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St. Petersburg deputy mayor resigns after accusations of fostering a hostile work environment

Stephanie Owens smiling into the camera
Stephanie Owens
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St. Petersburg Deputy Mayor Stephanie Owens submitted her letter of resignation on Sept. 2, 2022, following allegations she fostered a hostile work environment.

Stephanie Owens' resignation will take effect Sept. 9, according to a statement from the city.

The deputy mayor of St. Petersburg has submitted her letter of resignation following allegations she fostered a hostile work environment.

In a statement Friday, the city said Stephanie Owens' resignation will take effect Sept. 9.

Mayor Ken Welch put Owens on administrative leave after Communications Director Janelle Irwin Taylor accused Owens — her direct supervisor — of creating a "culture of bullying," according to a published report.

Irwin Taylor stepped down Thursday.

In the statement, Welch said the city will no longer conduct an internal review of Owens' actions, but will work with the Human Resources team "to develop additional initiatives to educate employees on their rights and protections and foster workplace civility and professionalism throughout the city."

Welch said he will address how the city will move forward during a news conference next week.

Prior to being named deputy mayor, Owens served as manager for Welch's mayoral campaign.

I wasn't always a morning person. After spending years as a nighttime sports copy editor and page designer, I made the move to digital editing in 2000. Turns out, it was one of the best moves I've ever made.
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