Another former Connecticut Humane Society employee has come forward to accuse Richard B. Johnston, director, president and chairman of the Connecticut Humane Society, with wrongdoing in what has become a major battle between Johnston and present and former employees.
The former employee, who asked not to be identified, said in a written statement she worked in the 1990s at the Newington headquarters, when Johnston ran on the Republican ticket to represent the 20th senatorial district along the shore.
She said she and other employees were told by managers to spend part of their on-duty time in 1994 to stuff thousands of envelopes for his unsuccessful campaign.
The postage for these letters were paid from money donated to the Humane Society, one of the oldest and best known charities in Connecticut, she said.
“There was a whole political operation running at the shelter,” she told me.
The former employee also corroborated stories from other present and former workers that Johnston used Humane Society staff to daily care for his infant daughter, who is now a teenager. The staff was also required to care for his dogs.
Johnston, who is also a real estate agent and a lawyer, has refused to comment on any allegation. Through a spokeswoman he denied any wrongdoing, threatened libel suits, and blamed the attacks on union activity.
Problems at the CHS became public after Johnston and his hand-picked board of directors, appealed an 18-15 vote by the staff to join the Machinist Union last December. Five union leaders have since been fired and two others placed on probation.
Johnston’s activities are being investigated by both the state attorney general’s office and by OSHA. Four members of the Humane Society board are looking into allegations also. You can read more details in the prior columns listed at the bottom of this column.
The former employee, as well as other employees, accuse Johnston of creating anÂ environment of fear, harassment and intimidation. Johnston personally checked employee mail before they were delivered, she said, adding that when she worked there she caught Johnston going through her desk and her pocketbook.
She and others have alleged that Johnston on occasion would go into the women’s restroom unannounced.
“The CHS also purchased a Spay/Neuter van that has not been used for one surgery. Instead it just is a show piece at events. The veterinarian hired to do mobile S/N was hired and her position eliminated,” she said.
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