PM, April 30, 2019.

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