MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – District Attorney Tearman Spencer says change is one reason a number of employees have left his office.
“Had it not been for COVID, we would probably have seen an exit much sooner after the election,” he said. “But for one reason or another they couldn’t get out, so they had to get to a place where people were hiring now, so that was expected.”
The Association of Municipal Attorneys of Milwaukee, an association of assistants to city attorneys in the Milwaukee District Attorney’s Office, has hired a law firm to address ongoing work environment concerns at the city law firm.
When asked why some lawyers would use an outside law firm if there wasn’t a problem, Spencer said, “They’re asking me to speak to you about what someone else is thinking and I can’t pinpoint them because I’m not specific For you and of course the environment will be hostile if you don’t get your way, “he said.
This week, Mayor Barrett signed a resolution instructing the employee relations department to prepare recommendations to the Joint Council to ensure that all elected city officials are subject to city politics, sexual harassment and other forms of intimidation. This comes after allegations are made against Spencer.
“However, we found that his actions were inappropriate and did not affect his position as a city attorney. So I want to make sure this is clear as he continues to say they were unfounded,” said Makda Fessahaye, director of employee relations for Milwaukee City , the Finance and Personnel Committee of the Joint Council announced last month.
“Again, it’s totally unfounded, I don’t know what the director’s agenda for employee relations is, but now let’s get back to the timeline. I’m in this office, within three weeks these allegations were made and they are starting to put them together Three Weeks if a man gets sick and still comes in with COVID, connect the dots, “Spencer said.
He said he called someone “cutie” and commented on a runner’s legs.
“I called someone ‘sweetie’, not honey, and I immediately apologized,” said Spencer. “And it turns out we were in a meeting and I didn’t remember her name and said, ‘I’m sorry, honey, I do.” I don’t remember your name. ‘”
He also addressed what he said were allegations that he wanted to put cameras in the office to spy on people.
“Let’s get rid of the misnomer, there are cameras here that my predecessor had in his office,” he said.
He said he didn’t know how many there were, where they were or who was watching them.
“I think it’s very prudent that when people are concerned that someone is taking inappropriate action against them, I have to give them some kind of security. I don’t want anyone to come into my office unless I can myself protect, so I think that’s very prudent, but when someone says I want to spy on people, it’s on the contrary. “
The Milwaukee Police Association has also raised concerns about Spencer. An 11-page complaint to the Wisconsin Office of Lawyer Regulations states in part that MPA believes Spencer’s actions “were grossly unethical and deserve immediate investigation.”
I’m not blaming the MPA for what they do, it’s a union, “Spencer said.” They try to stand up for all of their employees and all of their union members. I want the best for the city. I want you to come to work and work within the confines of your job, not go beyond it. “
The director of the Office of Lawyer Regulations told CBS 58, “The Supreme Court requests the Office of Lawyer Regulation to keep complaints confidential. Therefore, it is not appropriate for me to provide information in response to your request.”