Fairhope HR manager resigns


During the Jan. 22 Fairhope City Council work session, Fairhope HR Manager Pandora Heathcoe announced she would be resigning from her position effective Feb. 2.

“For reasons I don’t feel we need to discuss, I formally resign,” Heathcoe said.

Council President Jack Burrell thanked Heathcoe for her service.

Heathcoe has been at the center of a controversy involving Mayor Karin Wilson, whom Heathcoe alleges assaulted her on Dec. 29, 2016.

On that date, Heathcoe met with Wilson and Fidler in a meeting where Wilson wanted to create a part-time position and fill it with her campaign volunteer, Lynn Maser.

Heathcoe wrote in a claim filed with the city May 19, 2017, that she advised the mayor that they needed to create a job description for that position before it could be filled, and said Wilson replied she “didn’t care.”

Heathcoe wrote she reiterated the position must be a budgeted line item because city rules do not allow for the hiring of new employees in non-budgeted positions.

“Wilson started screaming ‘We don’t have a f------ budget,’” Heathcoe alleged in the claim. “While she did so, she shook me violently leaving me dazed. While shaking me, the Mayor yelled ‘How many f------ times do I have to tell you to do something?’”

Heathcoe wrote “the mayor’s assault and battery” left her injured and emotionally shaken. She added she was unable to carry out her work at top form and it continues to leave her emotionally distressed.

Heathcoe wrote in the claim she had filed a police report with the Fairhope police, but did not proceed to swear out a warrant against Wilson.

In Sept. 2017, the Fairhope Personnel Board voted to overturn Wilson’s attempted demotion of Heathcoe in an appeal hearing.

Wilson was attempting to shift Heathcoe into a lower position, a Human Resource Coordinator position, which would have meant a drop in salary range for Heathcoe - from her current position’s range of $51,108.98 to $81,774.38 to the coordinator position’s range of $33,113.60 to $43,056.

Though Heathcoe had requested the meeting be open to the public, the Personnel Board decided some of the information that could come up in the hearing could be confidential material about other city employees, the board determined the meeting would be closed to the public.

“We can’t let confidential information be released about the city of Fairhope,” Personnel Board Member Rob Stankoski said.

Several city employees were on hand to potentially be called to speak during the hearing, though none were called during the nearly three hours the hearing took place.

Neither Heathcoe nor Wilson chose to comment after the decision was announced.

When asked for further comment on her resignation by The Courier, Heathcoe said her statement at the meeting “spoke for itself.”