Former HR director levels new criticisms against city

In a letter dated Wednesday, LaMont --- who has filed a discrimination complaint against Lott and the city and has now resigned her position --- contends that the city either failed to take action or took inappropriate action on several personnel matters ranging from an employee she says forged signatures to documents that the city submitted to a federal agency to a matter involving an employee in the city attorney's office sending a malicious e-mail to a former city attorney's office employee after they were terminated.

LaMont has also taken issue with the way the city has handled her recent leave to attend the Society of Human Resource Management conference in San Diego, Calif.

LaMont says that the city couldn't locate documentation to support her request to leave and then questioning some of her expenses while away.

In response, Assistant City Manager Wes Smith, who was LaMont's direct supervisor, said that he was limited in his ability to respond both because of an active EEO investigation and because it was a personnel matter, but did say that the city was reviewing LaMont's expenses after some items of question were discovered. Smith did say that all of the supporting documentation to justify LaMont's trip was now in hand and that it initially was misplaced.

As to the employee and the forgeries, Smith said that once that issue was brought to their attention, that an internal investigation and review was started but that the employee in question resigned before the completion of the investigation.

Assistant City Manager James Taylor, who oversees the city's Department of Community Affairs, said that the federal agency in question, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, had been made aware of the situation at the time it was discovered and required no follow-up action.

LaMont resigned July 12, leaving behind a resignation letter detailing alleged instances of both racial and gender discrimination by Lott and incidents where she contends she was asked to fabricate a story for the EEOC regarding the discrimination complaint of another employee.