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Report clears Helena city manager of complaints, but recommends changes

Posted at 6:04 PM, Aug 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-05 20:04:04-04

An outside investigation has cleared Helena’s city manager of harassment allegations from two city employees, but it recommended the city work on improving communications between her and staff.

According to a city memo, Kantor Law, PLLC, conducted an investigation of several claims against Ana Cortez. One employee filed a claim of harassment, while another alleged both harassment and age discrimination.

The investigator said the evidence showed Cortez did not violate any city policies, though they said it appeared her management style had “created a rift between Cortez and many City staff.” However, they also said some city employees were “having difficulty recognizing Cortez and the [Helena City] Commission’s authority to make changes.”

The investigator recommended that the city commission set up facilitated communication sessions with Cortez, city department heads and the complainants, and that they consider having her complete a management training course. According to the memo, the commission accepted those recommendations.