Franklin County Commissioners hire human resources consultant to conduct investigation

·2 min read

Jun. 10—FARMINGTON — The Franklin County Commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday to hire Deborah Whitworth, owner of HR Studio Group LLC in Portland, a human resources consulting firm, to conduct an internal investigation of the county's government.

Whitworth is also a commissioner on the Maine Human Rights Commission. She was appointed in 2011 and reappointed in 2017 by Gov. Paul R. LePage. Her term expires in August 2022.

The county's attorney gave commissioners the names of two people who could conduct the investigation and they chose Whitworth.

Neither Chairman Terry Brann of Wilton nor Commissioner Clyde Barker of Strong, who said he did not know what the investigation is about following an executive session, would comment on the matter.

Commissioner Lance Harvell of Farmington left following the meeting.

Commissioners also voted 3-0 to give a wage increase to county Finance Manager Vickie Braley. She was making $24.48 an hour, which was increased to $26. Braley is also filling in for county Clerk Julie Magoon, who put herself on indefinite leave May 28.

Barker thanked Braley for taking on the added duties. He also thanked new county human resource specialist and administrative assistant, Tiffany Baker of Wilton.

"I understand you are doing a great job," he said.

She started at the county June 1.

Brann said he would like to have the commissioners' meeting room back so that they could stop meeting at a courtroom at Superior Court. The commissioners office is now open five days a week.

Brann said they were told once the county hired a person for the human resource and administrative position they could reopen the commissioners' office for five days a week. It had been open only four days during COVID-19 restrictions and staff shortage since June 2020.

Braley told him the office has been open five days a week since Baker was hired.

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