We're shocked, indeed, Deputy Assistant Guvnor (DAG) Pat, that a judge ruled that your firing of former NC ALE Director John Ledford was entirely politically motivated.
This seems so out of character for you and your administration, DAG Pat!
Here's how we read the story:
- Governor Pope and his deputy assistant McCrony, of course, wanted to purge state government of all those Democrats. Democrats are bad. All of them.
- One of the ones they really wanted out was John Ledford.
- In state government, people in certain positions can be fired at will; others can not. Mr. Ledford was in one of the positions in which Art could have him fired immediately with no explanation.
- Mr. Ledford requested and received a demotion that put him in one of the positions that did NOT allow him to be fired without cause.
- This apparently really pissed off Governor Pope, his deputy assistant McCrony and Kieran Shanahan (yes, of course the bully Shanahan was involved before he exited unceremoniously).
- They fired Ledford anyway and made up excuses for the firing out of thin air (a McCrony specialty).
- A judge noted that the stories that the Pope administration told him were...umm...not credible, and ruled that Mr. Ledford had to get his job back (with back pay, and attorneys fees...I guess wasting tax dollars to defend a lawsuit they knew they would lose is one of Pat's improvements in government efficiency).
The original story contains more details.
If you're wondering whether or not politics trumped serving the citizens of NC by employing the most qualified people, the answer is (SURPRISE!) yes:
It is more likely than not, the judge wrote, that if Ledford hadn’t been such a prominent Democrat throughout his career he wouldn’t have been fired, since the state needs well-qualified ALE agents like him.
If you're wonding if Hatchet Man Shanahan was sharpening his axe before he slithered out of office, leaving new DPI Secretary Frank Perry to finish the job and attempt to come up with rationalizations for the firing, the answer is (SURPRISE!) yes:
According to Morrison’s ruling, McCrory’s transition team found out about the demotion and transfer when they met with public safety officials. At some point, Kieran Shanahan, who was named last December to be the new secretary of the Department of Public Safety, reacting to a Republican senator’s negative remark about Ledford’s move, said, “That should not have happened,” according to the ruling.
In April, Frank Perry, who has since replaced Shanahan as secretary, fired Ledford for “unacceptable personal conduct” because of the demotion and transfer. Ledford contested his firing.
And if you're wondering if new DPI Secretary Perry was completely clueless about what was going on but acted like a good foot soldier and did exactly what Mr. Pope wanted him to do, the answer is (SURPRISE!) yes:
At Ledford’s hearing in early December, Perry testified that he didn’t know who wrote either the memo dismissing Ledford nor a second version of the memo that was worded differently. Perry said he didn’t know anything about Ledford’s qualifications, and all he knew about the demotion was what he had read in Under the Dome, The News & Observer’s political column.
Truly, we are shocked that the Pope/McCrony administration is playing politics with our state government workforce. That's not what he campaigned on! It's almost like he misled voters!
Oh, Happy New Year. Isn't it nice to get validation from a judge that DAG McCrony habitually lies?