In Which We Find NCCo CAO David Grimaldi Bullying Volunteers

Filed in Delaware by on October 14, 2013

So this morning’s NJ brings us another story of CAO David Grimaldi being abusive to another citizen. This time, it isn’t a barroom brawl, but it is abusive behavior towards a volunteer at Rockwood Manison.

New Castle County Chief Administrative Officer David Grimaldi clashed with an 84-year-old woman recently who volunteers at Rockwood Park and Museum, ending the woman’s 30 years of service at the historic site because Grimaldi said her treatment of him was unacceptable.

The soft-spoken Nancy Schanes, all 4 feet 11 inches of her, said her volunteer service at the county-owned facility has brought her joy and had become a more important part of her life after her husband died about a year ago.

Put together the barroom brawl, and other incidents of aggressive behavior towards other people in public (scroll to the end), and we have a pretty good pattern of personal aggression towards others that isn’t worthy of a public servant. In this case, the target is an elderly woman who volunteers at the Mansion — meaning that she isn’t in much of a position to make many decisions besides enforcing the rules.

So while we have County leadership trying to bully Councilwoman Lisa Diller for admonishing County Attorney Pepukayi to do his job, we have CAO Grimaldi wandering around NCCo beating people up, shoving people and now intimidating little old ladies who volunteer at Rockwood. Think the NAACP will be rolling out to advise Grimaldi that he needs Anger Management Training? Or asking for a meeting? Or threatening other action of he doesn’t treat people better? Yeah, I don’t think so, either.

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"You don't make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas." -Shirley Chisholm

Comments (38)

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  1. Jason330 says:

    What a total dick. This is the kind of person Gordon surrounds himself with? That’s telling.

  2. puck says:

    I find Grimaldi guilty of being a mook.

  3. kavips says:

    Tom. you need to move very fast on this one. Otherwise, everything you’ve worked for, is up in smoke. You know what you have to do.

  4. ‘Everything he’s worked for’ has been to intimidate others into bowing to his will. His administrations have always been characterized by bullying tactics, and he’s surrounded himself with bullies like Sherry Freebury and David Grimaldi.

    It’s not by coincidence. It’s how he operates.

  5. Jason330 says:

    People who go into public service because they want to be treated like Princes are the worst.

  6. Geezer says:

    This story opens the door for questions about Grimaldi’s girlfriend, since she is mentioned several times. Who is she, Mr. Grimaldi? Someone your boss knows well?

  7. Business Law says:

    It is disappointing to see people in power belittling and ridiculing those who are aiding their company with little reward to themselves.

  8. Jason330 says:

    Get ‘me business law. the job was the widow’s refuge for Gods sake.

  9. Steve Newton says:

    Geezer, you miss the point. Grimaldi has a girlfriend? That alone should have been news.

  10. cassandra_m says:

    Someone your boss knows well?

    Oh No. Please don’t tell me he is dating Sherry.

  11. LeBay says:

    The best part about The News Journal article was the comment section. 120 so far & Gordon boot-lickers Liz Allen and especially Nancy Willing are taking a beating.

  12. Cassandra. Um, no. But equally intriguing…

  13. cassandra_m says:

    LeBay, I am so glad you stopped by to point out the comment section of that article. The majority are pretty seriously negative and the comments seem to keep growing.

  14. LeBay says:


    Nancy especially is being called out BY NAME for her bullshit Gordon ass-kissing. It’s refreshing that it’s not you or me who is calling her out!

  15. Funny how one of the only sensible comments online is from Delaware Liberal fave Mitch Crane who says he read the article and sees nothing there. There is no story and Grimaldi did nothing wrong.

  16. Liz says:

    Nancy Willing has something to gain here, folks. Stay tuned. Why else would she defend a man who would abuse a dedicated, elderly volunteer?

  17. puck says:

    And now we come to the phase where we start counting supporters vs detractors to judge the facts of the story (see: Flowers, Chio). Dragging in the normally irrelevant NJ comments section was a nice touch.

