Former Dem staffer files complaint against chair

Posted June 11, 2013

— The fight between factions of the North Carolina Democratic party heated up Tuesday with allegations of harassment, intimidation and wrongful termination.

WRAL News has obtained a copy of an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint filed against the party by former Finance Director Ellen Stankiewicz, who was terminated by Chairman Randy Voller in May.  

In documents sent to the party's Council of Review and provided to WRAL News by a third-party source, Stankiewicz accuses Voller and his allies of harassing, bullying and physically intimidating her. Two witnesses also signed the statement. 

Stankiewicz says she was fired in retaliation after she filed an EEOC complaint because Voller and party staffer Casey Mann refused to make reasonable accommodations for a chronic health problem.

Her EEOC complaint was filed May 7. Eight days later, at 3:33 a.m. on May 15, a termination letter was emailed to her from Voller's Gmail account. 

The termination letter, however, is dated and notarized April 23, 2013 – three weeks prior to its delivery, and two weeks before Stankiewicz filed her complaint.  It was witnessed by Pittsboro notary Wendie Morris. 

Stankiewicz declined to comment, citing the pending complaint. 

The party's attorney in the case, David Harris, says his client "categorically denies" the allegations.

Harris said Voller decided to eliminate Stankiewicz's position on April 23 as a matter of "simple downsizing" due to financial pressures.

However, April 23 was the day the news broke that party fundraiser Jamie Hahn had been attacked in her Raleigh home, which Harris cited as the reason for the three-week delay.

"Everyone was still getting over the shock of it all. There was no nefarious reason involved," he said.

Harris said his records show Voller didn't receive notice of the EEOC complaint until May 16, the day after Stankiewicz was fired.

However, two members of the party's upper leadership say that's not the case.

Stankiewicz sent a copy of the EEOC complaint to party officers the day it was filed, they say, and those officers held a meeting to discuss the matter. 

They say Voller was informed about the complaint May 8th, and was warned to avoid interaction with Stankiewicz. 

Harris said the party has responded to the EEOC charge and has requested its dismissal.

"We made it clear in the response that the party had not violated any EEOC laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, and there was no harassment or retaliation whatsoever," he said.


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  • cooldela1966 Jun 12, 2013

    Is it too late to vote for that Parker guy?

  • Milkman Jun 12, 2013

    Heh heh, the Democrats War on Women and homosexuals continues!!!

  • baldchip Jun 12, 2013

    The rats will abandon a burning ship. There is little safety on a ship that is consumed with fire. Got any life jackets???

    This is so funny-DemocRATS think the rules they made don't apply to them when things get testy!! HAHA-just like DC!!
    Lessons from the Obama White House!!

  • sisu Jun 12, 2013

    Hey, if there's going to be a shake up in the NC democratic party, this it the perfect time. After all, they have time to reorganize. The House and Senate have a supermajority and a Republican governor. Other than speaking up about things when given the chance, there isn't much they can actually do right now since the Republicans aren't listening to them anyway.

    So, this is an ideal time to regroup, prioritize and then energize. There are some Democrat leaders working hard for their constituents that should stay but overall the party needs some fresh strategies, etc.

    Use this time well, Democrats.

  • beachboater Jun 12, 2013

    "How can someone sue a "chair"?


    Because a chair has assets.

  • jblake1932 Jun 12, 2013

    How can someone sue a "chair"?

  • DoingMyBest Jun 12, 2013

    imagine that, trouble within the Democratic party. Who would have thought. and even more surprising is a WRAL story on it!

  • cooldela1966 Jun 12, 2013

    Please, please, please make Randy and the NC Democratic Party into a reality series. Comedy writers cannot make this stuff up. I thought I had seen it all but this stuff is priceless.

  • Hugh Jass Jun 12, 2013

    The fish rots from the head down............................juss saying.

  • FairPlay Jun 12, 2013

    I am from Chatham county and Voller is known for his arrogance and wanting to surround himself with his zealous supporters. He does everything in Pittsboro to get his way even by bullying people. He is not a good man to lead the party. He won against Etheridge by a hair and he wins mayor always by a hair.