ROCK ISLAND, Illinois - City Clerk Judith Gilbert unexpectedly handed out a letter of resignation during the city council meeting on December 9, 2019.
At the end of the meeting, she told the chambers that she had been the "target of systematic and ongoing workplace bullying and harassment that has been tolerated and rewarded by city management."
"Despite the best efforts of some caring council members, it has continued and it has become impossible for me to continue in my work without serious harm to my health," Gilbert said in a statement read aloud to the public. "It has been such a disappointment to me that such behavior and mindset are allowed to occur and actually thrive at City Hall," she said.
She called the city's workplace bullying policy a sham and said it is "for show only."
"I wish the residents of Rock Island only the best in your future," she said. " It is a shame that you have lost another city clerk in this manner and the bullies still get to keep their jobs," said Gilbert.
She then handed out a letter of resignation. Her letter indicated her last day will be January 2, 2020.
Rock Island's mayor Mike Thoms could not comment on the matter, citing it as a personnel issue.
"I was surprised about the announcement, I don’t know enough about it and when it becomes a personal issue we need to keep that confidential," he said.
Gilbert called her announcement a retirement announcement.
City Manager Randy Tweet said "I am sorry to hear that she is retiring,"
He also cited the personnel issue as a reason for being unable to comment any further.
It is unclear what actions or events led up to this resignation that Gilbert is calling a retirement.
Gilbert has been city clerk for about 3 years.