Purcellville Places Hankins, Rauch on Administrative Leave

The Town of Purcellville today announced that Town Attorney Sally Hankins and Human Resources Manager Sharon Rauch have been placed on paid administrative leave.

Interim Town Manager John Anzivino made the announcement after discussions with the Wilson Elser law firm, which the town hired three weeks ago to handle four ongoing investigations into the alleged misconduct of Police Chief Cynthia McAlister, former interim town manager Alex Vanegas and Hankins.

According to a town statement, Wilson Elser made the suggestion to Anzivino “to ensure the integrity and complete review of all open concerns and is not any indication of any offense by either party.”

The town hired, and set aside $80,000 to pay, Wilson Elser on Dec. 7 to conduct an audit of the original investigation on McAlister, the integrity of which was called into question after allegations that Vanegas was involved in an inappropriate relationship with the human resources consultant he hired to help lead the investigation.

The law firm is also handling separate investigations into Vanegas’ alleged misconduct, sexual harassment claims against Hankins and “other complaints” made by town staff against Hankins, according to a staff report. The town

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