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More than 40 employees send “ineffective leadership” complaint to OSBI commission

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OKLAHOMA - Dozens of employees at the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said they’re working under what they call ineffective leadership.

The director even stepped down then took his resignation back.

Monday, the OSBI spokesperson would only say she and the director have not seen the complaint.

It was submitted to the OSBI commission.

OSBI employees accuse Director Stan Florence of ineffective leadership in the complaint exclusively obtained by NewsChannel 4.

Employees wrote: “intra-agency unity held under previous leadership has eroded into an internal culture of distrust.”

More than 40 employees signed it.

Included in the allegations were health concerns at the lab in Lawton where “dangerous levels of toxic mold were found” and employees were plagued with “numerous health conditions.”

Employees allege “the director was well aware of increased employee health risks” and “waited almost two years from the initial mold assessment to close the building.”

Other allegations are more vague, from a “high number of grievances filed in the investigative division” to pay issues and Director Florence’s funding efforts at the legislature.

“General hostility, general bad behavior in the workplace is not protected by state or federal law,” said employment law attorney Dustin Hopson.

Hopson said it’s unclear whether OSBI leadership has done anything against the law.

“General dislike of your boss or general dislike of your employee is not grounds for a legal complaint on one side or the other. It’s just simply a bad workplace sometimes,” Hopson said.

As for the toxic mold case in Lawton, Hopson said, “in a lot of instances, the director of a state agency does not have any say over whether a building remains open.”

After the commission received the complaint in January, Florence announced he was resigning.

He rescinded his resignation letter a few days later.

Employees who signed the letter did not want to go on camera for fear of retaliation.

The commissioners will decide what happens next.