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168 Days: Findings (I Can Talk About)

By Ken Snyder

I am sure that Wonnell and Sieve-Wilson realize this, but I'm not sure it was conveyed to anyone at BPU: I've seen much more than they might think I have. Because I 1) did nearly all the real investigating prior to Ms. Leeds' involvement, and 2) I wanted to assist in as much of this case as possible, I asked for, and was provided copies of the disclosures made by BPU. Because nearly all of it had "confidential" written across the bottom of it I can't talk about it, except to say there were some VERY incriminating documents I saw -- and there were certain people involved far more than initially thought, people who should not have been involved in the first place.

What I can talk about is this:

Through my investigation, I learned that an award (I submitted to ESGR while I was deployed in Turkey) for BPU had been presented to them. Normally, the person nominating an employer for an award is notified and they attend the presentation -- I didn't know about BPU getting the award until long after I was terminated. Knowing the way things "work" at BPU it wouldn't surprise me if the award wound up in the trash, or is shoved away in someone's drawer as a "trophy" to how they handled the nuisance of having someone on the payroll with a miltary obligation.

In BPU's Employee Handbook (page 61 of the 2004 edition), it specifically states that "Only the General Manager has the authority to discharge an employee", yet the General Manager's signature on my termination form is almost a week after I was "sent home." Putting these two items together could be construed to mean that 1) BPU owes me almost a week of pay, since "Only the General Manager has the authority to discharge an employee", and his signature is dated 15 July, and 2) now we're talking about being terminated with less than a week remaining in my probationary period. Here's another little gem: the General Manager's office and Human Resources are located in the same building, and it's not that big. But the "separation form" takes almost another month (until 13 August) to get date-stamped back into HR. WHY? I know why, but because BPU was so afraid to post the TRUTH I can't talk about it. But believe me, the reason behind all this further exposes their absolute lack of integrity through this entire process.

Remember my request for a copy of my personnel file? I learned there initially was a reason for the delay -- I can't talk about the reason, but it makes NO SENSE AT ALL, especially after reading everything BPU disclosed.

I also found out that BPU needs to first, realize there are at least two people that go by "Ken Snyder" in Kansas City, Kansas (probably three or four); and second, that they might want to make damn sure they know which one posts a comment BEFORE making accusations.

BPU (through Wonnell and Sieve-Wilson) tried to inundate Ms. Leeds with files. Through my research into the files I found that well over two-thirds of them were of no value at all, and while some were considered "privileged" and not included, many more files were not sent. Another tactic meant to frustrate us to the point that we would give up? Perhaps a way to run up my expenses with Ms. Leeds (having her review files that were irrevalent to the case) to the point that I could no longer afford to go on? You decide.

In The End

For their total "Offer of Judgement" amount, Ms. Leeds sent them a bill for $45,564.38 -- her portion of the bill would be $25,564.38, meaning they thought more of paying my attorney off than they thought of paying me off. She expected them to argue that her portion of the bill was excessive, but not a word was said in protest. However, it took them until 25 October to finally send a check to Ms. Leeds. There's more to this story -- it will come up again on the "Where Am I Now?" page.

While BPU can claim they did nothing wrong, they did propose the Offer of Judgement. Here's what I was able to find out online about Offers of Judgement:

REVISED Something to also keep in mind: they kept saying that I didn't know what I was doing, but at no time did they show any PROOF of this. I know BPU keeps records of signal maintenance for legal purposes, so IF there were any merit to claims like DeGraeve's comments that I "just didn't pick it up"(answer to question #16a here) and "he wasn't doing anything on his own"(answer to question #19 here) there would be plenty of paperwork where others in the shop would have to go out and fix what I had worked on -- especially the new cabinets. But nothing was ever presented as part of the discovery process - the most damning evidence they could have mustered, something that would have stopped the case cold in its tracks, but NOTHING was ever produced for either the Department of Labor's investigation or my lawsuit. And remember: they paid OVER $45,000.00 to finally make this "go away."

At this point all the documents to be filed with the District Court have been filed. Here are a few of the more noteworthy ones -- beware, they can be very dry legal reading:

To this day (19 November 2013), no one involved has approached me and disputed anything I have said. I am sure that DeLeon, Johnson and Clark have seen everything that's been sent in our disclosures. The question becomes "how many of the details of this case have been shown to the Board of Directors?" -- once, when I was talking with a member of the Board of Directors it appeared that they did not have much (if not any) of the facts in this case. On 20 November 2013 I decided to find out. I prepared a statement regarding my case and presented it to the Board of Directors at their meeting. Since I had this site ready to upload and offer to the public I thought it was time to get the definitive "last word" on this matter. It was not well received, but I didn't think it would be -- nor did I care.

The bottom line: what I can show (and already have) should make even a casual observer angry. I've always heard "if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem" -- if after reading this you're not angry you are not part of the solution. And if what I've shown on these pages makes you angry, believe me when I say that what I can't show you would have you absolutely furious.

As For the Department of Labor...

The process that finally arrived at the "settlement" was mostly the work of Ms. Leeds, her staff and myself; but the process started with the Department of Labor -- and had they done even the slightest amount of real investigating they would have seen that this case did have merit. As I have mentioned before, the Department of Labor's file was the bulk of what I compiled that convinced Ms. Leeds to take my case. While I am eternally grateful for Ms. Leeds' involvement in this case, I can't help but wonder what the outcome would have been if the Department of Labor would have done their job to begin with: it probably wouldn't have taken nearly as long to get to a day in court, surely they would have been able to arrive at a far more equitable settlement, and I probably would not have had to come up with money for deposition costs.

So it's not too far off-base to say that the Department of Labor cost me well over $250,000.00 due to their inability/unwillingness to really investigate my case.


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The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.