  18. SussexWatcher says:

    … and my respect for Mitch Crane slides down another notch.

  19. Let’s see. Grimaldi berates an 84-year old volunteer b/c she won’t let him and his girlfriend go upstairs unescorted even though nobody else is allowed to do what he did.

    He follows through and raises a big stink b/c of her alleged confrontational attitude. The long-time volunteer resigns.

    He should be fired as this is not exactly his first rodeo.

    This is not a close call. Grimaldi has demonstrated he is not fit for public service.

    I think it’s gonna happen. Intimidating senior citizens is not the road to political success. I believe even Gordon recognizes this. And, if it’s all about ‘Governor’ Gordon, he’ll do what he has to do.

  20. Mitch Crane says:

    Well, “Sussex Watcher”, one of the reasons I may have lost an election last year was because I tried to call things as I saw them. I raised a lot of issues in my campaign for Insurance Commissioner. I spoke often about Workers Compensation rates going up drastically because the payouts are higher for the same procedures than they are for health insurance. I said that there are two few companies writing Workers Comp in Delaware and that competition drives prices down. I campaigned on the discrimination against women of “child bearing years” in pricing health insurance in effect until the ACA kicks in in 2014. I campaigned on discrimination agiainst older drivers in setting automobile insurance premiums. The News Journal never put a single issue raised on the front page-or on any page. Strong rumors of possibly illegal, and certainly unethical activities, by the incumbent and senior staff at the DOI reached the WNJ from many sources-as did possible improprieties by an other candidate. The WNJ heard stories of nearly $100,000 in out of Delaware insurance money being used to “encourage” support for KWS in Wilmington and working class suburbs. Nothing was reported or refuted.
    I am aware that Tom Gordon ran on the same ticket in Wilminton and NCC as Karen Weldin Stewart. It is a fact that David Grimaldi made a sizeable contribution to the Stewart campaign. I know that Nancy Willing is a big supporter of Stewart’s and she used her blog and skills to help create rumor after rumor about me-hoping to find something to bring me down. This cabal finally had to make somthing up about my deserting a wife and non-existent children for the man I ended up with ( 15 years after my divorce from the childless wife). So-I wrote not to defend David Grimaldi, but to criticise the News Journal. The State Supreme Court’s decision denying the Sussex County Sheriff arrest powers was a big story–it was not printed in the NJ, let alone on the front page ( though it made the editorial). Two people died in shootings in Wilmington-that made the Delaware and The Region page yesterday-not page one. I am not writing to defend anyone, but to criticise the News Journal for its decision to make this a story and to place it on the front page. If that means someone’s respect for me slides because I a appear to defend an unpopular person, so be it. I certainly want to be respected, even liked, but I am not going to change my sense of fairness out of fear of losing respect-which is such a liquid commodity these days.

    I wrote because I saw the headline and wondered “what now”? The strory states that Mr. Grimaldi and his “gf” were at the mansion for a faerie festival and he received a call asking him to go upstairs in the mansion and take pictures of rain damage on the ceiling. It states calls were made to people in charge saying Grimaldo was doing this and he did not need an escort. A long-time volunteer went upstairs and words were exchanged. He may have been arrogant. She may have been insulted by his attitide from a sense of entitlement. I wrote because I did not see a story. There is no story that should be in the newspaper. There certainly is no story that should be on the front page.

  21. cassandra_m says:

    And what’s funny about the “no story” caucus is that they didn’t see a problem with the barroom brawl, and they didn’t see issues with the shoving and other behavior of testosterone run amok. But they are all up in arms about Lisa Diller calling out Pepukayi to do his job without the mansplaining.

    So what we have here is the boy’s club protecting the boy’s club at every turn, with folks who think they’ve been included to the boy’s club defending every bit of this misbehavior.

  22. socialistic ben says:


  23. puck says:

    Ben, is that a “protected comment?”

