STATEMENT OF LOUIS UNTERMEYER
My name is Louis Untermeyer, 356 Burning Bush Court, Bloomington. I work for the City of Bloomington. I am the Benefits Specialist in the Department of
Human Resources. I have worked there since the fall of 1991. My undergraduate degree is from Notre Dame in business and finance. Before working for the
City of Bloomington I sold insurance for Bill C. Brown & Associates for ten years. Bill C. Brown is a general agent for American United Life Insurance
Company. We handled all kinds of personal and business insurance. I am married to Jean Starr Untermeyer, who I met in a poetry class in college, and we
have lived in Bloomington since 1982.
My office is Room 202, which is located in the Department of Human Resources Suite at City Hall. It is next door to the Director's office which is currently occupied by Paul Dunbar, the new director. Before that, it was occupied by William Hunt, who was the Director of Human Resources for approximately 6 years. Hunt resigned in December 1999. In room 201, on the other side of my office, is the office of Dottie Parker, our employment coordinator. Our offices are located so that our doors open onto the main floor of the Department of Human Resources which is a common work area in which the secretaries, the computer programmer and other employees have their desks.
The Department of Human Resources is set up so that when a city employee or a job applicant comes to the office, they have to go to a long information counter that is between them and the common work area. One of the secretaries will ask what they want. If they are simply looking for information, pamphlets, or forms, the secretary will probably hand it to them. If they have a more complicated question in the area of benefits and insurance, the secretary will come to me and I will go and talk to them. If they have a question about employment that cannot be answered by the job postings or an application form, the secretaries will get Ms. Parker from her office to talk to the person. Thus, the secretaries function both as traditional secretaries in a typing pool, in which they do typing and other office work for the Director, the assistant director, myself, and Ms. Parker, and they also answer public questions, handle in-person inquiries, and distribute forms for employees and potential employees. The secretaries do not work for any one person in particular. Amy Lowell is the workflow coordinator responsible for the day-to-day assignment of jobs among secretaries. The secretaries report, as we all do, directly to the Director.
I remember Marianne Moore. She was a secretary here from January through April or May of 1999. She sat at the secretarial station closest to my office door. I gave her work like the other secretaries on a random basis -- whoever was free. There was no fixed method of assigning work to secretaries. After a while, you simply learned which secretaries were best at which things. I gave the more complicated assignments to Amy Lowell, because I thought she was the most qualified. By "complicated," I mean difficult tasks or those involving data processing, not necessarily long projects. Because Amy also functioned as our receptionist and office workflow coordinator, I tended to give her relatively short jobs, but those that involved something other than routine typing. Long documents, reports, and other formal manuscripts of various kinds, I gave to the other secretary Elinor Wylie. She had been around the office a long time, and was adept at filling out the reams and reams of paperwork required of bureaucrats everywhere. Because Marianne Moore was new, I gave her relatively easy projects at first to find out whether she could perform at an adequate level. She handled letters, filled out simple forms, and was the person I would generally send on an errand, such as delivering forms to another division in the city government. On these simple tasks, her work was competent, neat, prompt, and I was satisfied with it, although I never gave her anything particularly complicated.
The office was interconnected with a local computer network running Novell network software, including WordPerfect for Windows and DataPerfect for Windows as our basic word processing and data processing software. The word processing that Ms. Moore did for me was satisfactory. I sent a few things back to her, but no more so or less so than any other secretary. In fact, she was a definite improvement over the previous secretary, Mary Robinson. I do not know about Ms. Moore's ability to use spreadsheets and do data processing, because I gave such work to one of the other secretaries.
William Hunt and I worked together for six years. I consider myself a friend of his, and I know him well. I have been to this home and he has been to mine. Our families have gone on picnics together and done other things together socially. I like Will and believe him to be a person of extremely good character. In my opinion he is honest, financially responsible, a hard worker, and a dedicated family man. In February or March of 1999, Will's wife Mary left him. I think there were several reasons for this. Foremost, was that there was a additional strain on the family when Will gained custody of this three children by his first marriage. That was a courageous thing for Will and Mary to undertake. The kids were really suffering psychological abuse at the hands of Will's first wife, Helen. However, that made a total of six children in the household, and Mary basically had to take care of them all by herself. Also, Will has been undergoing extensive psychological counseling since 1998 for dealing with repressed memories of physical and emotional abuse by his own father when he was a child. This was a strain on their resources and Will's depression that accompanied it was a strain on the family's emotions. Mary was younger than Will, and not as mature, and I think it just proved too much for her to handle. It was Mary who left Will; he would not have initiated the separation.
