Several City Hall sources tell me that Debbie Buckley is not the only employee in the district's grants department who was suspended recently.
They say a grants coordinator was suspended, too -- not long after Buckley was escorted out of City Hall.
Eileen Fleming, who is the acting executive director for human resources, ignored my inquiries for a few days. And then on Wednesday, I finally got a response: "The District does not comment on personnel matters."
Well, that's interesting.
First off, School Board President Lou Petrucci himself provided me two weeks ago with information about Buckley's suspension. I had heard from City Hall sources that Buckley had been walked out of City Hall. When I asked Petrucci about it at an afternoon board meeting the next day, he handed me a prepared statement indicating she had been suspended.
So why is it the district comments on one employee's status, but not another's?
But really, the more important point to be made here is that the state's Committee on Open Government says the district cannot legally refuse to disclose information about the status of an employee. In an advisory opinion regarding whether information pertaining to the suspensions of public employees is public, COOG executive director Bob Freeman wrote:
With respect to records reflective of suspension of a public employee who is not a police or correction officer, such records must in our view be disclosed, in this instance.
Although a suspension in some situations might not reflect an agency's final determination of a matter, it would represent factual information that must be made available under §87(2)(g)(i).
- Mary Pasciak