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Preface Events Investigation Conclusion

168 Days: The Trial

By Ken Snyder

As I mentioned on the preceding page, I had to accept their offer because I could no longer financially pursue this case. That means there will be no Federal Court trial. But I intend to have a trial right here.

While I was investigating this case, I made lists of questions I wanted answers to. Some have already been presented on the "28 May", "Investigation", "Next Chapter", "9 April", "Unanswered Questions", "More Questions" and "Paper War" pages. Here are a few additional questions:

For DeLeon:

  1. Currently how many BPU employees are active members of the National Guard or Reserves?
  2. EXPLAIN IN DETAIL BPU PROCEDURES FOR THE HANDLING OF EMPLOYEE EVALUATIONS.
  3. Since you assumed the position of Human Resources Director, how may Employee Evaluations are you aware of that were not signed by the employee being evaluated, whether that was because they refused to sign them or were never shown to them?
  4. Are there any procedures in place to insure that employees actually see every evaluation made on them?
  5. Does anyone in your department review these evaluations and check them for obvious omissions or errors before they are incorporated into a person's employee file?
  6. Just how "involved" do you get in the creation of employee evaluations?
  7. The other two evaluations show date stamps by Human Resources as to when they are received (for submission to the employee file?) but there is no date stamp on this one -- why?
  8. Did you notice that the accompanying comment sheet had no signature or initials on it; in other words, it was an anonymous sheet of comments?
  9. Does having an anonymous comment sheet in an employee's file strike you as odd?
  10. Why wasn't I given a copy of the 21 June 2010 evaluation and accompanying statement sheet at the 8 July meeting?
  11. You sent Department of Labor investigator Kelvington (through Wonnell) copies of employee evaluations that resulted in terminations. In these cases, there are comments made by the employee being reviewed as well as correspondence specifically stating the reasons for termination. In my case, all we have is an unsigned comment sheet – a comment sheet I never saw prior to being terminated, or was even shown on the date of termination. Can you explain exactly how this equates to equal treatment under the law?
  12. You sent Kelvington (through Wonnell) copies of Dunn's evaluations. Dunn had two handwritten evaluations by DeGraeve, both that he witnessed and both that contain few comments, and I had three evaluations, one filled out on a computer – this evaluation I was never shown prior to being terminated, or was even shown on the date of termination. Can you explain exactly how this equates to equal treatment under the law?

For Johnson:

  1. SPECIFICALLY what was the “trend” that you “saw” and “did not like”?
  2. Why was there not specific information given to me regarding unsatisfactory performance in the 8 July meeting?
  3. Regarding the 21 June evaluation, did you notice that it only had Clark's signature?
    - Did the fact that it only had Clark's signature strike you as odd?
    - Did you ask Clark about this?
  4. Did you ask Clark about the unsigned, anonymous comment sheet?
  5. How come you did not ask any specific job-related questions during the 8 July meeting?
  6. On 29 February 2012, BPU Board member Milan commended you on the progress regarding the traffic signal installation for Washington Boulevard and 7th Street. Shortly after that date the signals were installed and working. It has been determined that this is the last of the FIVE new signal cabinets to be installed that I assembled, programmed, tested, and documented in the little more than five months I was with BPU. In fact, every cabinet on Washington Boulevard between 10th Street and 7th Street as well as the cabinet on Fairfax Trafficway in front of the General Motors plant are my work. How does this revelation fit in with the "trend" you "saw and didn't like"?

For Clark:

  1. Was I formally given specific information as to shortfalls in my performance or conduct standards after the 27 April 2010 evaluation, where all items were marked as “fair“ or “good“?
  2. If there were issues with quality of work or quantity of work, why was there no mentioning of it after the 27 April 2010 evaluation, where all items were marked as “fair“ or “good“?
  3. Since I already had a discussion with DeGraeve about my military time away from work, why did you feel it was necessary to discuss this again with me?
  4. What was the real reason for making out 21 June evaluation if no face-to-face evaluation meeting (re: 27 April) took place?
  5. Why wasn't I given a copy of the 21 June 2010 evaluation immediately upon returning to work on 28 June?
  6. Why wasn't I given a copy of the 21 June 2010 evaluation at the 8 July meeting?
  7. There is nothing in my record of having a serious safety-related incident in all the time I was at BPU, correct?
  8. In a letter dated 14 October 2010 between Wonnell and Kelvington, Wonnell writes: "Two additional incidents occurred during Mr. Snyder's probationary period for which traffic signals he had worked on failed in the field or malfunctioned." With (arguably) the first "incident" being the initial testing of the signals at Quindaro Boulevard and 7th Street and another "incident" being on 28 May, when and where was the third "incident"?
  9. We have evidence already presented showing Dunn received only two evaluations during his probationary period versus my three (including the one I never witnessed) – can you explain this unequal treatment?
  10. With the file presented as evidence (Fairfax & GM Plant conflict monitor report), it appears I was, in fact, preparing my FIFTH new signal control cabinet for installation. The very next day I was fired. How can you reconcile these two seemingly opposite actions approximately 24 hours apart?
  11. Within weeks of my termination the last cabinet I was working on was installed, while three other cabinets I assembled, programmed and tested languished in BPU's storeroom for over a year and a half. In March of 2012 the last of the cabinets I assembled was installed at 7th Street and Washington Boulevard. Is there any rationale as to why equipment I made ready sat in your storeroom for such a long time?
  12. What did you have to come back and "explain" to DeGraeve after escorting me to the parking lot on 8 July 2010?
  13. You assert that my military status was not taken into consideration whatsoever regarding my termination, yet you and Mr. DeGraeve concoct an "evaluation" right in the middle of my two-week leave for Air National Guard duty and never show me the evaluation. Thus, I never get told where I supposedly was failing and never get the chance to rebut the comments. How do you reconcile these two seemingly opposite actions?
  14. You go to the effort in your statement to assert that "Mr. Snyder's veteran status was never discussed in any manner whether to terminate his employment" by writing in this comment on your witness statement – how do you reconcile compiling an evaluation on me, clearly contrary to the instructions on the back of the form itself, while I was not present due to military obligations, with this statement?

