Macomb Township HR director, legal counsel placed on leave

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published February 5, 2020

 Macomb Township General Counsel and Human Resources Director Tom Esordi was placed on administrative leave the week of Jan. 20. Esordi’s attorney believes there’s no cause to take any disciplinary action against Esordi.

Macomb Township General Counsel and Human Resources Director Tom Esordi was placed on administrative leave the week of Jan. 20. Esordi’s attorney believes there’s no cause to take any disciplinary action against Esordi.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — At press time, a top-level township employee remained away from work indefinitely.

Macomb Township Supervisor Janet Dunn said that Macomb Township General Counsel and Human Resources Director Tom Esordi was placed on administrative leave the week of Jan. 20.

“We are reviewing everything now with a separate attorney that we have used before, Dunn said. “I don’t know the results of that, and it will be ongoing for a while because there are pending litigations that need to be taken care of in the interim. Until it’s discovered and settled, I’m not at liberty to say any more than that, because we’re working on it.”

Dunn said the decision to place Esordi on paid administrative leave was made Jan. 24. She indicated that his last day at work was Jan. 23.

She said the decision to place him on leave was made by several township officials, and that Esordi will be on leave until further notice.

She added that further reviews will be conducted on Esordi.

When asked what purpose placing Esordi on leave will serve, Dunn said she won’t know for sure until the investigation is complete.

Esordi’s attorney, Paul Cassidy, said the township’s decision to place his client on leave immediately followed a confidential disclosure Esordi made to the Board of Trustees.

Cassidy believes that happened on Jan. 22.

“There’s absolutely no cause to take any disciplinary action against Mr. Esordi,” Cassidy said. “He looks forward to returning soon.”

Cassidy indicated that Esordi’s correspondence to the board was of a confidential nature.

“I have no concern about what Mr. Esordi did,” he said. “I think he was legally required to do it.”

In October, the results of an employee investigation involving Esordi were made public. The investigation was conducted by attorney Craig Lange and stemmed from a grievance form filed by a specialist in the Human Resources Department, claiming that Esordi violated an article of an AFSCME contract that deals with nondiscrimination, as well as the township’s anti-discrimination policy.

A July letter to the HR specialist from Lange states that there was no evidence of discrimination or harassment in the April events.

For the better part of the last year, the board has repeatedly discussed Esordi’s dual roles with the township.

Esordi was named human resources director in January 2017.

In August, a request to dissolve the position of human resources director/general counsel was denied. At that time, Clerk Kristi Pozzi said it was brought to the board’s attention that the quality of services that employees receive from the HR department are not up to par.

When former Planning Director Patrick Meagher resigned in April, he stated that there is a distinct disconnect between department heads, board members and the human resources/legal counsel department.

Esordi attended the township’s Jan. 21 Planning Commission meeting, but was not present at the Jan. 22 Board of Trustees meeting.

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