Santa Rosa’s Waste Pro Whistleblower Says She Has Been Placed on Administrative Leave

Posted on June 23, 2021 by Romi White

Natasha Borneo, who works in the Santa Rosa County Environmental Department, on April 29 made a complaint to Santa Rosa County’s Human Resources Director, claiming, among other things, that county staff was deleting citizen complaints against Waste Pro. Today she said she was placed on administrative leave.

Although a third-party investigator reportedly found “no evidence” of the allegations, County Administrator Dan Schebler during Tuesday’s board meeting confirmed an internal investigation was underway because the third party  uncovered other areas of concern relating to the administration of the Waste Pro contract terms.

“The findings of the report will be addressed and we are committed to upholding the terms of the contract with our franchise hauler,” said Schebler.

This evening Borneo reached out to the county attorney, asking for guidance, stating she believes her rights have been violated.
“As an employee who (has) raised a valid and unethical issue, I believe that my case was not handled appropriately as I was left to work in a hostile work environment for (more than) a month now that has given some of the staff in question the opportunity to retaliate against me,” Borneo said, stating she believes the retaliation has extended to her family. “I will ask that you ask the County staff to cease the harassment and retaliation as I have every right to voice my concerns, especially if it is in violation of law.”
Borneo went on to state she has followed process and “given everyone the opportunity to do the right thing, and all I have received is an  toxic atmosphere to where I am expected to work.”
Borneo said she has been asked by Santa Rosa County Environmental Manager Andrew Hill and Waste Pro’s Santa Rosa County Division Manager Rick Chancey that if she is unhappy why doesn’t she just quit. 

“But that is not an option for me, I accepted that job for the purpose of fulfilling my job duties. I accepted that job because I thought that there was some form of integrity and accountability within the County. and I will not be harassed because others refused to do the right thing.”

Borneo told the County Attorney she was writing them as “the last resort.”
“This is my last attempt, and if I don’t have a resolution soon I will have to seek other options,” she said. 

Despite demands from District 3 Commissioner James Calkins, Greg Stewart of Nabors Giblin law firm, interim county attorney, said the county would not release the third-party report until after the internal investigation is completed. 

“We’re not disclosing piecemeal documentation,” Stewart said.