THE NEWS BLOG

 
Steve and Jen bring you this daily review of the news
Premium Advertiser

News Blog Sponsors

News Links

BBC World Service
The Guardian
Independent
Washington Post
Newsday
Iraq Order of Battle
Agonist
NY Times
LA Times
ABC News
CNN
Blogger

 
Blogs We Like

Daily Kos
Atrios
Digby's Blog
Skippy
Operation Yellow Elephant
Iraq Casualty Count
Uggabugga
Media Matters
Talking Points
Defense Tech
Intel Dump
Soldiers for the Truth
Margaret Cho
Juan Cole
Tbogg
Corrente
Gropinator
Just a Bump in the Beltway
Baghdad Burning
Wonkette
Howard Stern
Michael Moore
James Wolcott
Cooking for Engineers
There is No Crisis
Whiskey Bar
Rude Pundit
Driftglass
At-Largely
Crooks and Liars
Amazin' Avenue
DC Media Girl
The Server Logs

 
Blogger Credits

Powered by Blogger

Archives by
Publication Date
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
Comments Credits
Comments by YACCS
Thursday, December 30, 2004

Pray or else, pt II


fuck with my wife's prayer breakfast and you'll pay


State worker tells of scrutiny
Labor Department employee says he has been retaliated against after complaints about a superior's actions

By JAMES M. ODATO, Capitol bureau
First published: Wednesday, December 29, 2004

ALBANY -- Michael Cunningham says he can't sleep most nights because of the retaliation he's endured from his bosses at the state Department of Labor.

Since questioning a deputy commissioner's use of state resources to promote Gov. George Pataki's prayer breakfast, Cunningham says he's had to seek professional help to cope with "the constant waiting for -- what are they going to try to do to you next?"

Cunningham revealed Tuesday that he had complained to the state Inspector General's Office about a superior at the Labor Department who e-mailed other officials to drum up attendance at Pataki's prayer breakfast in May. He decided to go public, he said, after reading an account in Monday's Times Union about a State Liquor Authority employee, Patricia Freund, who is suing state officials for allegedly retaliating against her for asking questions about employees attending the governor's annual prayer breakfast on state time.

Cunningham, 53, of Colonie, a 25-year state employee and the Labor Department's director of training the past 16 years, still gets his salary of $101,634. He still arranges for staff development programs. But since this summer, when he complained to the Inspector General about Mary L. Hines, deputy commissioner for administration and public affairs, he has been moved out of the executive suite of the Labor Department, investigated for his travel to New York City and told to discontinue many routine business trips.

"I've really been beaten up since then," said Cunningham, who is considering a suit against the state in U.S. District Court.

Kevin Quinn, a Pataki spokesman, said, "This has nothing to do with the breakfast. This is an internal state Department of Labor personnel matter."
....................

Cunningham said his authority has been undermined and his activities heavily scrutinized. He said Hines and Labor Commissioner Linda Angello hired a friend, Pam Kelly, for a newly created civil service post -- organizational development specialist -- to take some of his responsibilities.

Further, he said, his son's hourly job at the Labor Department was abolished by Hines.

In a letter to Hines Dec. 3, Cunningham's lawyer, John R. Saccocio, said his client's performance was consistently rated "outstanding."

"Prior to your arrival," he told Hines, "Mr. Cunningham had never filed a formal complaint."

.................

Cunningham says Hines ordered an investigation of a trip he took to New York City in October to meet with staff there. The probe resulted in a memo directing him to take 1 hours off his attendance record for checking into his hotel at 3 p.m.; quitting time was supposed to be 4:30 p.m. on the trip.

The heavy scrutiny, personal slights and potentially improper treatment have taken their toll, he said. In an evaluation, his doctor, H. Kip Arnold, described Cunningham as depressed, anxious, and distraught, and wrote, "His symptoms seem clearly work-related."

His psychologist, Jessica Seidenberg, said in a letter she provided Cunningham that he is experiencing severe anxiety, moderate depression, poor sleep and high blood pressure. "It is my professional opinion that the conditions at his work place need to be improved so he can experience relief from the stressful conditions he has had to endure," she wrote.

Seidenberg noted that Cunningham's illnesses relate to a job where he is "highly regarded in his position but . . . has been troubled by "recent interactions with the deputy commissioner."

Cunningham says he isn't trying to be an activist "but I do know right from wrong."


Right. They're making waves about the governor's wife pet project. Ooops

posted by Steve @ 12:00:00 AM

12:00:00 AM

The News Blog home page





 

Editorial Staff
RSS-XML Feeds

Add to My AOL

Support The News Blog

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More
News Blog Food Blog
Visit the News Blog Food Blog
The News Blog Shops
 
 
 
Operation Yellow Elephant
Enlist, Young Republicans