Created By: Tobie Ronkartz on 06/23/1998 at 01:06 PM
| CN 1996-183|
Category: Ethics Rulings
LOUISIANA BOARD OF ETHICS
DATE: June 18, 1998 OPINION NO.: CN 96-183
RE: In the matter of Roger Hogan
The Louisiana Board of Ethics (the “Board”), pursuant to the provisions of Section 1141 of the Code of Governmental Ethics (the “Code”), conducted an investigation into information received indicating that a violation of Section 1169 of the Code may have occurred by virtue of Roger Hogan, Superintendent of Golf Courses for the City of Shreveport, subjecting Jeffrey Todd Dean, a golf course mechanic, to acts of reprisal for his reporting of alleged acts of impropriety by Mr. Hogan. On the basis of the information obtained during the course of the investigation and with the consent of Roger Hogan, the Board now makes the following essential:
On February 1, 1995, Jeffrey Todd Dean became employed by the Shreveport Parks and Recreation (“SPAR”) as the Querbes Golf Course mechanic, and part of his job duties included the upkeep of all the machinery at the golf course, including ordering necessary parts for the machinery.
FINDINGS OF FACT
2. On July 13, 1995, Mr. Dean was interviewed by Shreveport Internal Auditors regarding an investigation of a complaint that Roger Hogan misappropriated city funds and used racial epithets.
3. On July 21, 1995, a Pre-Disciplinary Action Hearing was held pursuant to charges regarding Roger Hogan’s inability to work with others, profanity, abusive or threatening language and violations of Executive Order 95-1 Harassment Statement.
4. As a result of that hearing, Mr. Hogan was given a mandatory referral to the Employee Assistance Program and directed not to supervise Mr. Dean from that point on.
5. Prior to July 1995 and according to Mr. Dean’s personnel file, he had a clean record.
6. Subsequent to July 21, 1995, Mr. Dean reported in writing to department-level and city-level personnel, retaliation by Mr. Hogan directed to Mr. Dean.
7. From the end of July to November 20, 1995, Mr. Dean was on workman’s compensation because of a job related injury.
8. To receive supplemental benefits while on workman’s compensation, the employee must turn in slips two (2) days before a paycheck is issued; and, it is common practice to allow employees who are seriously injured to sign several slips in advance, which are then turned in on his behalf.
9. Roger Hogan informed Mr. Dean that he would have to come in personally two (2) days before the paychecks were issued to receive the supplemental benefits.
10. After November 20, 1995 and upon doctor’s orders, Mr. Dean returned to light duty, at which time Mr. Hogan, with two (2) Shreveport Police Officers, delivered a Record of Interview, releasing Mr. Dean to Workman’s Compensation.
11. Mr. Dean obtained a doctor’s note releasing him to return to full duty and he was directed by Gary Starr, Personnel Analyst for the City of Shreveport, to return to his job at the Querbes Golf Course.
12. Mr. Dean returned to work the next day at Querbes Golf Course, at which time Mr. Hogan told him, he could not stay there. Again, Gary Starr informed Mr. Dean to remain at work.
13. Since December 1995, Mr. Dean has been written up approximately fifteen (15) times by Roger Hogan.
14. On January 28, 1997, Mr. Dean was reprimanded for failing to properly identiry corrective maintenance on a piece of equipment. However, Mr. Dean had turned in a parts list and the parts were denied.
15. When Mr. Dean’s father died and he was on funeral leave from January 15 - 22, 1997, he was to receive a paycheck on January 15, 1997. His supervisor contacted Roger Hogan, as well as Bill Slack and the personnel office, and he was told his check was lost.
16. Subsequent to an investigators interview with several Shreveport employees, Mr. Dean received his paycheck on or about February 6, 1997.
II. Section 1169A of the Code protects a public employee from discipline or acts of reprisal for reporting an alleged act of impropriety within any governmental entity. This Section provides in pertinent part:
It is the opinion of the Board that Roger Hogan violated Section 1169A of the Code by subjecting Jeffrey Todd Dean to discipline and acts of reprisal subsequent to Mr. Dean’s interview with the Shreveport City Internal Auditors regarding charges that Mr. Hogan misappropriated city funds and used racial epithets. The acts of reprisal by Mr. Hogan against Mr. Dean occurred when Mr. Hogan was the Superintendent of Golf Courses for the City of Shreveport and Mr. Dean was the Querbes Golf Course mechanic.
§1169. Freedom from reprisal for disclosure of improper acts
A. Any public employee who reports to his agency head or the board information which he reasonably believes is a violation of any provision of law within the jurisdiction of the board or of any order, rule, or regulation issued hereunder or any other alleged acts of impropriety within any governmental entity shall be free from discipline or reprisal for reporting said acts of alleged impropriety. No employee with authority to hire and fire, supervisor, agency head, or other elected official shall subject to reprisal any public employee because of said employee's efforts to disclose such acts of alleged impropriety.
The Louisiana Board of Ethics is authorized to impose a penalty up to $10,000 for the above violation of the Code. In this particular situation, given the facts outlined, it is the conclusion of the Board that a fine of $5,000 be imposed upon Roger Hogan, of which $2,500 will be suspended, pending future compliance by Mr. Hogan of the operational provisions of the Code and payment of the fine within thirty days from the publication of this consent opinion.
DECREE AND ORDER
IT IS DECREED that Roger Hogan violated Section 1169A of the Code by subjecting Jeffrey Todd Dean to acts of reprisal subsequent to Mr. Dean’s reporting alleged acts of impropriety to the Shreveport City Internal Auditors.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a fine of $5,000 is hereby imposed upon Roger Hogan, of which $2,500 will be suspended, pending future compliance by Mr. Hogan of the operational provisions of the Code and payment of the fine within thirty days from the publication of this consent opinion.
BY ORDER OF THE BOARD, this 18th day of June , 1998.
s/ Robert L. Roland s/ Harry Blumenthal, Jr.
Robert L. Roland, Chairman Harry Blumenthal, Jr., Vice-Chairman
s/ Robert P. Bareikis Absent and did not participate.
Dr. Robert P. Bareikis Rev. Carole Cotton Winn
s/ E.L. Guidry, Jr. s/ Virgil Orr
Judge E.L. Guidry, Jr. Dr. Virgil Orr
s/ Revius O. Ortique, Jr. Absent and did not participate.
Justice Revius O. Ortique, Jr. T.O. Perry, Jr.
Absent and did not participate. s/ Nathan J. Thornton, Jr.
Ronald L. Sawyer Nathan J. Thornton, Jr.
s/ Edwin O. Ware
Ed O. Ware
The undersigned (a) stipulates to the facts found by the Board; (b) waives the procedural requirements contained in Section 1141 of the Code; (c) consents to the publication of this opinion; (d) agrees to comply with the conditions and orders set forth in this opinion; and, (e) agrees not to seek judicial review of the findings and actions taken in this opinion.
s/ Roger Hogan