Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Blogging from Under the Bus

"A blogger is likened to the rail bird
that hasn't been anywhere,
hasn't done anything,
and is contemptuous of anyone who is
waging the day-to-day battles of life."

---from John Kiser's weekly communication

Clearly bloggers are defective. Everybody knows that. We're all unemployed, living in our mother's basements - just lounging around in our pajamas all day sucking up beer and hogging the doritos. So it came as a surprise to learn that FCPS bus honcho John Kiser fired a little volley at us lowly pitiful souls in his most recent transportation communication. Anyone know what prompted that?

As is our custom, KSN&C followed up on and earlier allegation we received. I wrote to district spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall to see if she could now confirm and comment on the following allegation?

That a bus driver was passed over for a position. That the employee grieved. After that, the employee was disciplined for not following in line during a field trip (or something like that) and was removed from the trip list, reducing the employees ability to earn wages. And that, by the time of Mary's ruling, 90-days had passed, rather than the 10 days required by policy, by which time, the disputed position had gone to another driver.

(NOTE: Careful KSN&C readers will note that any inuendo regarding racial motivations related to the alleged action has been dropped from the above description. Additional information from our transportation moles make that initial claim more doubtful.).

Deffendall responded,

I spoke with Stu about this and he said that he has looked into the situation, but because it is a personnel matter, he is not able to comment on it.
OK so before, the district had to look into it, and now it's a "personnel matter." We did some more investigating and it seems like that's not all it is.

Turns out the bus driver found his or her way to Frankfort and is now being represented by a certain former FCPS in-house counsel - indeed claiming that his or her grievance was buried for 90-days while the job the driver was seeking went elsewhere.

So, now Fayette County Superintendent Stu Silberman has another reason not to comment, since this matter appears to be under litigation.

Wait. It gets better.

Silberman had his outside counsel, Bob Chenoweth, send Brenda Allen a formal request to withdraw from representing the bus driver. The district is claiming that Allen's representation constitutes a conflict of interest because she would only have known about "problems with John Kiser" from being Counsel to the Board.

But get this.

When Allen was a law student in the 1990s, her job, while working for JoEllen McComb (who represents Rosalind Hurley-Richards), was "to receive all of the complaints from Fayette County School bus drivers, many of whom ultimately sued Kiser, for retaliation, harassment etc."

Allen reminded Chenoweth that he was the attorney on the other side of one of those cases.
I told them I would not be withdrawing from representing her or any of my Fayette County employee clients and that I carefully review the rules to ensure that there is no conflict before I accept their request to be their attorney. I told him it was ironic that 14 years later I have bus drivers coming to me about Kiser.
Allen told KSN&C that she was delighted to be working with Chenoweth again (even as opposing counsel) and Allen sent her regards to his wife and invited the couple to the grand opening of her restaurant.

I'm pretty sure the Hanna Report glossed over the potential fallout from outsourcing legal services in Fayette County. I'm also starting to understand why Kiser's day-to-day life is full of battles.

Our sources joked that, to them, Kiser was the true "blogger" since he doesn't have a CDL and can't drive a bus.

Apologies to BARBEE for abusing a perfectly good cartoon.

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