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12 23Mon11302015


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Back Local News CSC holds action on PAG employee appeal

CSC holds action on PAG employee appeal

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THE Civil Service Commission yesterday postponed its decision on the motion filed by former PAG employee Frances Arriola, who appealed the termination of her employment.

Arriola, along with six other PAG employees, were fired from their jobs in December for allegedly falsifying and altering documents related to a workman’s compensation claim filed by then-Marketing Administrator Bernadette Meno.

Arriola, former personnel specialist, is accused of altering records by extending the length of leave and increasing Meno’s per diem reimbursement.

Attorney Daniel Somerfleck, representing Arriola, argued the notice of adverse action filed against his client in October violated the requirement that management must take action 60 days from suspicion of wrongdoing.

'The law is clear'

“The law is very clear: In no event shall employees in classified service be given charges 60 days [after] management was [first] made aware of any possible wrongdoing. Any action against this is barred and void,” Somerfleck said.

During his rebuttal, PAG attorney Mike Philips maintained that the notices of adverse action were filed within the limit when the PAG board of directors was made aware that the $70,000 claim was flagged by the Governor’s Office on Oct. 18.

The commission requested the minutes of the Oct. 25 meeting in which the PAG board discussed the issue.

However, before the request was made, two commission members indicated they agreed with the employee’s motion while the three remaining commissioners were not completely convinced the 60-day rule applied.

CSC was supposed to hear testimony from former PAG General Manager Mary Torres in Meno’s case last night, but due to a schedule conflict, the hearing was rescheduled for May 1.

Tarnished reputation

Meanwhile, the legal counsel for Vivian Leon, another one of the dismissed PAG employees, wrote to CSC, saying recent documents filed alleging misconduct were submitted to the commission to “further prejudice and tarnish” his client’s reputation.

“With regard to management counsel’s April 16 letter, it appears some purposeful mischief is occurring there,” Leon’s attorney Ignacio Aguigui wrote.

Leon is also appealing her dismissal.

Aguigui said a letter submitted by Philips to CSC, as well as the separate letter submitted by PAG General Manager Joanne Brown to the Attorney General’s Office, does not adhere to CSC’s order to submit all documents pertaining to the job termination.


Aguigui said the events mentioned in the letter were unrelated to the issue in question and occurred before the termination orders were issued.

Leon’s attorney maintains that objections to the order are incorrect because the order only specifies documents related to the termination.

In addition, the letter had been submitted after the deadline of Feb. 14, Aguigui said.

“For management to now provide – weeks after the deadline – what are clearly inflammatory documents aimed at wrongfully influencing public perception of the employee, and under the guise of having to do so by the terms of your Jan. 31 order, is just plain wrong,” the objection states.

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