Two weeks ago, two top managers at the city-run regional sewage plant were meeting with the city’s internal auditor when, suddenly, they were yanked away, told to report to Human Resources and sent home without pay.
They figured that West Palm Beach officials didn’t want them talking to the auditor about their boss in the utilities department. They were prepared to back a series of complaints of harassment, intimidation and retribution by Assistant Utilities Director Joe Carlini, The Palm Beach Post has learned. In fact, one of them said, Carlini cautioned him in advance to be wary of what he told the auditor.
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Sewage plant serves 500,000
The East Central Regional Water Reclamation Facility treats sewage from West Palm Beach, the county, Palm Beach, Riviera Beach and Lake Worth. West Palm Beach operates the plant.
Who’s running the sewage plant?
Joe Carlini: Complaints over his behavior and management have been sent to city commissioners in recent months. He ran the regional sewage plant from 2008 to 2012 before his promotion to assistant utilities director overseeing the plant. The city removed him from plant oversight on Aug. 21.
Rolando Nigaglioni: Hired to run the regional sewage plant last year, he was pulled out of a meeting with the city’s internal auditor on Aug. 16 and fired on Tuesday after city officials received an anonymous complaint that he had falsified his record on a state training certification. He said he did nothing wrong and the city didn’t give him a chance to prove it.
Scott Galloway: One of four plant supervisors and a 15-year plant employee yanked out of meeting with internal auditor and placed on unpaid leave Aug. 16 for certifying that Nigaglioni had met the qualifications for his state certification. He remains on unpaid leave.
James Looney: Sewer plant electrical supervisor who complained in June about Carlini’s behavior but later withdrew the complaint. Placed on unpaid leave Aug. 22 to investigate his state certification but since returned to duty.
Anthony Armeli: Sewer plant mechanical supervisor placed on unpaid leave Aug. 22 to investigate his state certification but since returned to duty.
Tim Martin: Sewage plant supervisor who vied for Nigaglioni’s job, placed in charge in the immediate aftermath of the removal of the other four top plant managers.
Sam Heady: Assistant utilities director overseeing water plant; placed in charge of sewage plant after Carlini’s reassignment.
David Hanks: Utility director since 2008; promoted Carlini to assistant utility director last year.
Roger Strout: City’s internal auditor since January; replaced longtime auditor Imogene Isaacs who left in a clash with city commissioners over her independence.
Scott Kelly: Newly hired assistant city administrator reporting to City Administrator Ed Mitchell. Oversees utilities department and signed off on Nigaglioni’s firing.