State driver’s license director denies harassment but quits
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The director of the Department of Transportation’s driver’s license division resigned Friday over allegations of harassment and favoritism, especially among women at the agency.
Glenn Jackson resigned two days after The Associated Press reported he was under investigation for a reason the department did not disclose. The AP obtained a copy of the department’s investigative report Friday, via a public records request, that described the allegations.
The 21-page document completed April 8 concluded that evidence suggests Jackson displayed “favoritism, differential treatment, over-attention and perhaps even harassment” at the department he managed for nearly 13 years.
Jackson, 63, told the AP that he denies the allegations, saying “I did not behave in that manner.”
He said he had planned to retire next year and but decided to leave now “to prevent the department and team from having to deal with this issue.”
Jackson had been on paid administrative leave since February 12. He was paid about $96,000 annually. The report listed no discipline for Jackson. Department spokeswoman Jamie Olson said the investigation was closed with Jackson’s retirement.
The agency interviewed 11 women and two men. The report said workers allege Jackson “gets too close in proximity to employees and makes comments to females about looks, hair, and the way they dress.”
Some employees had “concerns about getting ready for work when having to consider how Glenn will react,” the report said.
“I know, beyond any doubt, that I did not consciously behave in a manner described in the comments of the notice,” Jackson said in a statement. “I was shocked the individuals who gave me cards and treated me as a friend, had this perspective of my behavior.”
In its summary conclusion, the report said Jackson’s “actions may not have been intentional, but the result made employees uncomfortable ...”
“Comments about appearance by a male manager to female employees is no longer professionally acceptable,” the report said. “Behavior that previously may have been viewed as socially acceptable is no longer acceptable.”
Jackson said he retired from the Air Force in 1998 and earned a doctorate in business administration last year.
North Dakota’s transportation department has more than 1,000 employees and a two-year budget of $1.2 billion.