Bill Richardson, an ex-Hamilton Street Railway superintendent who worked for Guelph Transit as a supervisor of mobility services for 15 days until he was fired Tuesday, after it was discovered he was the subject of a scathing sexual harassment arbitration decision stemming from actions towards a female subordinate, had a fairly detailed LinkedIn page until it was taken down later this week.
Given the harassment allegations described in the 70 page arbitration ruling released Sept.18, it is generating much discussion that HSR brass gave Richardson two glowing reviews when Guelph officials came calling. Looking at Richardson's LinkedIn profile wouldn't have provided any clues, either.
Richardson wrote in it that he is a "strong advocate of the principles of employee empowerment, who develops strong working relationships and is an accomplished team leader."
But according to testimony from an unnamed female subordinate, Richardson thrice attempted to massage her shoulders, twice responded to her queries regarding shift changes with streams of expletives, and once chastised her for not having her hat, a part of her uniform, because she had misplaced it during sexual relations with her fiancee.
Another part of Richardson's profile states that he has "developed a high degree of expertise in the areas of interpersonal relations, leadership, problem solving and conflict resolution."
But according to testimony in the arbitration ruling, on Sept. 24, 2010, Richardson called the room where the complainant was working to give another employee some instructions. The employee left Richardson on speaker phone, and when Richardson completed delivering his orders, he finished by loudly saying "and tell that Irish skank behind you the same thing."
His profile goes on to say he is "knowledgable regarding current government regulations such as Bill 168 (a bill that categorically prohibits much of the behaviour described in the arbitration ruling) and the Access for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
When the complainant first complained to superiors about the harassment, a superior told the complainant he had heard reports of Richardson's misconduct in the past, and "spoken to him about it."
Also, keep in mind that Richardson received a $200,000 severance package (something Hamilton City officials now dispute, claiming it was much lower) when he was dismissed from HSR. The complainant in the arbitration ruling? She got $25,000.