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Chamber says Miller probe is finished; results won't be made public

Chamber says Miller probe is finished; results won't be made public

An outside firm has wrapped up its two month investigation into the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber's board was recently presented with the findings of the probe. However, "due to legal reasons and to assure the confidentiality of staff and others," only a verbal report was provided. No other information is being released to the public.

"The Board provided input and thoughts on the report and I will work with the Board Directors, Chamber staff and members to utilize the information to continue to build the best workplace culture for the Chamber," Interim President Kathleen Harrington wrote in a letter Monday to members. "It is important to note that this investigation is now complete."

The investigation stems from a complaint brought forward by former membership director Judy Braatz. She had alleged "discrimination and bullying behavior" by her ex-boss, Rob Miller. 

"Mr. Miller has significant difficulty working with women,"Braatz wrote in August. "It is no secret that other strong women in the organization have left because of how Mr. Miller has treated them. I would recommend that the board of directors has a conversation with present and past staff members on this topic. I believe that you would find that other employees would also say that Mr. Miller's discriminatory bullying of female employees is simply how he chooses to communicate with women who are his insubordinates."

Miller resigned in August amid intense public pressure. At the time, Miller said he was "very confident" an investigation would clear him of any wrongdoing. (The letter from Harrington does not confirm Braatz's claims, nor does it exonerate Miller.)

“I am confident those who wanted to be heard were listened to and their input was taken seriously and I believe the investigation was completed in an independent manner," said Harrington.

Minneapolis-based Robins Kaplan law firm handled the investigation. In the coming weeks, Harrington plans to collect input from staff, the board and members on how to best move forward, according to Paul Omodt, a communications professional brought in to assist with the transition. 

The Rochester chamber represents more than 1,500 businesses.

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