For DeGraeve:

  1. Didn't you once point out to me that work Sisson was doing on the Quindaro Boulevard and 7th Street project cabinet as something you thought was sloppy work?
    - How did any of the FIVE new cabinets I was responsible for during my time at BPU compare to Sisson's work?
  2. Why would Clark need to ask me "how to handle" my military duty time, if you and I had already worked out an agreement?
  3. Is it a reasonable argument that the lack of specialized equipment and the substandard equipment I was provided put me at a disadvantage to Dunn?
  4. Despite these disadvantages, I performed well enough (to keep on the job) for well over five months of my six-month probationary period – correct?
  5. Was I formally given specific information as to shortfalls in my performance or conduct standards after the 27 April 2010 evaluation, where all items were marked as “fair“ or “good“?
  6. Who really made out the evaluation dated 21 June 2010?
  7. We have evidence of Dunn's two evaluations and my three evaluations. All but my 21 June evaluation are handwritten and witnessed by all parties involved. The 21 June evaluation is done on a computer. Please explain why it appears in this form.
  8. So, given the fact that you could have printed out this evaluation (and the accompanying comment sheet) immediately after you compiled it with the printer located in your office, why doesn't it have your signature?
  9. Since you have to be the person reporting the 28 May incident why aren’t your initials on the additional comments sheet like they are on the 26 March 2010 additional comment sheet?
  10. Regarding the 28 May incident: isn’t it true that Dunn and I both went to the intersection of Metropolitan Avenue and Woodland Boulevard initially, and neither of us were able to get the controller to work properly?
    - Isn't it true that only I took the initiative to find another Multisonics® controller and attempt to program it on the shop's test bench?
  11. Isn’t it true that only I went back out to the intersection of Metropolitan Avenue and Woodland Boulevard to try and get the intersection back in service?
  12. Was anything mentioned to Dunn regarding his inability to get the Multisonics® controller to operate properly?
  13. Was anything said to Dunn about not returning to the intersection to complete the job with me?
  14. Why did you specifically report to the intersection and not one of the two senior technicians or Dunn?
  15. The crux of this entire evaluation is an incident that took place on 28 May. If this incident was of such consequence why did the parties involved wait until 21 June to write such a damning evaluation, and then wait until 8 July to act upon it, yet you do not sign it even though you personally witnessed the incident?
  16. Explain in detail any major problems you found with the traffic control cabinets I completed.
  17. I, along with Dunn and Castle spent at least two days preparing fiber optic cable for splicing along Parallel Parkway -- did Dunn or Castle complain about my abilities on those days?
  18. Castle and I spent one day splicing fiber optic cable at a location along Parallel Parkway -- did Castle complain about my abilities on that day?
  19. In a letter dated 14 October 2010 between Wonnell and Kelvington, Wonnell writes: "Two additional incidents occurred during Mr. Snyder's probationary period for which traffic signals he had worked on failed in the field or malfunctioned." With (arguably) the first "incident" being the initial testing of the signals at Quindaro Boulevard and 7th Street and another "incident" being on 28 May, when and where was the third "incident"?
  20. What did Clark have to “explain” to you after he escorted me to the parking lot on 8 July 2010?
  21. On my final evaluation, there are only vague comments on everything but the incident on 28 May. If what you say regarding "I can pretty much remember everything" is taken to be fact and the intent of the 21 June evaluation was to prove my lack of ability, why aren't there more specific instances listed on it?
  22. If my abilities were so poor and my fate already determined by the 21 June evaluation, it seems odd that I was not terminated on the date I returned to BPU; in fact, I am allowed to return and work on a priority project until the cabinet I am working on for that project is nearly complete. Your response.

For Castle:

  1. You and I worked on some fiber optic splicing along Parallel Parkway. Despite having problems with the equipment, we were successful in completing the task, correct?
  2. I was sent to investigate problems with the signals at the intersections of 68th Street, Kansas Avenue & K-32 Highway. I discovered a camera module malfunctioning and a lightning arrestor causing problems. Didn't I replace the module correctly and relocate the cables to and from the lightning arrestor in order to correct that defect?
  3. You worked with the new traffic signal installations along Washington Boulevard at 8th and 9th Streets, two cabinets I worked on. Were there any problems with the work that I did on these projects?
  4. If you were disciplined over an evaluation that suddenly appeared in your employee file without your knowledge would you consider that an offense warranting representation by the union or private counsel?

For Sisson:

  1. In your witness statement you mention that I did not seem to take initiative. How do you explain the fact that I finished the new test cabinet you and Dunn started to build, that I suggested using paint on the back of a street sign at Rainbow Blvd. & Adams Street in an attempt to resolve a traffic detection camera problem, that I completed the revisions to the "asbuilt" drawings for the Washington Boulevard and 10th Street signal installation on my own, and that even the day of my termination I was actively looking at the existing cabinet located in front of the General Motors plant on Fairfax Trafficway to insure the new cabinet's inputs and outputs were synchronized with the existing cabinet?

What are the real answers to these and the other questions I have presented? Only these people know the truth. It appears they are not willing to answer them, so I'll let you be the judge.

Next, I will outline (and expose as much as I can) what I have discovered through the course of my investigation.

 

Next: Findings (I Can Talk About)
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The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.