Posted By Eric Ethington (Author) on April 18, 2012
What chance does a private citizen in Utah have against the political weight of Governor Gary Herbert and UDOT head John Njord? Not much. Read how they’re ruining the life of one Tooele grandmother and sign the petition to help her fight back!
Last week we brought you the story of Denice Graham, the UDOT employee who was blamed for the I-15/Herbert/UDOT scandal and subsequently fired. A judge eventually ruled that UDOT had fired the wrong person, but it seems that Governor Herbert and Njord aren’t quite finished with Denice Graham’s life yet.
Via Peg McEntee at the Salt Lake Tribune:
..in February, the state’s Career Service Review Office issued a scathing ruling that UDOT Executive Director John Njord’s firing of Graham “exceeded the bounds of reasonableness and rationality and amounts to an abuse of discretion….”
Now, though, Graham and her attorney are working to restoring the salary and benefits she was denied during her year without work. But UDOT has been recalcitrant, and Graham’s attorney, Brad Bearnson, said they’ll be going back to the review office to seek an order of reimbursement.
“From our perspective, UDOT was just trying to take advantage,” he said. “I think they’re going to lose.”
The back pay isn’t the only thing that didn’t go Graham’s way.
UDOT was ordered by the judge to give Denice her same job back, but instead they only gave her the title. She has the same job title but has been demoted to a different department doing, in essence, secretarial and clerical work.
The Alliance For A Better Utah are fighting back with a petition, demanding that Governor Herbert and John Njord immediately give Denice the back-pay they owe her and reinstate her to her full position.
This is not what the power of the Governor’s mansion is for!