Village manager responds to allegations of harassment and discrimination made by former police chief

HOLLY, Mich. (WXYZ) - The former Holly Police Chief accused village leaders of sexual harassment and discrimination, and now one of the men she is taking aim at tells his side of the story.

It is an update to a story you saw on 7 Action News at 11 Thursday night.

Former Holly Police Chief Elena Danishevskaya told 7 Action News she was forced out of her job and resigned after being discriminated against by Village Manager Jerry Walker and sexually harassed by Councilman Thomas Clark when he sent her inappropriate emails and touched her inappropriately.

"Emails with two strippers on a stripper pole.  The inappropriate hug where I felt like I was molested," said Elena Danishevskaya in an interview with 7 Action News from Thursday night.

But the village attorney dismissed the complaint after coming to his own conclusions from a third party fact finding report stating the emails were an accident and said he saw people hugging at the Olympics all the time.

"The decision to leave was purely on her own.  She was not expected or requested to resign but she decided to do that," said Jerry Walker, Village Manager.  He spoke with 7 Action News by phone Friday evening.

Walker calls the timing of the former chief's sexual harassment complaint suspicious because he said she was about to get a bad job review.

"All of the complaints that Chief Danishevskaya outlined in her original complaint, they all occurred more than six months prior to her filing her sexual harassment complaint and they were filed at the time when she knew her probationary period was going to end," said Walker.

Around the same time the sexual harassment complaint was dismissed, a vote of no confidence came out from 12 of her 13 police officers, signed against the former chief for 19 different actions or inactions. 

"I think there was a definite lack of leadership in the department.  The department seemed to be floundering," said Walker.

The former chief had been on paid administrative leave at the time she resigned.  She left before the Oakland County Sheriff's Department completed their investigation into the vote of no confidence report.

The Village Manager also says the former chief had a chance to appeal the sexual harassment ruling but chose not to.

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