Monday, April 25, 2005

The Appeal Letter

Today, six days after it was promised, Mr. Queen’s appeal letter appeared on my office fax machine. I felt a sense of dismay as page after page spewed forth. What could he have possibly written that would require so much paper?

I began reading. OK, first he accuses her of being irresponsible, illogical, and lacking in common sense. (This was their “model employee?”) Over the next three pages he picks apart the written decision of the appeals hearing officer, re-arguing his case and explaining why parts of it were misinterpreted or given insufficient weight.

He points out parts of Ms. Ford’s decision that he agrees with, and parts he thinks are in error. He harps on Christina’s use of the word “finally,” just as he did during the hearing.

He goes into great length and detail about an event that occurred in December, a month before she was fired and which had no bearing on her termination. I remember that during the hearing Ms. Ford allowed a little of that discussion before urging him to move on to the events that DID cause her to be fired.

He bases an argument that Christina is irresponsible (and implies that she might have been lying) on her testimony that she couldn’t remember who has asked her to do something that day in January. (This from a man who likewise couldn’t remember who it was who reported to him her questioning the doctor that he counseled her about! This from a man who claimed he didn’t know his own disciplinary policy and didn’t have a copy of it in his office during the hearing, so he couldn’t testify about it. Yeah, right.)

When he DOES get around to the “final” event, her use of the word “finally” in front of a patient, he admits that she might have said it in empathy and with a smile, but rants on about the “claimant’s apparent inability to understand the negative impact of her communications.” He claims that her intent is not the issue.


A lot of steam and ire, but I find no smoking gun; no new evidence. It’s essentially just a case of Mr. Queen saying, “I don’t like her decision.” Well, the losing party seldom does.

I called the Commission office and spoke with an attorney who handles Commission Appeals. I wanted to know if it would be appropriate to write a brief rebuttal letter. He said it couldn’t hurt, as both Mr. Queen’s letter and any letter I write in rebuttal would be considered.

So I’m writing that tonight. Tomorrow I’ll read it over, re-write parts of it (I always think of better ways to say things the next day), and fax it in for the Commission to consider.

I’m not TOO worried, although you never know for sure how these things will go. So it truly “ain’t over.” Yet.

Oh, the attorney told me this case was on the Commission’s docket for May 10, so it’ll be two weeks before it’s considered and another 3-5 days before we get their decision.

More angst.

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