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PTC OKs settlement with employee accosted by former fire dept. chief

The Peachtree City Council unanimously approved an additional $50,000 settlement with a female firefighter who claimed that former Fire Chief Ed Eiswerth stormed into her hotel room at a conference in November as part of an attempt to have sex with her.

This brings the grand total paid to Firefighter Martine Piers to $300,000 to settle her discrimination claim that was filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The city is paying $50,000 of the amount and the rest is being covered by the city’s risk management carrier, the Georgia Interlocal Risk Management Agency (GIRMA).

When the incident at the hotel in Clearwater, Fla. came to light in December, Eiswerth tendered his resignation from the fire department. The EEOC complaint filed by Piers recounted how Eiswerth made multiple attempts to coax her into having sex with him ranging from text messages to coming to her home on multiple occasions.

In an interview with the city’s human resources department following the incident, Piers said on the night of the hotel incident in Florida, she thought Eiswerth was going to rape her and she felt he violated her trust. Eiswerth removed Piers from the city’s volunteer firefighter board a short time after they returned from the Florida conference, which she considered retaliation for rebuffing his sexual advances.

In the HR interview, Piers said she decided to come forward to protect younger female firefighters, and she didn’t want Eiswerth to brush the incident under the carpet.

Piers joined the fire department in November 2010 as a full-time firefighter. In exchange for the legal settlement, she is dropping the right to file future lawsuits with the city and also will move to dismiss her complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The proposed settlement was reached during a mediation hearing Feb. 19 between Piers, the city and GIRMA representatives.

The city may be facing a future lawsuit from Eiswerth in a dispute over unpaid sick leave he had accrued over his career with the fire department. The city has declined to pay the sick leave, an amount over $20,000, because city policy dictates that since Eiswerth did not work a full two-week advance notice period following the tendering of his resignation.

Eiswerth will be paid by the city for his accrued leave and compensatory time, according to an email sent to Eiswerth’s legal counsel in regards to the issue.

In a letter to Eiswerth Dec. 21, City Manager Jim Pennington noted that he was classifying Eiswerth’s resignation four days earlier as a “resignation while under investigation.”

In that letter, Pennington said had Eiswerth not resigned, “there is a very good chance that I would have initiated disciplinary proceedings,” against him.

“This conclusion is based on those allegations of the (EEOC) charge which you have admitted in your discussions with Ellece and me as being true or substantially true, as well as your status as a department head for implementing, ensuring compliance with and enforcing city policy.”



ptctaxpayer's picture

LMAO--- this photo of Chief Eddie is a classic. Very good choice. The caption ought to read "PTC Fire--- Dedicated to Excellence."

NUK_1's picture

Good riddance.

Moneys Paid Out-----$350,000.00
Cost to city--------Embarrassment
Chiefs fascial expression-----Priceless

John Mrosek's picture

Mike King and Terry Garlock I have to disagree with your support of City Hall’s response to this Fire Department crisis. I have met each of you and respect each of you and your opinions. However, City Hall should provide much more information. This is a public matter. This affects us --- the citizens. And, it is simply not fair to the overwhelming number of competent firefighters that I know and support in Peachtree City. I consider myself good friends with at least several of them.

The City has a history of not providing this type of information to the public in a crisis. City Council sounds like Hilary Clinton after the Benghazi disaster: “Let’s investigate and get all the facts first.” Then, after enough time (and the election) goes by, she says “Why does it really matter ?”

City Council should not hide behind the shield of “it’s a legal matter”. They should answer why this systemic problem was not stopped dead in its track at a much earlier point in time. This particular incident is not the first, not by any stretch of imagination. And, what are they doing, at all, prospectively to stop this from happening again ?

NUK_1's picture

It IS a public matter and you cannot keep having the kind of slime like Ferguson, Prince and Esiworth by ignoring it and thinking it's something "random." It's been proven it's hardly random whatsoever and it's a culture of sickness that has invaded a department that has quite a lot of dedicated and great people, and has for many years and they deserve a lot better and so the citizens of PTC.

Mike King's picture

My concern is when the complaint was actually filed which would shed light on exactly when city officials were notified. It is my humble opinion that if anyone at city hall was made aware of this and allowed Eiswerth to remain in his position, then they were totally negligent in their responsibility to the city and its employees.
This timeline could very well explain a whole lot. The city's refusal to publicize it leads me to suspect there are others at risk.

