HOLLY, Mich. (WXYZ) - In the village’s postcard perfect downtown, the chatter is all about the now former police chief.
Holly Police Chief Elena Danishevskaya ultimately tendered her resignation after the village police union sent a letter to the village manager titled “No Confidence Vote.” Twelve officers signed the letter.
The officers accuse Danishevskaya of 19 actions or inactions, amounting to mismanagement of the department. What that means is unclear. Police and township officials won't give us any specifics.
Action News reached out to the village attorney and he also would not explain the reason for the conflict, saying the Oakland County Sheriff is handling the investigation and when it’s complete, the results will be made public.
After the story aired, Village Manager Jerry Walker sent a statement saying that the sexual harassment complaint was investigated by a third party and they concluded the complaint was not factual.
The sheriff’s department will only say no criminal act was committed.
As for Danishevskaya, we reached out to her but have not gotten a response. Her attorney, Deborah Gordon, released this statement to Action News:
“I have been placed on administrative leave solely in retaliation for my having filed a complaint of sex discrimination and sexual harassment against the Holly Village Manager Jerry Walker and Holly Council Member Thomas Clark.
The complaint was filed in writing the week of March 11th, 2012 per the Village of Holly Policies and Procedures. It included my concerns that Councilman Thomas Clark had sent me sexually explicit emails including a video of a topless woman shooting a handgun, made sexually inappropriate comments to me and hugged me inappropriately.
I also expressed concerns that the Village Manager Jerry Walker treated me differently then male Department Heads as well as treating me in a discriminating matter.
Almost six months after my complaint was made, on August 23rd, 2012, the Village finally got around to issuing its findings, which are required by the policy. The Village found against me on every one of my more than 20 different allegations.
On the SAME DAY, I received an undated letter which is referred to as a vote of no confidence. The things listed are not violations of policies and procedures and are a clear attempt to create a record against me. Some of things listed date back over one year ago, and were never mentioned at the time.
Several are just flat out misstatements. I have responded in writing to each one. It is clear to me that since the day I filed my complaint of discrimination, Village Manager Walker has made his mind up to get rid of me.
The latest press release, which is inaccurate, and leaves out important information, and my being placed on an administrative leave is further evidence of that. I have submitted my letter of resignation to the Village.”
Holly’s attorney would not comment on the statement saying he had not seen it.
We’ll let you know when the investigation wraps up. The original press release from Holly Village officials is posted below:
"The Village of Holly has received a letter entitled “Vote of No Confidence” against Police Chief Elena Danishevskaya signed by 12 members of the police officers union. The Vote of No Confidence letter cites 19 separate incidents of actions or inactions on the part of the Police Chief which the signers allege amount to mismanagement of the Police Department and violations of Village and Police Department policies and procedures.
The letter was referred to Village Attorney, Richard J. Figura, for review and investigation. Mr. Figura has, in turn, referred the complaint to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department for investigation and submittal of a report of that investigation to the Holly Village Council. Having the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department conduct the investigation ensures that it will be performed by a neutral third party with police department management experience. The investigation by the Sheriff’s Department will be performed by a unit within the Department with experience in handling such investigations and will be performed at no cost to the Village.
In the meantime, the Police Chief has been placed on administrative leave with pay, pending the outcome of the investigation. Because of the Chief being placed on administrative leave, the Sheriff’s Department staff conducting the investigation has promised to proceed with it as a top priority and to report back as quickly as possible while protecting the rights of all involved.
Also, to protect the rights of the Police Chief and the signers of the letter, this will be the only statement by the Village on this matter until such time as a final report is delivered to the Village Council by the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department."
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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