Ald. Bob Donovan
Press Release

Gag Order for Health Department Employees Lifted by Mayor

I am pleased that Mayor Barrett rescinded the policy, because whether in writing or not it is a culture that has existed for years in city government.

By - Feb 1st, 2018 05:00 pm

I can’t believe it took him an entire day, but Mayor Tom Barrett has rescinded the Health Department policy restricting employees from communicating with elected officials.

I want to know if this now extends to all city departments (including the Police Department) and whether the mayor will now guarantee that there will be no repercussions for those who share information and communicate with elected officials.

By the way, in an effort to ensure that this MHD policy (and any other similar policies in other city departments) is rescinded, there is Common Council legislation coming – sponsored by Alderman Tony Zielinski and supported by myself and several Council members – prohibiting any policy that might stifle or suppress whistle-blowing.

I want to say that it’s disturbing that a policy like the MHD communication policy existed in the first place and especially today when public confidence in government has been shaken to the core too many times.

I am pleased that Mayor Barrett rescinded the policy, because whether in writing or not it is a culture that has existed for years in city government. Fear of coming forward to divulge or discuss serious issues has kept too many great city workers silent, out of fear of retaliation.

The culture needs to end and I am asking Mayor Barrett to show leadership on this issue by ensuring that a “no gag order” directive be extended to ALL city departments.

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