KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Below is a letter filed by 3 security investigators with Knox County Schools against Chief of Security Gus Paidousis.
To: Scott Bolton Human Resource Supervisor Knox County Schools
From: Capt. Dan Stewart
Capt. Bill Kee
Capt. Doug Ryerkerk
Subject: Violations of School Board Policy and Federal Law
The three employees of the Knox County School System’s Security Department listed above wish to file a written complaint with the human resource department. The subject matter of the complaint is the conduct and behavior of Security Chief Gus Paidousis. The conduct described below is alleged to be a violation of school board policy and federal law. The items listed are not inclusive of all the egregious conduct Chief Paidousis has exhibited but should serve to be a starting point for a Human Resource Inquiry into the allegations.
I) Chief Paidousis has made racially charged offensive remarks to security personnel about a former officer who was terminated from his job. He stated that the officer had a black wife and family and we couldn’t have “that” in the security department. An EEOC complaint is being pursued concerning that subject. Chief Paidousis has made racially charged comments about two other black officers who have been terminated.
II) A female employee of the department has been subjected to sexual harassment and inappropriate comments from Chief Paidousis that have made her very uncomfortable and fearful of him.
III) Employees of the security department, specifically the security office employees, have expressed fear of Chief Paidousis due to his frequent displays of anger. One female dispatcher stated that she fears that he may “go postal” in the office environment.
IV) Chief Paidousis has used profanity in the presence of employees. During in-service training day this school year, he cursed the entire uniform body and berated them and others in a ninety minute monologue which upset and concerned several of the officers present.
V) He has in the past made threats of violence directed toward Deputy Law Director Susan Crabtree. He also verbally expressed a desire to kill a former security officer who had embarrassed him.
VI) After a meeting was held with the Chief Operating Officer Russ Oaks to discuss some of the issues regarding Chief Paidousis, nothing was done to resolve the issues, and retaliation from Chief Paidousis has and is still occurring towards the office staff members that attended the meeting.
VII) He has made comments that the investigators need to be worried about their jobs, and that the EEOC complaints or our complaints about him will not protect them.
VIII) A Sergeant in the department was threatened by Chief Paidousis after he reported criminal acts committed by security department personnel.
IX) Cameras were installed in the office areas specifically targeting employees who had spoken critically of Chief Paidousis. Security cameras were already in place and the installation of additional cameras was felt to be a matter of intimidation and unnecessary because the building already had adequate security cameras in place.
Security personnel who work daily with Chief Paidousis are fearful of loss of employment due to his vindictive retaliatory nature, and history of terminating employees during his tenure as security chief.
The above listed senior staff Captains request an investigation into these allegations as soon as possible by the Knox County Schools Human Resource Department. Due to the fact that some of the allegations rise to the level of a criminal offense, the employees named in this document request to be granted whistle blower status under the Knox County Board of Education Policy GAP revised 5/13 defining such allegations. The board policy is clear concerning such matters.
In addition, Chief Paidousis has by his conduct and actions violated the Knox County School Board policy titled Civility Code BK revised 4/11, and Harassment of Employees GAO revised 2/12
The above employees of the security department request that the board’s policies be followed and enforced. Chief Paidousis should be held accountable as would any other employee in the school system regardless of rank or stature.