Thursday, October 23, 2014

Hartzman on "UNCG records still under wraps"

"Nearly a month after the controversial arrests of three former UNCG employees, university officials still haven’t made public key documents in the case.

Why would some who know 
refuse to release public non-privileged documents related to the case?

Administrators, including Chancellor Linda Brady, have said they want to release more information about photographers Chris English and David Wilson and their boss, Lyda Carpen.

Did the fired employees qualify for unemployment?

If not, they are probably in some serious financial jeopardy.

They were fired Sept. 24 for allegedly working freelance jobs on UNCG time, then charged with a combined 22 felonies for falsifying time sheets.

How many UNCG salaried employees do the same thing only different
with what seems like a computer program?

Brady and others have said they can’t say more without violating personnel laws.

If an evening UNCG event covered by photographer employees 
is on UNCG time, what exactly is UNCG time
for employees with what sounds like a relatively variable schedule?

The News & Record, however, maintains that some information involving the university’s actions is a matter of public record and is being withheld by the university contrary to state statute.

What’s more, UNCG officials could invoke a little-known state law and make the documents public anyway by claiming the release is “essential to maintaining the integrity” of the university.

Is UNCG administrative staff involved in a cover up?

"...we believe it is using the personnel exception under the state public records law to shield records that can’t legally be construed as personnel records,” Gauger said.

On Tuesday, UNCG attorney Imogene Cathey asked the News & Record to delay publication of this article by one day to give officials more time to respond.

Is a call for delay essentially a call for Prior Restraint 
by a publicly owned entity?

...“It’s important to note that the employees are able to speak freely, but we are bound by laws of confidentiality.”

Has anyone at the News and Record talked to the employees?

...UNCG has defended the felony charges against Carpen, English and Wilson. On Friday, Brady called their alleged actions an “egregious misuse of university resources.”

Without providing the public records
to justify the defense of her statement.

Trust me?

Brady announced her retirement Monday, denying that the decision was related.


...What could these employees have done to justify criminal charges?

And who started the investigation in the first place?

UNCG has failed to provided documents that could clarify those questions, including:

• A “departmental review” of University Relations conducted by Paul Mason, whom Brady hired April 1 as associate vice chancellor of marketing and strategic communication.

Brady + Mason = temporal proximity/causation of termination?

Wilson, one of the photographers, had filed a complaint with UNCG’s human resources department about Mason.

...Mason is listed as the complaining witness in the arrest warrants for the three...


Has the complaint been produced?

...State law requires the university to black out confidential information in this document rather than withhold it...

UNCG wants a blanket information blackout
contrary to public records law?

Something smells on this one.