A Denver Motor Vehicle manager has been demoted after several subordinates complained to her boss about “demeaning conduct” toward them, poor customer service and not turning in paperwork that could have resulted in impounding the cars of unsuspecting drivers.
According to a decision obtained by 9Wants to Know, the Denver Career Service Board affirmed on Feb. 13th a decision by the Department of Motor Vehicles to demote branch manager Kristi Burdett.
Documents show the decision to demote the manager at the Tremont Branch stemmed from a series of complaints from employees.
They reported Burdett would say to them, “shut your mouth,” physically blocking one as if to fight, restricting them from going to the bathroom and telling them to “look it up yourself,” instead of helping or guiding them, according to the documents.
Burdett’s boss reported he received so many complaints about Burdett that “he thought he might to have replace the entire office.”
“Subordinates came to him crying, unable to eat and threatening to quit,” documents state.
According to the decision letter affirming Burdett’s demotion, her actions also affected customers, who didn’t receive timely titles to their cars, were forced to return to the branch to request permit extensions because the titles weren’t processed on time, car dealers and banks received complaints from customers missing their titles.
One of the most egregious failures cited in the documents involved Burdett not processing customer paperwork in a timely manner that could have resulted in customers, “being stopped by police and having their vehicles impounded.”
The records say that Burdett was provided extensive coaching, support and feedback to become a better boss over the years, but “Burdett remained, except briefly, disconnected from understanding how her actions affected her subordinates.”
The report said several witnesses testified on Burdett’s behalf. But their testimony, according to the report, only substantiated the claim that she played favorites in the office.
“In conjunction with her prior discipline for similar conduct and her supervisor’s extraordinary efforts to encourage reform, it was reasonable for the Agency to conclude lasting reform would be unlikely,” the decision said.
According to the documents, Burdett has been employed with the DMV since 1993, becoming a branch manager in 2011.
Her duties, according to the documents, included cultivating a positive and supportive atmosphere for staff through coaching, mentoring and encouraging staff to meet goals.
She was expected to be visible to her employees and customers, meaning not sitting in her office.
Burdett’s demotion paperwork said that she could’ve been terminated “for her actions and hostility,” but found her “technical competence” to be solid.
As of Monday, Burdett is still employed at the DMV Tremont site, but she currently works in the Processing Center. The city also confirmed to 9Wants to Know Burdett is no longer interacting with the public. She is no longer managing other people.
9Wants to Know spoke with Burdett’s attorney; he had no comment.