Sept 8, 2022
By: Katherine Trowbridge
In a resignation letter, Franklin County Human Resources Director, Eric Wyant, stated, “it is clear that the toxicity that my predecessor experienced which includes outright hostility and bullying by elected officials was going to continue under my tenure, and was amplified by public scrutiny of my department by a majority of the Commissioners...” as reasons for the tough decision to step down from his position at the county. These and “surprise termination motions at board meetings” which made his job difficult. Wyant, who did not have another job lined up, felt it was best that he, “move on before I find myself on the wrong side of the politics of Franklin County.”
The termination letter was effective August 18, 2022 with his final working day being August 11. Franklin County Administrator Keith Johnson told the Franklin County Graphic that the county is recruiting for a new HR director and with a handful of applications received, they will begin an interview process soon. In the meantime, staff in the HR office are keepings things going. Johnson stated he knew that Wyant was having some difficulty dealing with the commissioners.
Wyant has served the county in the HR department for over five years and in the position of HR Director for about 8 months. Johnson stated, “He’s done a good job for Franklin County. He was very professional, very confident.”
Wyant added in his letter, “I truly hope that one day Franklin County will be a place where political agendas will stay at the elected level and not seep into the good staff work that employees and non-elected managers are doing here, but I can’t wait around for that day to come.”
The HR department oversees 275 county employees, which grows with summer help, and includes a number of union contracts.
The county is also seeking a new General Manager and staff at the HAPO Events Center as some of their staff moved over to Benton County’s new events center at the fairgrounds.