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City Official Reprimanded

Public works director Dave Cangemi called an employee gay and a community service worker a 5-letter expletive.

Last year, Canton public works director Dave Cangemi referred to a community service worker assigned to his department as his "b----."

Another time, he told the same worker that an employee who lightly slapped him on the backside was gay.

But because he offered an unsolicited apology to the worker before the incidents were reported to City Manager Scott Wood, all he got was a letter of reprimand. 

Cangemi received that letter on Dec. 29, 2011, but the story only came to light during the .

That's when the accuser, Bill Bradley, told the council about his ordeal, which included exposure to pornography by an unidentified city employee. He said he was ordered to complete 80 hours of community service for his role in a "really bad car accident which turned out to be my fault."

Bradley said he was asked to be Cangemi's secretary.

"The second day, he had said, 'Hello, sweetie,' " Bradley said. "... I'm here to tell you this because I don't want this to happen to another citizen. It's amazing that somebody in this position can do that to somebody.

"I'm 6-foot-3, 250 pounds. If he's doing this to me, I can't imagine what he's doing to other people."

He said Wood was dismissive when he reported the misconduct.

"I was met with hostility," Bradley told the council. "I was asked what I did for a living so this man could gauge my personality and my character. There was no empathy. There was nothing. I was dismissed and I was told I was looking for a lawsuit, which is ridiculous."

He said that Mayor Gene Hobgood was the first person who took his allegations seriously.

Bradley said he doesn't want Cangemi and the unidentified employee fired.

"He has a family and a house," Bradley said. "But suspension without pay possibly? Demotion maybe? Something. Something needs to be done. And it needs to be monitored. And perhaps some classes to help people understand you can't say these things to people." 

The council on Thursday went into executive session to discuss the matter and didn't return. City attorney Bobby Dyer told a Canton-Sixes Patch reporter that he would have to file an Open Records Request to find out what disciplinary action took place.

In an email that included the letter of reprimand, the city responded to that request this morning.

Cangemi told Wood that his coments and actions were meant to be humorous, not offensive. Still, without prompting, he apologized to Bradley, a move the city manager applauded.  

"I appreciate your conscientiousness in doing so," Wood wrote in the letter to Cangemi. " ... I understand and appreciate your efforts to establish a degree of collegiality and espirit de corps among your employees. However, under no circumstances should demeaning or sexually suggestive comments or actions be conducted or tolerated by you or any other employee of the City of Canton, or any Community Service Worker assigned to your department."

Any future infractions involving Cangemi will result in more severe consequences, Wood said.

"Learn from this experience," he wrote, "and apply that learning to the welfare of the City of Canton and to your family."

Today, Wood refused to discuss the matter.

"This matter was addressed professionally, authoritatively, and conclusively immediately upon my learning of it on December 29, 2011," he wrote in an email to Canton-Sixes Patch. "No further action was needed at that time nor is any further action warranted now."

Stay tuned to Canton-Sixes Patch for updates on this breaking news story.

LISTEN TO BILL BRADLEY

  • To listen to Bradley's remarks, play the video from Thursday's meeting. He begins talking around the 48-minute mark.
  • To read the full text of Wood's letter of reprimand to Cangemi, open the attached PDF.

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