Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Review of Chief's Report - First Pass

Overall Comments:
  • The Mayor's report is finalized and issued.  He and Sisson will have to stand by its contents in all future depositions and lawsuits. There can be no walking back the fact that Sisson made the charges, provided VanSickle information and Hayward has stated in the press that he relied on the report in making his decision to fire Schmitt and Glover.
  • Every allegation and conclusion that can be shown to be either a lie or incorrect will piece by piece dismantle the report and its conclusions.
  • The deconstruction of the report will be very useful to the Chief's in the lawsuits to be filed.
  • It is obvious that VanSickle's ultimate task was to document a path that would attempt to justify termination.
  • Hayward was not even man enough to meet with the Chief's and terminate them himself.
  • The entire report was obviously pressed by Sisson, with documents provided by Sisson.
  • It appears from the Exhibits that Sisson was able to rebut the Chief's statements and provide additional documents but the Chief's had no opportunity to rebut Sisson's statements.  This is evidenced in that Sisson would not have been aware of Schmitt and Glover's counter arguments and claims until after they were interviewed but documents were clearly provided after their interviews.
  • Neither Schmitt or Glover were allowed to have any review, rebuttal or appeal of any statements made by anyone after they were interviewed.
  • Olson is found to have made the EEOC statements to AM1620. Duh!  It's recorded.
  • VanSickle on Olson's statements "The February 9, 2016, radio interview recording on the News Radio 1620 A.M. website confirmed Glover’s allegations. Olson’s comments on the radio program contradicted my understanding of the circumstances of the paid leave. Olson’s analogy to an investigation into a police shooting was inappropriate. During the same radio interview, Olson stated that he had been removed from the situation regarding the investigation, which was consistent with my understanding. Olson was not the appropriate person to make public statements about this investigation because he was the subject of the EEOC allegations and was intentionally removed from any decision-making relating to this investigation."  No consequence or action toward Olson for inappropriate comments to the press.
  • Sisson states he made the handbook changes on November 25 but the election for the personnel board was not due until December 2?  The timeline doesn't support Sisson's claims.
  • Every interview was recorded and transcribed except Sisson and Workman? Why not them?
  • In his capacity as investigator, VanSickle can be deposed in the suit to be filed
  • "Schmitt and Glover believed incorrectly they were capable of handling the hiring process without an interview panel and without any guidance from HR. They both used poor judgment to conduct the hiring process in a manner they both agreed had not been done before." The hiring policy that the Chief's were found to not have followed is not documented in any manual or written procedures but was merely past custom.  Under this line of thinking, no change to any process could ever be made in any department that had not been done before. 
  • Sisson doesn't follow any established hiring processes in any other matter.  McLellan jumps out to me.
  • Chain of Command is a documented written policy of the Department.
  • Both Olson and Sisson have adverse findings in the report but no discipline or consequences
  • VanSickle waives around the Human Resource Manual likes its the Bible, but just yesterday Rick Outzen proved it isn't followed by the HR director himself with regards to job evaluations a very important process in Human Resource management.
  • How can the employee manual apply to some cases but not all cases, such as evaluations.
  • How many times has Sisson stopped what he was doing to write a memo to the personnel file of an employee regarding a citizen complaint?
  • Sisson's little handwritten notes throughout the Exhibits show his bias against the Chief's especially Glover
  • VanSickle takes every opportunity to make judgments in favor of Sisson
  • VanSickle takes every opportunity to not publish facts supporting the Chief's positions
  • They actually found Glover erred in accepting a complimentary rental car upgrade.
  • VanSickle, Olson, Hayward and Sisson can all look forward to swearing under oath to what really occurred.
  • VanSickle goes beyond his assignment and rules on the validity of EEOC complaints of Glover and Schmitt after saying in writing that he was not tasked to do so.
Deas Allegations
  • It is confirmed in the interview of Edward Deas that Deas did NOT follow either the chain of command or go to the HR department with his complaint.  Based on his own statement, Deas went STRAIGHT TO ASHTON HAYWARD WITH HIS COMPLAINT.
  • RFV:   Ok and did you, you showed, so you first went

    Ed:      You know Ashton … you know .. agreed it (?) .. you know because he was a supervisor .. he was the first person on grant (?) who …
  • "I said yes sir, can I appeal.  He said absolutely he said but I will tell you right now we don’t like the fire department at City Hall.  He said you can go to City Hall but they don’t like the fire department at City Hall and like I said (?) who was the fire captain and Chief Peake was in there so in that next in line was a human resource administrator asked who I called and Ashton (?) called me back later on that night."

