Ousted code officer alleges toxic workplace in Anna Maria

An employee ousted from the city of Anna Maria earlier this year is alleging she endured a toxic work environment.

Angela Albrecht, who worked as code and parking officer and administrative assistant, was fired Jan. 24.

In an interview with The Islander in January, Albrecht shared a list of grievances, some recently corroborated by another former employee.

Her claims point to misconduct in the city, alleging again March 8 that toxicity thrives in the city’s pattern of forcing employees out of their jobs.

Albrecht alleged Mayor Dan Murphy forced several city employees out of their positions, including herself, former building, code and parking manager Pamela Gibbs, and others.

Albrecht alleges Murphy called himself the “Grim Reaper,” claiming he was adept at getting employees to leave their jobs on their own volition.

“I had a job once, years ago, that I kind of felt that way about,” Murphy said in a Feb. 1 interview with The Islander. “So that might have been why somebody would have said that. But that was years ago, when I was a young man in my 30s.”

Albrecht said, in her situation, the city pressured her to leave by reducing her responsibilities and ostracizing her from other employees.

“They removed me from the building department so I wouldn’t see anything more, and they put me in some closet (a small workspace) in the back,” Albrecht said in an interview Jan. 29. “Then, they tried to change my schedule and told people not to speak with me.”

Gibbs, hired as code manager in May 2015, said Jan. 31 that she was forced to retire. She said Murphy informed her in November 2017 that he had hired David Greenbaum as building official and that she would be laid off.

Gibbs added she was given no reason for being forced out of her job, and Murphy insisted on hosting a retirement party despite her unwillingness.

Another former employee, who corroborates Albrecht’s and Gibb’s claims about the toxic work place and the mayor’s moniker, only agreed to speak anonymously due to fear of retribution from the city.

Yet another former employee refused to speak for fear of retribution.

The mayor declined to comment on Albrecht’s claim that he forced people from their jobs, calling the allegation “ridiculous.”

He also dismissed Albrecht’s characterization of city government as a toxic workplace.

“It’s just disgruntled employees,” Murphy said. “For them, they might have perceived it as toxic, but they never ever brought that to my attention at the time.”

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