ABC7 WATCHDOG

Rockville won't release taxpayer survey

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ROCKVILLE, Md. (WJLA) - Back in 2011, while Phyllis Marcuccio was Mayor of Rockville, city employees from multiple departments made strong allegations of racism, sexual harassment, and age discrimination while on the clock.

However, the study – which Rockville paid $190,000 to conduct – was never released to the taxpayers who funded it.

"We were, essentially, I would say, denied access to it." said Marcuccio.

When asked whether the survey was a waste of money, she laughed and replied:

"Well that depends on what you consider money valuable for -- in my mind, it does tell our citizens that we have the wrong form of government."

Two years and 150 news stories later, The Sentinel newspaper says Rockville is flat-out violating Maryland’s public access laws.

"The people that make the decisions about where you live are hiding information from you -- to me, it's like my kids saying, 'Dad, I know you paid for me to live here, but I don't need to tell you what's going on. Well, yeah you do," explained Brian Karem, Managing Editor of The Sentinel.

This month, there was finally some progress when a Montgomery County circuit court judge ordered Rockville to release the survey:

"Complaints of a hostile work environment may be relevant to the plaintiff's case. So therefore I order that the report be produced to the court," said Judge Sharon Burrell.

Rockville, however, has since appealed the court’s ruling.

"No matter what the results are, we should know this, the city should know this so we can do something about it," said Montgomery County resident Chris Ortega.

According to The Sentinel, at least two city managers have reviewed the study’s findings.

After contacting Rockville City Hall multiple times for comment, we received this following statement from the City Manager's Office:

The City believes that all the documents related to the Saul Ewing report are confidential. Following the Judge's ruling, the City filed an Interlocutory Appeal from the Circuit Court's Ruling to the Court of Special Appeals. The City will not comment further due to the pending litigation. We appreciate you contacting the City.

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