Chief Allen

  • The Mayor has identified Chief Allen as the proposed Chief.  I have known Chief Allen for many years.  We have always had a good working relationship.  However, Chief Allen has lobbied for and now has been nominated by Hayward as the next Fire Chief and as such must be vetted to determine if he is right fit for a department now in open division over the Chief issue. 
  • Much will come out in the next month as part of the vetting process regarding Chief Allen's past with the department, his complicity in known employee conduct violations, his judgement regarding proper procedure, his lobbying for the Chief's job and his qualifications to be Chief.
  • In the end, I do not believe Chief Allen is the proper choice for Fire Chief to lead the department.  He has been too much a part of all of the issues in the departments turbulent past.


Anonymous said...

At the Mayor's pressuring, Allen approved a dangerous sidewalk canopy for Blend. He had originally denied the sidewalk canopy due to it limiting fire truck access and response time to the Saenger Theater.

But we all know the safety of citizen's is overlooked for the expansion of business.

THIS is why the firings happened. THIS is why Allen is bring made Chief.

He has already proven that he will disregards public safety and laws if and when the Mayor demands it!

Anonymous said...

Allen's participation helped the city's case to fire the chiefs and his reward was a promotion.
A white chief, not vetted, or approved by the panel.
The chiefs have a great lawsuit that is well documented. Thank you maren, Rick outzen.
It will take 5 years, but they will get justice.

George Hawthorne said...


I have done the same analysis as you and have the same conclusions. This report is the BEST evidence the Chiefs could have received that clearly demonstrates the hypocrisy, discrimination and corruption in the Mayor's Office.

If the Mayor applied the same "standard of determination for termination" to his own hiring practices, Sisson's HR practice deviations, Olson's public speaking, Bowlings' performance and management's retaliation against employees - He would have to fire himself, Olson, Bowlings, Sisson and Allen.

Furthermore, this is going to cost the City millions of dollars. A first-year practicing paralegal could impeach the validity of this report and show that it actually provides key evidence to the base claims of Glover and Schmidt, being, a discriminatory, retaliatory and biased practices at city hall and from the Mayor and his staff.

As far as, Dumb and Dumber (Sisson and Olson) you can kiss your career's good-bye after you are fired - no one would ever hire you for anything meaningful.

RECALL the Mayor!

Anonymous said...

This is a huge fail on the part of the HR department. The HR department should have met with the Chief & resolved the hiring issue, pulling in the City Attorney, Mayor, & City Administrator. The HR department doesn't know how to put out fires & the fire department doesn't know how to conduct a legal recruitment & hiring process. The Chiefs shouldn't be fired over this. They should be educated.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, interesting timeline..

Federal EEOC complaint filed by chiefs against HR (Sisson) and Administration (Olson).

HR(Sisson) doesn't like how chiefs handle the recruiting process of new recruits.

HR doesn't offer training/education to comply with HR standards.
HR selects chiefs to random drug test and they pass.
HR doesn't conduct employee evaluations, so employees don't know what they are doing wrong and there is no communication how to improve their performance.
HR finds the chiefs kept money raised from the child safety program, locked in a safe with numerous outdated checks that were never cashed.

HR, (Sisson) does not warn, put on probation, or inform the chiefs of policy error.

Allen, (who openly recruited for the Chiefs jobs,) was the one charge of the child safety seat program. The one that collected the money, that was put in the safe by the chiefs.

Allen admits to discussing his dissatisfaction of his bosses with the Mayor directly, before all of this went down. He went to the Mayor instead of HR, because he admits he was told HR and the City do not like the Fire Department.

