Polis shamefully silent on hostile workplace claims against emergency management chief
Greenwood Village, CO. – This week, several articles have been published highlighting the hostile and toxic work environment created by Colorado’s emergency management chief, Mike Willis. The articles describing his tirades, abuse, and attacks are shocking and are an example of what should earn someone a firing.

A recent Denver Post article shed light on Willis’ misconduct and unacceptable conduct with colleagues over the past five years.

One part from the Denver Post article really encapsulates the hostile work environment created in the Polis Administration: “You! Now! In the warehouse!” Mike Willis said to one of his employees, pointing his finger at her and then the warehouse doors. The state’s joint incident commander for the pandemic response was raging over some sort of miscommunication about logistics.

“I’m so (expletive) pissed off at you right now,” Willis said to her, staring her down with “intense hatred,” she later told state investigators. “How can you let this happen?”

In a corner of the warehouse, the two went back and forth at each other loudly. Finally, Willis turned toward the employee, pointing his finger into her temple.

“Are you a (expletive) idiot?” Willis said, stepping up into her face. He stood so close — “towering over” her, one witness later said — that their masks were nearly touching, as he unleashed another tirade.

The situation was “as close to being physical than she had ever encountered,” the staffer told a state investigator — and she previously worked in the Department of Corrections.

Mr. Willis was also accused of being drunk during the response to the 2019 shooting at STEM School in Douglas County.

What did Governor Polis have to say about these actions? Nothing.

“Through a spokesperson, Polis declined to comment on Willis’ conduct.”

Many Coloradans remember that Polis was involved in his own workplace dispute. Jared Polis, who in 1999, was still named Jared Polis Schutz was accused of injuring Patricia Hughes who worked for him. She eventually received a restraining order against him after he refused to let her leave the office and instead pushed her into a filing cabinet, injuring her in the process. Polis Schutz then repeatedly hung up the phone as she tried to call 911 for help.

Maybe this workplace incident is one of the reasons Polis is staying silent and supporting Mr. Willis?

Statement from Colorado GOP Chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown: “It’s absolutely shocking to me that Jared Polis would be silent on this misconduct taking place in his administration. Coloradans deserve a governor who will fire individuals like this who create unacceptable, hostile work environments. Polis’ lack of leadership in standing up for state employees against this kind of harassment is pathetic, but sadly, is in line with his record of failed leadership.”