I have known Dan for 40 years or more and have had a number of conversations with him over the last few days. I was also part of interviewing teams that interview both Andy and Sean when they were hired. And I have had conversations with both of them since this came down.
A couple of us who know a little more about the facts were Ombudsmen/Employee Advocates. Me with McDonnell Douglas/Boeing, and another individual who was with the City of Long Beach for many years. Our jobs when things such as a contested firing of an employee came up was to gather the facts from both sides of the issue (management and employee}, evaluate the situation, propose resolution criteria, and then report back to management and the employee. Many times we would come up with and alternative to termination. In these cases, both management and the employee would enter into an agreement on the terms of employment going forward, and the employee would be put on PROBATION status going forward. If over time, the employee met all of the agreed to terms, after a period of time the PROBATION status would be removed and the employee would continue his or her employment as a regular employee. If the employee violated the terms of the agreement during the probation period, the employee would be terminated at that time with no further options for appeal.
Both of us who have had Ombudsmen assignments in the past feel that something like I have outlined above should have taken place in the Dan Smith situation, since he had been such a long term employee. Unfortunately this did not happen, or has not happened to this point!
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