The family of Joan Chisolm, the secretary who testified in front of the city council against Lanisha Makle, the director of community development, who was cooking up time sheets during the Hurricane Irene overtime scandal, attended the City Council meeting on Tuesday evening to speak on her behalf.
“We can’t believe the city would allow this to happen,” said Frampton Chisolm, her husband. “This doesn’t make any sense just because she comes before the council and tells the truth, and her boss wants to fire her that sounds like retaliation.”
Chisolm was fired due to excessive absenteeism and misconduct, according to the city. Many have said the charges against Chisolm are dubious, and the fact is she is being retaliated against because of her honest testimony during the 2011 overtime scandal which painted Makle in a negative light.
Chisolm has been on medical leave since November going through breast cancer treatment; her family said she was suffering from stage 2 breast cancer and required chemo and other lengthy medical treatments. Although every member of the council was wearing a ribbon for breast cancer awareness month, very few of them expressed any sort of indignation at the mistreatment of Chisolm.
“Mrs. Chisolm testimony before the council was honest, forth coming,” said Kenneth Morris, councilman at-large, who said he personally believed this was retaliation on part of Makle. Council members expressed their sympathy for Chisolm, but many stopped there.
Anthony Davis, the 1st Ward councilman, said he “disapproved” of the way the secretary was treated, and he hoped some form of an investigation will be conducted to get to the truth of the matter. “All she did was step forward and tell the truth,” said her husband.
“Battling cancer just isn’t enough try battling for your job,” said June Robinson, Chisolm’s sister. “It is very very unjust.” City officials have not said much about the situation because it’s a personnel matter.
“We’re not going to mistreat our employees,” said Rigo Rodriguez, councilman at-large, who demanded an investigation be done to figure out what happened. “I would like to see a report of what went on here,” said Rodriguez.