Delaware New Castle County

Karen Hartley Nagle Should be Removed

I have never been a fan of Karen Hartley Nagle.  She was a mediocrity who ran for Congress when no one competent would.  That garnered her name recognition that allowed her to win in a primary for New Castle County Council President when no one competent or inspiring or honest was running against her.   We all knew once she was elected that she would be horrible in office, but at least she is only the Council President.   The remaining council members and County Executive Matt Meyer will be there to reign her in and limit the damage.

Yeah, we failed to anticipate how she would make the work environment and culture at New Castle County’s Government offices toxic.

WDEL has a blockbuster report out this morning after they had obtained the 23-page report by HR Strategies’s Tricia Clendening, who investigated county employee and Karen Hartley Nagle’s former aide Kate Maxwell’s allegations of workplace harassment.  The investigation was ordered by the County Council.

The report is damning.  It is outrageous.  Karen Hartley Nagle must be removed from office.  Today.

“Maxwell described a bipolar personality in Hartley-Nagle, saying, “I never knew who I was going to get.”  “She would call me every night, and I was expected to be on the phone with her for an hour. She told that I had to be on call 24×7, and if I couldn’t then this isn’t the right job for me,” Maxwell told investigators. In the report, Maxwell said she was barred from answering emails without permission and forbidden from talking to other council people or their aides. She said she was required to call Hartley-Nagle when she arrived at her desk each day at work.  She also described a boss who called her an “idiot” and a “moron” and, at times, said: “What are you, 10? Do you need to call your mommy.”  […]

[Hartley Nagle] also claimed her aide, who is the fiancee of fallen firefighter Christopher Leach, took off for several funerals and didn’t tell anyone. She denies ever saying, “I’m so over these deaths,” as Maxwell had reported to the HR investigator.

Yeah, that’s a great way to win over the firefighters and police officers in the county.   Or a great way to lose them completely.   Here are some other comments from the report concerning Karen Hartley Nagle’s leadership style and the work environment at the county offices.

  • “Some disrespect.”
  • “Not abusive but controlling.”
  • “I listened to meetings and was uncomfortable by what I heard. The meeting wasn’t run properly by Karen. She should shut this down, it’s her job to keep decorum.”
  •  “Karen is extremely challenging on a daily basis and all the time. My experiences are similar to Kate’s, one minute Karen is miserable and then the next she is happy. Karen manipulates what you say and it may be a personality disorder. I don’t believe anyone gets along with her. She deflects things and can never be wrong. Rest assured when she’s nice to you, she’s using you.”
  • “She seemed to me to be injuring her effectiveness; by being combative and overly assertive.”
  • “She always stated if council did not ‘yield’ to her leadership, she would ‘punish’ the council members politically…she would primarily focus on Lisa Diller and Janet Kilpatrick.”
  • “Council president seems to me to be ethically challenged as well as lacking in common sense and good judgement. On the floor of council on debate, Council President neglected her duty to be a fair and impartial chairperson. She cheered and applauded speakers that she perceived as her political supporters,” said one respondent.
  • “I’ve seen Karen first-hand if she doesn’t agree with you. If you are against me, then you’re my enemy.”

Clendening recommends in her report that Hartley Nagle’s supervisory powers be stripped for the remainder of her term, even if she completed harassment and leadership training.  However, WDEL reports that Hartley Nagle’s supervisory powers were suspended until she underwent training on how not to harass her employees.   Those powers could be reacquired by Hartley Nagle once she completed the training.   But, Hartley Nagle is refusing to complete the training.

If she were anyone else, she would be fired as a result.  The County must now investigate removing her immediately from office, through legal action if need be.   I am not calling on her to resign because she won’t.  This is a power trip for a deeply disturbed, incompetent and narcissistic person.  So she won’t give it up voluntarily.

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

17 comments on “Karen Hartley Nagle Should be Removed

  1. She’s refusing to complete the training? Welp, that tells you all you need to know. She doesn’t even know enough to fake it.

  2. cassandram

    So what is the removal process?

    I did not support KHN for this (don’t think I supported anyone), but it is fair to give people time to figure out a job and get to it. It seems clear that she’s not up to it and won’t take good advice.

    Too bad, really, because KHN has been working to get into office for a long time. It is a very big deal that once she got in, she wasn’t up to the job. Which is something she could have worked on over time. It doesn’t look like she much cares about this body functioning well, so let’s get someone on there who will.

    • HyperbolicDem

      Unfortunately, removal is a grey area. It can be done through impeachment, but must come from the GA. Getting the State legislature to care enough about the Counties, much less take action, is a nearly impossible. This woman needs to go. Her concern for the power that does not exist in that seat is her only motivation.

      I have to say, it’s impressive how she lies almost instinctively. It is like a defense mechanism. Also, her complete lack of understanding and desire to learn the job only proves she’s in it for the status. She could care less about anyone.

  3. Say No To Nagle! ’nuff said.

  4. Sam Guy for County Prez

  5. I’m all for a Naglectomy, and that includes the picture.

  6. Joe Connor

    Facing up to how she got there is probably a necessary step in not repeating this debacle.

    • She got there because we don’t have enough quality people stepping up to run for office in Delaware.

      • Joe Connor

        She got there because a couple clever and cynical and ostensibly “progressive” operatives engineered it. Left to her own devices we were safe.

        • HyperbolicDem

          More likely is a convergence of four things:
          1.) She got out early (November 2015) and immediately put signs up.
          2.) She ran against Tom Gordon, not the other candidates vying for the same office.
          3.) People do not pay much attention to any down-ticket races.
          4.) Her name was the first one on the ballot in that category.

          Sadly, this is the most likely explanation of how she won.

          • cassandram

            Adding, She Ran Against Tom Gordon. You can see how well that worked for her in the 4th, where she really overperformed. This was the RD that also had the high number of City GOPers who switched parties to vote for Purzycki. They probably voted for her because she wasn’t associated with Gordon. And I wouldn’t characterize this as a progressive district, either.

            On the flip, how much campaigning did Penrose Hollins do? And why on earth would he attach himself to Gordon’s coattails? Hollins is a well-liked guy — I think he won the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 16th — but the Gordon coattails were death to him everywhere else. And of those, I think Gordon won the 1st, 2nd and 3rd. (That’s memory, did not go and check) But was wiped out by Meyer in the 4th.

            Gordon fatigue killed Gordon and Penrose. But there is a point in the Ds not always developing a bench at these governing levels too.

  7. RE Vanella

    I find the idea that “quality” people would win elections lovely and quaint. Perfect for the holiday season.

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