Former worker at local elections office: I was fired for political reasons

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on July 3, 2014 at 9:22 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 3 at 9:50 PM

(KMOV.com) – A woman claims she was fired from her job in the St. Charles Elections Authority office after she decided she was going to be a candidate for Elections Director.

Kate Runyan said she was fired several months after she decided to run for St. Charles Elections Director by the current holder of that office, Rich Chrismer.

“I feel politics was the major reason. I was a direct threat to him,” Runyan said.

Runyan said her workload and responsibilities decreased after she declared her candidacy, she also said attitudes from management changed.

Chrismer told News 4 Runyan had work related problems before she decided to run for office, and he claims he holds no grudge against Runyan.

“I do not make political decisions in the election’s authority office. I make decisions for the administration of elections,” Chrismer said.

Chrismer said the choice to fire Runyan was not his.

“The decision always is and always has been, at least since they passed an ordinance, to allow the county to do all the terminations, elected officials do not terminate,” Chrismer said.

However, St. Charles County Human Resources Director Belinda Little said the ultimate decision would come from Chrismer.

“The ultimate decision comes from the appointed authority or elected official, and this case it would be Chrismer,” Little said.

Little also said it would not be possible for the county to initiate the firing of Runyan.

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