- Associated Press - Monday, February 22, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - An external investigation of the state Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Division has concluded that the agency has a hostile work environment due to stressful conditions and an “overbearing director.”

North Dakota Human Resources Management Services launched the probe at the request of the DOT last fall. It has resulted in a search for a new division director and a review of policies, The Bismarck Tribune reported (https://bit.ly/1oxduDK ).

“There are many state agencies that are experiencing some of these issues due to increased public service demands brought about by the sustained boom in the oil field,” the investigation report said. “However, the intense work environment coupled with what appears to be a demanding and overbearing director led to the frustrations, perceptions and problems reported.”

The probe stemmed from a dispute between an employee and a supervisor in which the employee was fired but later offered a new position after twice appealing her termination. The DOT first conducted an internal investigation that did not find general harassment of employees but did find low morale. The department then requested the independent probe.

“The only really surprising thing was the extent of the morale. We didn’t know that,” Deputy DOT Director Darcy Rosendahl said.



Motor Vehicle Director Linda Sitz left her position and accepted another in DOT’s planning department before the conclusion of the external investigation. She didn’t respond to multiple Tribune requests for comment.

The investigation recommends that Motor Vehicle get a new director and that the agency make policy changes on such matters as breaks and overtime. Rosendahl said that’s being done.

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, https://www.bismarcktribune.com

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