The firing of Metro RTA’s executive director stems from a lengthy harassment complaint emailed to the public busing company’s board on Oct. 30.

The employee who filed the complaint framed her concerns as “not a demand for disciplinary action or termination” of Enty, but rather “a call for change, a plea for help.” She reiterated issues already known to the public, at the time, and articulated others, like how Richard Enty allegedly tried to get his daughter a job, directed staff to confuse a rider thought to be mentally ill and how the administrative offices of the public agency had become bogged down by distractions and hostility.

The complaint was included in more than 370 pages of documents released by Metro RTA this week, revealing the information used by a law firm hired to investigate charges of harassment and misconduct agains Enty.

Metro RTA refused to release the law firm’s final report, but did provide the Beacon Journal with documents used in the making of the report in response to the newspaper’s public record’s request.

Going after rider

The complaint writer reminded the board that on Sept. 11 Enty described in an email to the marketing department how a stool sample he’d left at the hospital looked like a “poop emoji.” The next two days chronicle the erratic behavior that cost Enty his job.

On Sept. 12 and 13, Enty drove his personal Porsche — not the company vehicle afforded him — to work, with a magnetic Metro logo on the car.

Two days after the poop emoji email, he sent another requesting a management meeting. Wear “clean, comfy clothes, no thongs/whale tales (no offense, of course),” he wrote. Employees complained to human resources.

The day before, a “rider who exhibited some mental health issues” was seen shuffling maps and posters at the transit center during an event meant to advance and promote the busing company. She was heard saying that Metro buses passengers to a casino it owns in Stark County, which it doesn’t. When Enty found out, he directed an employee to find the rider, who had boarded a bus. He then told dispatch to have the driver of that bus announce, falsely, that Metro was creating a “casino or lottery bus where riders could put money in the fare box and win prizes.”

The complaint says audio and video exist of Enty calling dispatch, dispatch radioing the driver and the driver relaying the bogus information to passengers.

Complaints get personal

In October, Enty asked the woman who would later file the complaints if flip flops resemble “a very large mammal that lives in the ocean” when looked down on — which was taken to be an extension of the “thongs/whale tales” comment made in September.

When Enty walked into the woman’s office, she told him she had forwarded his question to legal counsel because she didn’t know how to respond to it. Legal counsel told her to ignore it, she said. Having received “several complaints” from other employees, the woman told Enty that she felt personally harassed and offended.

“I felt very intimidated as he was standing and repeating his questions,” she wrote in her complaint. “It was like he knew I had forwarded the email before he came into my office.”

The exchange continued with Enty saying their working relationship had soured since he returned from his administrative leave in July. He said she was setting him up, part of what he said was “one board member’s agenda to get rid of him.”

Enty said he didn’t want to fire her, even though he suspected the board wouldn’t let him.

“This was a very difficult conversation,” she wrote. “I was in tears by the time it ended.”

She told him she prized her job and wouldn’t send any more of his emails to legal counsel. He gained from her a promise not to file a harassment charge. “Unfortunately, my staff saw me in tears and may have heard all or part of the conversation,” she wrote in the harassment complaint.

“I have taken a huge risk sending this letter to you [the board] in the hope that you can bring an end to inappropriate and retaliatory conduct,” she said, assuming that Enty had already approached the board with accusations about her. “I just want it to stop.”

Employing his daughter

For most of September, Enty had “multiple conversations” with an administrative employee, who confirmed in her own complaint that he had asked her to help hire his daughter.

The employee, according to the first formal complaint, was “very uncomfortable with the no-win position” of going against her boss’s orders and basic standards of ethics, like avoiding conflicts of interest.

When news of the Porsche story broke online on Ohio.com, the woman told Enty not to pick up the phone, in case the media was calling. She told him she had not leaked parts of the story that dealt with his request to have her support his daughter’s hire. “I got a tad weepy and upset because I am just trying to do my job,” the second woman said in an email supporting the original complaint. “This entire situation is stressful.”

Board responds

Metro Board President Heather Licata responded to the harassment complaint the next day.

Third-party counsel — Margaret Matejkovic of Kastner Westman & Wilkins LLC in Fairlawn — was hired to investigate the matter.

The board paid the firm $290 an hour to produce a report that is not being released to the public, at least at this time.

Enty was told to “refrain from any conduct that could constitute retaliation against” the woman who filed the harassment claim.

The two would continue to work together.

At 9:30 a.m. the next morning, Enty walked into her office, she said, asking about the complaint. At noon, as she attempted to engage him in his office about normal business, he called her behind his desk and pointed to what she said looked like the complaint email.

That afternoon, in light of the day’s events, the board ordered Enty to work at the transit center, away from at least three uncomfortable women at the administrative office on Kenmore Boulevard.

He was placed on paid administrative leave in November and fired Friday afternoon at a special meeting.

Reach Doug Livingston at 330-996-3792 or dlivingston@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him @ABJDoug on Twitter or www.facebook.com/doug.livingston.92 on Facebook.