John Mrosek's picture

Then we are on the same page, Mike. We both agree--- this is a great place and we just want to make it better. Unfortunately, public employees do some outrageous things and simply resign, with no consequences. Sounds like we agree somewhat.

PTC Observer's picture

They are replaced and erase their hard drives.

tgarlock's picture

I also agree with Mike the question of timing is important, vital. Nevertheless, rabble-rousing during settlement negotiations is counter-productive unless you are trying to raise the price tag to the city.

My point was that SPECULATING city hall knew what was happening is, in my opinion, irresponsible since such knowledge comes with a duty to act immediately, and liability upon failing to act. KNOWING that city hall knew and did not act is quite a different matter, and I would think puts one in the position of being a witness in a legal matter, a place where gossip should have no place, but you're the attorney here.

Here's what I do know. The fire chief suddenly submitted his retirement notice. Shortly thereafter, maybe same day, the City Mgr learned of the EEO complaint, reconvened with the fire chief and pulled his retirement, said he could "resign under investigation." That has been made public.

It troubles me that the ones who MOST LIKELY knew what was going on are the fire dept employees. APPARENTLY they said nothing, and MAYBE that should be a firing offense.

Hope that's enough qualifiers. Finally, whether you like or dislike the mayor or city council members, don't think you should ascribe to them Hillary Clinton's words and motives, let them make their own mistakes.

Your turn.

Terry Garlock

Terry Garlock, PTC

Git Real's picture

So Mr. Mrosek.... Will you publicly deny or admit to the strong rumors that you intend to throw your hat in the mayor's race and take the wood to the wannabe wizard behind the curtain? If so that will be a race worth investing in not only to watch you spank your client or should I say... soon to be former client. And hey..... You just might be the right kind of guy to go in there and clean the mess so PTC starts looking less like DC.

Anyways.... if you do run. Please give me credit for scoopin' ya.

Best to ya and great big howdy out to all you long time blogger friends from way back.

<em><strong>Stupid can't be fixed. We can only vote him out</strong></em>

John Mrosek's picture

What in the world did I ever do to you to deserve that ? I don't know where that got started.

Git Real's picture

Don't play coy with me son..... My big ears know what they decoded in what you were communicating at that undisclosed confab.

And....Don't git me wrong. I'm all for it. I believe the best way to fight corruption and ineptitude in gumament is to install a warrior with a proven track record of making city hall do the right thang. Been watching you over the years..... Me thinks you not as corruptable as most of our local officials have proven themselves up to be after getting elected. Come on....hold out the tin can so I can contribute....

<em><strong>Stupid can't be fixed. We can only vote him out</strong></em>

eodnnaenaj1's picture

A good while back I sent a group email to "our group", then a facebook, and the only person we did not hear from was - - -Git! How the heck are you buddy? Do let "us" hear from you.

Git Real's picture

"Starr Reilly: You're sure you've never heard of me?

Tarzan: Tarzan is sure.

Starr Reilly: What, you don't have a CD player? Okay, a radio? Now come on, you must watch videos or use Facebook!

Tarzan: Tarzan watches the jungle. That is enough."

Hey Jane! Hope this note finds you doing well. I may have to log onto to FB again sometime. Been awhile..... Don't have much use for spamming my life all over the place. We do need to git together some time in the near future. The Hutchster knows how ping me just in case ya'll brew somethin' up...

<em><strong>Stupid can't be fixed. We can only vote him out</strong></em>


mudcat's picture

Ok, that's a big stretch but Eddie does have a playground in his mind. One in which he is a stud muffin (quick, look at the picture again). BTW, why in the world are we sending him and the victim to Florida for a weekend of fun? Should they not be here fighting fires? Don't we have a budget problem? Maybe save money (and lawsuits) by keeping the firefighters in the firehouse. Just an idea.

Braveswin's picture

Perhaps it should be posted prominently on the wall of the Chief's office.


Besides being the law, it's just good HR policy.

What a waste of human flesh.
Thanks, Ed, for bringing more embarrassment to our public institutions. Your family must be proud.

NUK_1's picture

His son is hardly much different. His wife seems to be used to it by now after a lot of years of similar behavior.

ptctaxpayer's picture

PTC Police-- Spotted in town.....

Saw a Hwy 74:


Ha--- not if you work at City Hall !

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