DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) — New documents shed more light on an increasingly public feud within the Dubuque County District Attorney’s office that will carry over to the November election.
Dubuque County Assistant District Attorney Richard Kirkendall, who is running against the current Dubuque County District Attorney in May this fall, released a redacted version of an agreement and a letter of apology he was told he had to sign to keep his job. Kirkendall says he has been the target of politically motivated personnel issues since announcing he would run against May for Dubuque County District Attorney this fall. May told TV9 that Kirkendall was the only person to politicize her workplace issues and said Kirkendall’s accusations were “100% false”.
The unsigned agreement accuses Kirkendall of ignoring a direct order from May, his superior, and sending an email on March 18 to other assistant Dubuque County prosecutors who disparaged an unnamed staffer. identified and May. Among other things, Kirkendall’s email said the staffer had “no natural aptitude” and accused May and the staffer of having an inappropriate relationship.
The deal then sets out terms for Kirkendall’s return to work, including sending a pre-written apology note to May and the unidentified staffer Kirkendall describes as ‘creepy’ and compared to the imposed Soviet letters. to political prisoners. In a blog post, Kirkendall says he refused to sign the deal but insists he wants to get back to work. May told TV9 that Kirkendall decided to quit, but Kirkendall claims that is not true.
“I have stated that I will NOT resign and am ready to return to work, but will not agree to endorse the lies contained in the agreement or the letters,” Kirkendall wrote in the blog post. .
Kirkendall also posted a response he says he sent to Dubuque County Human Resources. In it, he rejects the “last chance” deal, reiterates his claim that May is engaging in political retaliation against him, and invokes grievance procedures against the county. Kirkendall says the deal and the situation reflect what he says has been mismanagement since May as county attorney.
“Nothing about Mr. May’s management is ‘reasonable,’ nor are the terms of employment ‘reasonable’ when they include coerced confessions and acceptance that I belong to the gulag,” wrote Kirkendall.
KCRG-TV9 contacted Dubuque County Human Resources on Wednesday to confirm Kirkendall’s employment status, but did not receive a response.
May had previously told TV9 that there was nothing political about the disciplinary action Kirkendall faced, adding that Kirkendall had “the opportunity to return to work under reasonable terms of employment that would ensure a welcoming work environment. , inclusive and safe for all”.
“His proliferating attacks grew to include other county employees,” May said in a statement. “In my opinion, Mr. Kirkendall has maliciously put Dubuque County at risk with no regard to who gets hurt or how much it will cost the taxpayers.”
The agreements back up some of Kirkendall’s claims in a Facebook video he posted on Wednesday, when he said an initial HR investigation into a harassment complaint against him was unfounded. In the video, he said his lawyers advised against publishing the draft agreement and apology letters which he then posted on his campaign website the following day.
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