10/9/20 Bobbi Williams

Roberta Williams, who goes by Bobbi, was terminated for allegedly throwing ice at a coworker. 

The only person who Bobbi Williams said was nice to her at her former job was the man who escorted her out.

As the former service staff worker rode in her escort’s car to retrieve her sweater after being told she was no longer permitted on campus, the man who led her out of the Purdue Village Administrative Building for allegedly throwing ice at another employee said, “You’re handling yourself quite well.”

“I couldn’t believe that it happened, on a lie. And that’s what I told him,” she said, “I wouldn’t be so mad if (I wasn’t) fired on a lie.”

One of Williams’ coworkers, who requested to remain anonymous out of concern for losing her job, said she heard of an incident when Williams reportedly tried to throw ice out of the window of a vehicle. The window was closed, however, which Williams apparently didn’t realize.

Williams, who said she always carried a Speedway cup filled with ice and water, said she didn’t recall that incident until it was mentioned to her, calling it “no big deal.” She said the alleged victim also did not perceive the incident as a serious issue.

“She was telling everybody, ‘Oh, Bobbi tried to throw ice out the window, and it came back and hit me,’” Williams said.

Williams’ coworker said she was not aware of Williams having received any verbal warnings or write-ups based on that incident.

It was only after Williams called human resources to allege her supervisor was lying about the ice incident that she was disciplined for it on Oct. 1, despite the incident having occurred over the summer, according to her termination letter.

Though Williams reported conflicts with her supervisor in the past, she said she never experienced trouble with the alleged victim. Williams said during her tenure, her supervisor repeatedly contradicted himself and denied having given certain orders.

“When (our supervisor) told us to jump, we had to ask ‘How high?’” she said, “or you paid the consequences for it. He was the supervisor.”

Her coworker also said the supervisor would often deny or claim to not recall things he had said in the past.

“He always said, ‘There was a miscommunication, I don’t recall saying that,’” she said. “That’s his answer to about everything whenever he gets put up on the spot.”

Williams said she finally called HR on Sept. 22, in tears over her supervisor’s behavior.

“I was just tired of being called a liar time and time again,” she said.

HR came and spoke to the whole staff two days later, Williams said.

“Why wasn’t I disciplined back then, instead of (waiting until) after I call HR to come in, and then all of a sudden I’m the one in trouble?”

Williams said she was hired by Purdue eight years ago as of Oct. 1, the day she was placed on administrative leave.

Both Williams and her coworker agree that the individual at whom Williams allegedly threw ice would often assume a supervisor’s role, despite not being a supervisor, according to Williams.

“To me (she) was running the place,” she said.

During the meeting when Williams received her termination letter, her bosses told her not to talk during the meeting. They also requested she not return to campus.

Williams has not received a Persona Non Grata, which bans individuals from portions or the entirety of Purdue’s campus.

Her supervisor was not available for comment Friday afternoon, and Purdue spokesperson, Tim Doty, said the University does not comment on personnel matters.

Though she doesn’t want her job back, Williams said she was particularly upset over being terminated over what she calls a lie. She’s concerned she has no means to defend herself, she added.

“There’s no way to prove that I didn’t do it except my word,” Williams said, “and that’s the sad part about it.”

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