Toriana Pettaway Makes For Another Bad Headline

I am trying to think of another person in the public eye in Madison–outside of Republicans at the statehouse–who have more bad press than Toriana Pettaway this year. (And it is only late February.)

The mayoral write-in candidate who used racist terms for the city clerk’s office is now making news for her inability to follow workplace expectations.  Just before the primary her campaign asked all the other challengers to Mayor Soglin to exit the race. 

Madison’s first racial equity coordinator and a former write-in candidate for mayor has faced repeated disciplinary action for alleged insubordination and violation of other workplace rules, according to documents she and the city released to the Wisconsin State Journal.

Toriana Pettaway’s dispute appears to be primarily with her boss, Department of Civil Rights Director Norman Davis. Her alleged infractions include violating his rule against anyone in the department communicating with the media, City Council members or the mayor without his OK.

In five memos dating from Nov. 29 to Feb. 6, Davis writes that Pettaway has been disrespectful to colleagues, failed to complete work tasks on time, failed to notify him of where she is during the workday and used inappropriate “tone and grammar” in her communications to others.

The records show she’s been ordered to serve one day of unpaid suspension and received a written warning, although Pettaway in a Wednesday post to her personal Facebook page said she was currently serving a three-day unpaid suspension “because I blinded (sic) copied my responses to my personal email, attorney, Alders, and Media; Cc the City Attorney’s Office, Human Resources and the Mayor’s Office without asking permission from the Director.”

“I am off without pay Wednesday through Friday” she wrote. “Dispite (sic) what people do. It’s only a $1000 I cannot afford! However, this community really don’t care!”

She would have been a boom to the newspaper business had she somehow won the primary.  A reporter’s delight!  She would have made easy copy for the editorial cartoonist, too!  But seriously, if her office job was not able to be handled in a professional manner, pray tell, how was she ever planning to run an entire city!