Tempe Investigators Find Abusive Conduct in Public Works Department | Phoenix New Times
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The Tempe Land and Improvement Company was formed to sell lots in the booming town. Tempe became an economic hub for the surrounding agricultural area. The city incorporated in The completion of Roosevelt Dam in guaranteed enough water to meet the growing needs of Valley farmers. On his way to dedicate the dam, former President Theodore Roosevelt applauded the accomplishments of the people of central Arizona and predicted that their towns would be prosperous cities in the future.
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Less than a year later, Arizona was admitted as the 48th state, and the Salt River Valley continued to develop. In the 20th and 21st centuries, Tempe has expanded as a suburb of Phoenix, and as a center of education and commerce.
Geography[ edit ] Tempe is an inner suburblocated between the core city of Phoenix and the rest of the East Valley. Due to this as well as being the home of the main campus of Arizona State University, Tempe has a fairly dense, urbanized development pattern in the northern part of the city with a growing skyline. Going south, development becomes less dense, consisting of single-family homes, strip malls and lower-density office parks.
Within Tempe are the Tempe Buttes. The Salt River runs west through the northern part of Tempe; part of the river is dammed in two places to create Tempe Town Lake. Tony Miano was demoted after Tempe found that his behavior violated personnel rules prohibiting "abusive" workplace conduct. According to the report, beginning in Julyseveral Public Works employees in the field services division came forward with concerns about an unprofessional work environment and policy violations related to hiring, retaliation, and gender and age discrimination.
As a result, in December Tempe initiated a wide-ranging investigation. New Times obtained the final report dated May 22 through records obtained under state public records law, although the page document was heavily redacted to hide the names of employees who spoke to investigators.
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Employees described Miano as a demanding boss with a vindictive streak when it came to hiring and promotion in his division. Miano was hired as the solid waste manager in Januaryand then promoted to deputy director for field operations in Februaryaccording to the report.
As deputy director, Miano is responsible for overseeing solid waste, fleet services, and parks. The report says that Miano has served as president of the local organization three times.
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However, Miano's recruiting and promoting strategies left employees feeling like Miano harbored grudges. And although investigators said that Miano had not broken hiring or recruitment policies, they agreed that Miano's comments left a bad impression.
According to the report, SWANA members have allegedly said that "they have the job in Tempe — they just have to go through the formalities," suggesting that Miano's close ties to the organization may have led him to favor certain SWANA candidates.
Investigators also flagged an August incident when Miano requested that a union representative leave the room during the hiring discussion for the solid waste manager candidate.
Union involvement is consistent with Tempe's hiring practices, investigators said.
Browne told investigators the comment was meant to be lighthearted.