  24. Mitch Crane says:

    I agree with Cassandra that the Pastability story was a story. I agree with the right of Councilwoman Lisa Diller to ask questions of and get answers from county employees. My whole point, and it is strange to be “allied” with people who are no fans of mine, is that yesterday’s story does not rise to the level of the coverage it recieved.

  25. cassandra_m says:

    I think that if the Rockwood thing had been a one-off, I would agree. But this is turning into a pattern. The fact that this lets the NJ spin up some of Gordon’s old War on Rockwood doesn’t help.

  26. Geezer says:

    The media does not cover stories because they are important. Important but boring is anathema to modern media. Unimportant but splashy will triumph over important but boring every time. And before you bitch at the media about it, consider that the media, like most things in this country, operates on a for-profit basis, and therefore benefits by chasing unimportant but splashy stories.

    Adam Taylor’s job is to write stories. He doesn’t decide where in the newspaper those stories are placed.

  27. socialistic ben says:

    No, I asked about the initial title where it said the NAACP were bullying people… I then realized I had either mis-read it, or it had been changed since yesterday, so my comment was no longer valid… there is however, mention of the NAACP in the original post, so who knows. Either way, it has turned into one of those Liz Allen/ Nancy Willing battle royales with cheese and mayonnaise, so I just scrapped the whole thing in favor of looking at cat memes.

  28. Mitch Crane says:

    Adam Taylor wrote a good story. It appears to be fair and he drew no conclusions.
    Geezer is certainly right that newspapers place and print stories that they think readers would be interested in. All this being true, people still have the right to criticise. I don’t agree with the NJ story placement in this case, but that doesn’t mean I am “losing respect” for them. I agree with Geezer 90% of the time. I do not “lose respect” for him when I disagree. He is just “wrong” 10% of the time. ;)

  29. cassandra_m says:

    The NAACP title is another post, SB — the one asking about Lisa Diller. This one mentions the NAACP in that context.

  30. socialistic ben says:

    So it would seem.

  31. Geezer says:

    Mitch: Your criticism is valid. I was expressing my belief that the slant of the story owes more to the editor(s) than the reporter.

  32. saveourcity says:

    It appears that everyone again is jumping to conclusions before the whole story comes out. Just like the Rehoboth Beach Police incident all over again.

  33. cassandra m says:

    Another defender of official bad behavior heard from.

  34. saveourcity says:

    No Cassandra, I’m just trying to keep things fair. Everyone jumped at the Rehoboth Beach Police incident. The Police Officers were found not guilty and if you remember the incident started because he was fighting / beating his girlfriend / wife, who video the incident. Now the story has run full circle.

    Mechanicsburg, Pa. — A Pennsylvania man Tasered by a Rehoboth Beach police officer in a video that went viral last spring was run over and killed by the woman who videoed the incident in Rehoboth, Pennsylvania police said.

    Jeremy Anderson, 34, of Mechanicsburg, Pa., was struck and killed by a minivan police say was driven by his wife/girlfriend, Esther Candace Brubaker, 36.

  35. puck says:

    That dude had a tough life. Everybody beat on him like a oinata. She should ask to be tried in Rehoboth where it is apparently legal to assault that guy.

  36. Geezer says:

    “Just like the Rehoboth Beach Police incident all over again.”

    Bullshit. I don’t care what the guy did, nothing justifies police kicking a person in the head while he’s on the ground. The exoneration says nothing except that police in this state get a pass on everything.

    Save our city? Why don’t you take the city and shove it up your ass point first?

  37. cassandra_m says:

    Geezer’s made this point, but the fact that the police have been exonerated (which isn’t much of a trick in this state) doesn’t mean that they were dead wrong. I certainly do not pay taxes for the police to abuse citizens that way.

    And saveourcity has a reason to defend the bad behavior — he’s marking time towards his very generous city pension.

  38. SussexWatcher says:

    The Rehoboth officers were not found not guilty – that’s something only a court can do – but rather cleared by a DOJ excessive force investigation. Just to clarify.