Did a supervisor in the Summit County prosecutor’s office sexually harass two employees? The compliance officer for the county Equal Employment Opportunity office looked at the allegations and answered yes in two separate reports issued last week. Sherri Bevan Walsh, the county prosecutor, disagreed, arguing, in effect, the compliance officer erred in reading the law.

Who is right? Walsh hardly is the more disinterested, or independent, observer. Most important, the question shouldn’t distract from the detail in the report revealing the shortcomings in management of the prosecutor’s office.

At one point, the compliance officer notes that the supervisor, Lisa Holdt, the chief administrator for the prosecutor, may not grasp “the nature of her position and the boundaries that must be in place with all employees … especially subordinates.” Holdt persisted in questioning one employee about her personal life, even after the employee asked her to cease. She did the same with another employee regarding whether she was having a romantic relationship with the chief investigator in the office. The questions continued though the employee said it wasn’t true and the attention was unwelcomed.

Both employees filed their charges shortly before resigning their positions last summer. Complaints submitted by two other employees still are pending with the EEO office.

According to one report, Walsh stated that she was aware of the allegations and consulted regularly with the supervisor. Yet there doesn’t appear to have been a moment when Walsh shed light on the appropriate boundaries and the supervisor altered her behavior. It is telling that both employees reported their concerns to a woman they thought was the department supervisor. As the report explains, the organizational chart indicated as much. Actually, she was not a supervisor.

More, the EEO investigations found that “no employee is performing bona fide human resource functions for the Summit County prosecutor’s office.” That is a problem for an office with some 300 employees. As the compliance officer points out, that means best practices are not applied, leading to the kind of difficulties that prompted the investigations.

The report also reminds that the office has a process for looking into possible violations of the fraternization policy. It was not used when allegations of a romantic relationship surfaced.

To her credit, Walsh did make an admission of sorts. She plans sexual harassment training for Holdt and other supervisors early in the new year. Holdt also received a “coaching memorandum,” designed to help address more effectively these and similar situations with employees. The expectation should be that Walsh moves quickly to install a human resources officer and does not wait for the county somehow to come up with the money.

This goes to the performance of the office — or how she serves the residents of the county now 18 years in the office. Whether Holdt sexually harassed two employees may be arguable in view of the law. Plain is that these aren’t mere cases of disgruntled employees. Both matters could have been handled much better.

And they aren’t the only concerns. Recall another aspect of the reporting by Stephanie Warsmith of the Beacon Journal/Ohio.com in late October about notes left on chairs and keyboards soliciting campaign contributions for Walsh from her employees at work. That is barred by state law. It is the kind of sloppiness or arrogance that suggests an officeholder too long in the position.