- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 9, 2002

The Metropolitan Police Department's director of human services will be suspended without pay because he created a hostile environment for his employees, Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said.
The Washington Times reported Dec. 20 that Bert Ennis would retain his job, despite an internal investigation that found Mr. Ennis verbally abused, threatened and embarrassed workers in the police department's human services division. Police officials would not comment on any punishment at the time.
But Chief Ramsey said this week that after Mr. Ennis returns from vacation, he will receive a suspension. Chief Ramsey said that before he made the decision, he met with Mr. Ennis and the nine employees who complained about him.
"Mr. Ennis is going to receive a suspension," Chief Ramsey said. "I'm not going to fire him. I will monitor his behavior."
Chief Ramsey would not disclose the length of Mr. Ennis' suspension, other than to say it is "substantial."
He said Mr. Ennis made some improvements in the human services unit.
"Bert has done a lot of good things with personnel. He has taken a dysfunctional operation and turned it around," Chief Ramsey said. "His behavior leaves something to be desired, but you have to strike a balance."
The Ennis case, along with continuing mismanagement problems in fleet-maintenance operations under Corporate Support Chief Executive Officer Eric Coard and Business Services Manager Brender Gregory, left some rank-and-file department employees grumbling that there is a double standard when it comes to wrongdoing on the part of top police officials.
"An officer would be drawn-and-quartered for some minor infraction. And these guys get off with nothing," said a police employee. "I guess Chief Ramsey thinks they should be treated differently than everyone else."
The punishment in the Ennis case comes almost 16 months after officials began looking into employee complaints.
An internal investigation into the complaints was forwarded to Mr. Coard almost a year ago Jan. 26, 2001 by Cmdr. Joseph F. Griffith, and a city source said "it sat on Mr. Coard's desk."
In that report, Cmdr. Griffith recommended Mr. Ennis be severely disciplined but did not specify a punishment. He noted that Mr. Ennis had been placed on notice two years earlier for similar complaints but "has failed to modify his conduct."
"His sustained misconduct had the potential to bring discredit and embarrassment to the department if it became public," the police commander said in his report.
"The sustained allegations and findings and conclusions in this investigation support that Mr. Ennis has engaged in employment-related misconduct and malfeasance that has interfered with the efficiency and integrity of departmental operations and is 'cause' for discipline," the report states.
In his report, Cmdr. Griffith said Mr. Ennis lied to him during the investigation, which the police commander considered to be serious misconduct and perjury.
The report states that Mr. Ennis defended himself by saying complaints were made against him because of his aggressive style of management and because he was caught up in a "witch hunt."

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide