Governor Matt Blunt explains his decision to fire Agriculture Director Fred Ferrell on Monday, instead of nine months earlier when allegations of sexual harassment first came to light.
Blunt says he believed a deal had been reached with former Department of Agriculture employee Heather Elder to settle the matter privately. Blunt says he asked for Ferrell’s resignation when he realized there would be no deal. Elder accuses Ferrell of inappropriate touching and kissing. She was sent a $70,000 check as part of the settlement, but she sent it back.
When the accusations were first raised last May, Blunt launched an investigation and ordered Farrell to undergo sensitivity training. Blunt says he was under the impression that the disciplinary action, coupled with the settlement, would end the matter once and for all. Clearly, that is not what happened.