For Immediate Release

July 27, 2020


For More Information Contact:

Gino Renne 240-876-7701


County Union Seeking Help with Hostile Supervisor in Silver Spring Urban District, Demand Information Related to Possible Councilmember Influence in Supervisor Hiring


GAITHERSBURG, MARYLAND — The Union representing employees of the Silver Spring Urban District have sent a letter to Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich to ask for help to alleviate a hostile work environment created by the Operations Manager, who was a previous legislative aide to Councilmember Hans Riemer.


Employees are complaining that Operations Manager Crystal Ruiz has threatened employees with dismissal in a rude and abrupt manner, has invoked the name of her former employer, Councilmember Hans Riemer, for protection from discipline and has claimed that she will "not be penalized for [her] behavior," and that she was "sent" to the Silver Spring Urban District in order to "clean it up."


In a letter to County Executive Elrich, Local 1994 President Gino Renne asks for a number of items under the Maryland Public Information Act (MPIA), “in order to ensure that the hiring process was free from any undue influence or impropriety by Councilman Riemer in the County's selection of Ms. Ruiz to this position.”


The letter requests:

               The names of any and all individuals who were on the interview/hiring panel for this position

               The name of all who applied for Ms. Ruiz’s position, plus their interview scores/ratings, and

               Copies of any and all communications from Councilmember Riemer to individuals on the hiring/interview panel, or to the County, in support of Ms. Ruiz's selection


The union has also asked for a climate survey to be conducted at the Department. Climate surveys have helped the union and other departments smooth out issues that were causing hostilities throughout the County government and are negotiated under the Collective Bargaining Agreement.


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Local 1994 represents 8,000 public employees in Montgomery County and beyond. From its inception, UFCW Local 1994 MCGEO has fought to protect workers' rights, negotiate fair wages and protect safety and security of workers.

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