It is inconceivable to me that Will Hunt would have sexually harassed Marianne Moore or any woman. He was a good department head who treated everyone fairly and equally and tried to treat everyone as friends. He has five daughters of his own, and I would describe him as politically liberal. He has always been an advocate for women within city government, especially on personnel issues like salaries, flex-time, child care and maternity leave. If Ms. Moore thinks that Will's natural friendliness was a sexual advance, she simply is mistaken. I was in that office almost everyday throughout the entire period of time that Marianne worked there. Her desk was right outside my office and my door is almost never closed. In that time, I never once heard Will say anything inappropriate to her or make any inappropriate sexual advance, or anything like that.
I have no particular recollection of Ms. Moore's record of absences. I know she missed some time in the winter because of a snow storm and because of a death in the family. It did not appear to me that she was absent an excessive amount, although she was absent more than the other secretaries. As far as I know some of the leaves which she took were authorized under our employee benefits package. We specifically allow sick days, family emergency leave days, and weather related days missed from work. Our policies provide that there is no fixed number of maximum days one can miss for these reasons. To the best of my recollection, she also was absent for some work-related training sessions on computer skills. I do not know the details, but she was gone late afternoons every day for two or three weeks taking a computer course. I don't know if Will instructed her to do so, authorized it, or approved it, or was even aware of it.
I do not know anything about the incident at the Human Resources Conference in Indianapolis. I was not there. All I know is that I noticed some tension between Marianne and Will sometime after that conference, although I could not possibly be specific about dates. About this time, Will became a little more withdrawn, and some of the office activities, like the group lunches, diminished. I attributed his change of mood to the breakup of his marriage. However, this was about the same time as the Indianapolis conference, and I do not know for certain what caused the change in Will.
I did not notice any particular change in Marianne Moore. She continued to come to work regularly and do my typing. However, I was not one of Marianne's confidantes, and do not know what she was feeling or thinking. By my observation she was not particularly friendly with anyone in the office, although she talked most to the one of the other secretaries, Elinor Wylie.
In retrospect, all that I remember was one statement by Will. It was shortly before the big story of sexual harassment hit the papers. He and I were going to lunch one day and, although I don't remember the context anymore, I think that we were talking about what was going on in one of the other departments. I believe we were talking about a memo that had been passed around that day giving the breakdown in various departments of how many women and minorities worked there. We had noticed that the Department of Public Works had only one woman in it and everybody else was all male. I believe it had been pointed out in this memo from the Mayor as an example of a department that needed to take diversity into account in hiring. Will said something like, "Maybe I ought to transfer there. It's clear to me that I don't understand women." I assumed he was referring to his wife at the time, and I had learned to change the subject when he brought up his broken marriage. Therefore, I did not explore the issue, but in retrospect, it appears that he may have been referring to Marianne Moore.
I remember when the story came out in the newspaper about Ms. Moore's allegations of sexual harassment against Will. There was a lot of whispering in hallways and important people buzzing about, but I don't remember anything specific about it. A couple of days later, when things had quieted down, I asked Will about it. He denied the allegation. He said that he had not sexually harassed or discriminated against Ms. Moore in any way. I asked about what happened in the hotel, and he said he didn't know. Then he said he had just been trying to be nice and asked her if she wanted to get a drink, and that she overreacted. I do not recall having heard or overheard any other specific conversations regarding the story or the sexual harassment case involving Will Hunt or any other important official in the administration. Obviously, it was gossiped about a lot among lower level employees and secretaries. I tend to discount such rumors and gossip. It broke down pretty much along gender lines. The women in the office, including the secretaries, were basically talking as if they believed the charge to be true, and the men were scoffing and asserting that the charge couldn't possibly be true.
I know nothing about the circumstances surrounding the firing of Ms. Moore. She was fired almost immediately after the newspaper story came out, and I assume that had something to do with why she was fired. I did not see the letter giving the reasons for her termination, I have not looked at her personnel file, and I have no actual knowledge of any of the facts and circumstances surrounding it. I have not asked, and do not intend to ask Will about that issue.
I do not know anything about letters of reference or recommendations concerning Ms. Moore. Nobody has asked me for a reference on her, although I would give her a good one if they did. No one has given me any instructions on what to do in case someone asks me for a reference, and I know of no meetings, conversations or agreements among Will Hunt, the Mayor, the Deputy Mayor or anyone else in the administration concerning how to handle references on Marianne Moore.