Mo. agriculture director defends departure

Nov 4, 2013

Jon Hagler
Credit File photo

The former director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture is denying allegations that he created a hostile workplace.

Jon Hagler was replaced as agriculture chief October 11th by Governor Jay Nixon and until now has remained silent about the reasons. His departure came a day after a former employee distributed a letter alleging Hagler created a workplace of "hostility, disrespect, intimidation and fear."

Hagler sat down for an extended interview this weekend with The Associated Press. He described himself as a tough manager who expected a lot from employees — but wasn't hostile.

Hagler says he told Nixon's staff he was ready to leave and planned to interview for a university job. He says the timing of the employee's allegations and his departure was mere coincidence.