A city report suggests that Kevin Briski, Madison's new parks superintendent, was the victim of unfair and untrue allegations.
The city launched an extensive probe last year into complaints from a Parks Division employee who charged that Briski harassed and discriminated against him.
The worker, whose name was redacted from the city's report, complained that Briski in early July berated him behind closed doors, calling him "nothing but a bullshitter" and not good at his job.
In a second complaint, filed last Aug. 1, the employee claimed Briski treated him differently due to race.
But the report completed last November by Bill Vanden Brook, a city supervisor, found that no one except the complainant seemed to share his view. Most of the 14 people interviewed said they never saw Briski engage in intimidating behavior; many affirmed that he "conducts himself in a professional manner."
Vanden Brook deemed the allegations either demonstrably false or not supported by any evidence. Briski, in a statement released to Isthmus along with the report, says the complainant concocted his allegations after being "disciplined for serious and substantial performance issues." Briski said he is "personally and professionally offended by [these] fabricated allegations," which city staff spent "hundreds of hours" looking into.
In an email to the city, the complainant pegged the report as a whitewash and predicted there will be "many more" such complaints against Briski.
In truth, Briski's demeanor has raised internal concerns; one supervisor left a staff meeting in tears. And some have questioned Briski's decision to lay off the Goodman Pool manager (Watchdog, 1/21/09). But there are signs that he has softened his approach. Sometimes it takes people awhile to get used to Madison.