Weekly update — Jan. 15

Grievance filed against commissioner

Fresh off one expensive dispute, it looks like there’s another squabble between a county employee and a Curry County commissioner.

Finance Director Mark Lansford has filed a grievance against Commissioner Robert Sandoval, according to an email obtained by the CNJ through a state open records request.

The disclosure is on the heels of a weeks-long investigation of a dispute between Commissioner Dan Stoddard and County Manager Lance Pyle that cost the county almost $5,000.

An investigator hired by the county concluded in November that Stoddard may have created a hostile work environment for allegedly shouting at Pyle in front of county employees — a charge Stoddard has refuted.

The latest grievance, whose topic has not been disclosed, was initially made public on Tuesday by Sandoval following an executive session by commissioners. Sandoval, reading from a prepared statement, said he was “shocked and disappointed to hear of this grievance and I want our taxpayers to know that I did nothing wrong and that I will work to show them that I have been and will continue to be a commissioner that does the job that he was elected to do.”

Sandoval and other county officials declined to specify who filed the grievance or the allegations, saying it was a personnel issue.

Lansford’s name was disclosed in the email obtained Friday. It is from former commission Chairman Caleb Chandler to Pyle, requesting Pyle to put the matter on the agenda for the commission’s closed-door executive session.

Lansford said he didn’t want to comment now, but may do so at some later date.

— Robin Fornoff