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Former finance manager accuses Thousands Islands Bridge Authority director of bullying

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COLLINS LANDING — Jeffrey J. Timerman, former manager of finance and business administration at the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority, caught TIBA board members by surprise when he announced his early retirement two weeks ago and lodged allegations of bullying and financial malfeasance against the authority’s executive director.

“I would like to say in my lifetime career as an Accounting Management Professional, I have never been treated with such disrespect and disregard for my experience, abilities and my position here as Manager, Finance and Business Administration as I have been by the Executive Director of this Authority, Robert G. Horr III,” Mr. Timerman wrote to the board.

Mr. Timerman listed a number of complaints against Mr. Horr and told the board that he had information to bolster his claims.

“I know of several instances of fraud occurrences, cronyism, acts of selfish personal gain, unauthorized use of Authority property, reckless spending, aspects of ‘shadow government,’ and misuse/abuse of his position as Executive Director, all of which I have documented proof,” he wrote.

Mr. Timerman, who has worked at the authority for more than 11 years, then requested a private audience with the board to discuss his reasons for the “early and abrupt departure.” He asked to begin receiving his retirement benefits on Jan. 1, 2016, when he will be 62 years old. He said he was leaving his job early because he was afraid of a reprisal from Mr. Horr and addressed a letter to Mr. Horr personally.

“I wish to declare my retirement from the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority effective immediately due to the severe mental stress and bullying I have had to endure here from you,” Mr. Timerman wrote.

The board was caught completely by surprise by Mr. Timerman’s announcement and is meeting with him next week to discuss the situation, according to Chairman Robert V.R. Barnard.

Among other accusations, Mr. Timerman said that Mr. Horr:

n Overpaid an insurance consultant.

n Failed to discipline a disrespectful employee.

n Intimidated employees.

n Abused his TIBA credit card privileges.

nHired a personal friend for position of Boldt Castle foreman for contracted projects.

n Manipulated the board into providing him with a special retirement package.

But the real problem, according to Mr. Timerman, is that Mr. Horr runs the authority like his own “kingdom.”

“The big thing is that there’s no method of accountability as far as employees are concerned, no avenue for employees to be protected,” Mr. Timerman said.

Mr. Horr said he was innocent of Mr. Timerman’s allegations, but refrained from commenting on some of them, citing the board’s inquiry into the matter.

“I’ve got to let them do their work,” he said.

Mr. Horr, a former village of Sackets Harbor justice and town of Hounsfield supervisor, started working for the authority in 1997 and became executive director in 2003, shortly after Mr. Timerman was hired.

He said he could not recall another employee coming forward with any charges of bullying during his tenure. The authority has 65 full-time employees.

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