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Reprimands Are In Order For Handling Of Mason Case



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Reprimands Are In Order For

Handling Of Mason Case

To the Editor:

I am in full agreement with your recent editorial regarding the incredibly poor job performance of certain town officials in the Mason termination process [“Performance Flaws Uncovered. But Whose?,” 06/19/09]. I had a while ago suggested this was a clown act on their part, and now I am fully convinced it was much worse than that.

Look at the statement of Ms Ross the town HR coordinator. She told the selectmen she knew of the due process clause in the employee handbook but went by the town charter instead. Section 4-40 of the charter refers her back to the due process procedures established by the selectmen. She then said it was in the interest of public safety that she ignored it or refused to apply it and fired Ms Mason. That is absolute hogwash. As a citizen of Newtown I refuse to believe my life or anyone’s was in danger with Ms Mason on the job, nor was it made any safer by terminating her. I, like many others, would like to know the real reason for [Ms Ross] wanting to “accelerate the process,” because her stated one is clearly a joke.

Then came Chief Kehoe, who all along never took responsibility for failing to train and failing to properly supervise Ms Mason. He, like Mr Rosenthal, throws everyone else under the bus. Yet he spoke of two complainants who both would not come and testify, one of which refused to sign a sworn statement, too. Yet he readily goes along with Ms Ross in recommending Ms Mason be terminated without her due process rights.

Lastly, Mr Borst who should have known better than to go along with his two clearly improperly acting subordinates, instead joins the team and jumps in with both his own incompetent feet, instead of doing what a real leader would have done and making sure all the proper procedures were being followed and his employee in question was being treated fairly. His final statement, “The selectmen never approved the employee handbook,” is absolutely disgraceful and indicative of a first selectman who is completely out of touch with the rules of government.

The town’s Code of Ethics Section 36-2 says the town officials are supposed to act morally and honestly in the discharge of their duties. Clearly Ms Ross, Chief Kehoe, and Mr Borst did not come close to doing this. I call upon the selectmen Mr Mangiafico and Mr Rosenthal to do the proper next step and request the Board of Ethics conduct an investigation into the actions of these three town officials. These three conspired to knowingly and intentionally deprive a town employee of her clearly established due process right. They acted shamefully and disgracefully and not only subjected Ms Mason to a drawn out humiliating public process, they cost the town a significant amount of money in legal fees. They deserve to be severely reprimanded.

Michael Marsalisi

3 King Street, Newtown                                                   June 27, 2009

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