Bottom line:
This really is a Human Resource issue.

HR fails to perform in all aspects of performing their job.
Administration fails to require HR to perform their job.
Once the Federal EEOC case was filed, the City needed to build a case against them.
Luckily our Mayor remembered Allen had spoke to him in the past and he found a way to blame the chiefs and reward Allen for his heroic contribution to ending the careers of 2 loyal employees.

Firing the chiefs was a cowardly act. The result of the investigation shows Human Resources and the Administration failed to do their jobs.

Ashton is a coward.

Anonymous said...

Prior to the Chiefs filing the EEOC suit:

Did HR send out written instructions for interviewing and hiring candidates?
Did HR train department heads on how to interview and hire candidates?
Did HR put in writing instructions on how to handle cash donations that belong to the PFD and not the City?
Did HR conduct random drug tests on a regular basis for all employees?
Did HR ever notify the Chiefs they were doing something against City HR policy?
Did the HR director expose the City to lawsuits?

Was the City of Pensacola's hiring practice ever called into question prior to the EEOC.
Yes and well documented; Fountain and Olson. (Sisson had 8 months to get policies in writing and distributed.)

The report exposes the failure of the City's HR department lack of written policies and discipline guidelines.

It exposes the HR director changing guidelines without notifying City Employees.

It exposes Hayward's administration's failure to act 8 months ago.

What does the Mayor do? He fires the Chiefs that filed an EEOC suit.

Any jury is going to view this as retaliation and find in favor for the Chiefs.

NOW is time for the City Council to ACT.

Anonymous said...

This is not the first or second time that David Allen has helped to end a firefighter's career. Now that the city along with David Allen and Edward Deas has given their best shot against Glover and Schmidt, it's time for the rest of the story.

Anonymous said...

Yes, David Allen was there when my cousin lost his life in the line of duty, On David's Watch!!! I could say more but it will all come out SOON..

Anonymous said...

As for Firefighter Deas, Well let's say his troubles are just the beginning...

Anonymous said...

I wish I were as intelligent as you, Maren, and many of your readers who comment. However, I am bright enough to know that this mayor and his cronies have no honor and integrity. Maren, your heroic efforts for standing for truth and fairness is an example for all of us. I pray that the chiefs will persevere and see this through its logical conclusion: a successful lawsuit that is upheld on appeal and the removal of those despicable, despicable "public servants".

Anonymous said...

Well it never fails, Willie Lynch a.k.a Ed Deas always seems to show up...Karma comin for you bruh. I hope you see this because I want you to know that you are a disgrace to the black race and you will never be respected in this community once exposed.

bheartlib said...

Please join us at the City Council Meeting Thursday. We will be meeting with all people who think this is an abomination. We will be handing out red arm-bands to all who stand with us Some of us will be reading into the City Council record the truth of this discriminatory action by the Hayward administration. And now we can add into the mix the new Chief..David Allen. Hayward got his flack in place, and if the City Council has any guts they will refuse to confirm Allen. All citizens who care about their government.....PLEASE stand with us Thursday night at City Hall!!!!!

Anonymous said...

David Allen also bears some culpability in the loss of Bob Sumner.

Anonymous said...

I smell smoke.......Let the fireworks began! I know Matt and Joe do not deserve to be treated this way-and for all of you that live in the city of Pensacola, you should be furious. This is YOUR tax dollars at work. If you don't like it, then now is the time to speak up.

Anonymous said...

Exhibit XIV shows a note placed in Glover's file for "a concern to adhere to the 25 mph speed limit in a city vehicle"; yes, it needed to be addressed and it was. As I recall, the mayor was stopped for speeding by PPD on his way to the airport. It was his personal vehicle, but he did NOT get a speeding ticket. I know this is not an apples to apples comparison, but it does say something about the examples he sets as a leader. Hell, if the mayor can get away with speeding in his personal vehicle, which still endangers others on the streets and in his way, you can bet it will have a snowball effect . Looks like his motto is "Do as I say, not as I do".