Hard to believe that some people WANT to stay in jail, but that was the case with a couple of Ada County jail guards who narrowly avoided the unemployment ax following the escape of a bad guy last month.
The GUARDIAN has it on good authority that contrary to earlier reports only one guard was actually fired as a result of the escape fiasco. After internal investigations and personnel hearings the scorecard came down as follows:
–One guard was dismissed and will not be back.
–One guard gets to stay and brief colleagues about errors. (That means he confesses his sins and repents)
–A supervisor was allowed a speedy retirement.
–Another supervisor has been, “severely punished.” (The GUARDIAN doubts he will be doing much supervising for a while)
Sheriff Gary Raney explained that reports of “firings” were premature due to the legal complexities. He said the early actions would more appropriately be called “notices of intent to dismiss.”
There were both private and county lawyers involved with this and the GUARDIAN thinks the apparent absence of any county personnel law or policy, (a rough sell with so many elected officials) it is time to come up with a uniform ordinance that would protect both the employees and the elected officials who hire and fire them.
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Jul 26, 2005, 4:17 pm
Attorney Joe Filicetti the Fraternal Order of Police attorney likely represented the detention officers in this case. He is the go-to guy for officers-in-peril. Because public safety employees have constitutional rights that carry over to the workplace, unlike employees of Micron or Albertsons, for example, they cannot be deprived of any property right without due process of law. These hearings were held timely, and without second-guessing the hearings officer, the outcomes seem equitable. The characteristic of the Ada County scenario that sets it apart from other large public agencies in the area is that Supervisors were held accountable. Whether demoted or fired, these are powerful messages sent to rank and file and management staff alike. Other agencies would do well to take a lesson. When the fur flies, Sergeants and Lts. should not be immune.