The union that represents Morris County Clerk Ann Grossi’s employees has endorsed her opponent, saying that Grossi has created a hostile work environment and treats her employees poorly.
“Ann Grossi has shown nothing but contempt for her own employees over the past five years. She has created such a hostile work environment that on more than one occasion, I’ve had employees coming to me crying because of the way she treated them,” said Liz Sutula, the president of Morris Council No. 6/6A NJCSA, which is part of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPE), AFL-CIO.
Sutula, a 28-year employee of the county clerk’s office, says that she does not typically get involved in campaigns or make endorsements, but feels obligated to endorse Grossi’s opponent, Shala Gagliardi.
Since Grossi took office, Sutula said, more than a quarter of Grossi’s staff has left.
“Six chose to retire because of the way they were treated, while one administration employee left because she almost had a nervous breakdown,” said Sutula.
The union president criticized Grossi for seeking a raise last year because she was an attorney who was “overqualified” to be the county clerk.
“She looked down upon her predecessor, Joan Bramhall, because Bramhall only had a high school degree,” Sutula said. “Most of us, like Joan Bramhall, only have a high school education.”
According to Sutula, Grossi has spent the past five years taking credit for Bramhall’s accomplishments, as well as claiming credit for work her staff does “not because of her, but because they take pride in the work they do.”
Now the union is taking the unusual step of endorsing the candidate running against their boss.
“Shala is an attorney, a mom and an all-around decent person. Shala has made it clear that if elected, she will stand up for unions and work to protect her employees, including negotiating for the best possible outcomes for them,” Sutula said. “Shala will be a County Clerk who treats her employees and the general public with the respect they deserve. Shala respects the taxpayers enough to run the office efficiently, rather than working to line her own pockets.”
Gagliardi would be the first Democrat to win a race for Morris County Clerk since before the civil war.
Grossi did not immediately return a 1:07 PM phone call seeking comment.