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No good reason to muzzle state workers

February 23, 2013

The New York State Department of Transportation has made itself a poster child for hierarchical lockstep by forcing out Essex County engineer Mike Fayette because he talked to an Enterprise reporter......

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Feb-26-13 6:36 PM

So, my entire point over this DOT engineer story is this: I feel he was screwed and too much dirty laundry was made public. But, the ADE errored by requesting news from someone who is not authorized to speak. The DOT dude totally messed up by granting the request w/out approval to do so. Then, he shot himself again by resigning/retiring instead of fighting for what he now thinks is wrongful. Feel bad for the guy, but he made the bed!

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Feb-26-13 6:26 PM

Workers absolutely have the right to speak to the press and the press absolutely has right to report. The part PC doesn't seem to comprehend at this juncture is that State workers CANNOT speak publically in regard to representation of their given agency. It is against policy and everyone signs on to that notion when hired! Further, reporters know this too, so some contributory neglegence on the ADE needs to be recognized. Agree with the notion or not, it is still policy. Don't like it? Change it!

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Feb-26-13 6:18 PM

completely agree Wondering! Now, until regulation/policy is changed, you deal w/ the consequences of the choices you make. Just like the first and second ammendment rights we supposedly have under the constitution, but so many forget that along with those rights we are afforded, comes responsibility.

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Feb-26-13 5:33 PM

bj, as a matter of fact alll laws and regs are subject to interpretation. Even if your understanding is correct dysfunctional regs can and should be challenged and revised.

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Feb-25-13 10:50 PM

I don't pretend to agree with what we have, rather, I accept the realities of what is, is what it is!!!!! Like it, or lump it! I personally "Lump" it, but that doesn't change it; and neither does your opinion; so Deal with it! It is, what it is!!!!!

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Feb-25-13 10:45 PM

If you choose to work in a 'rank-n-file' job, then accept what comes with it. If you want to have a voice (public and known) then work in the private sector. Double Period.. What don't you understand pseudo and PC? It's not that hard a concept boy's!!!!!!

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Feb-25-13 10:34 PM

pcrowley: I would absolutely expect you to disagree with my stance. To disagree as much as you do only exclaimates my point! You count on newsworthy information. My stance is accuracy. Big difference between the two.

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Feb-25-13 12:09 PM

The state does not want employees talking to the press because they have too much dirty laundry to keep covered up.

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Feb-25-13 10:40 AM

...and bjccd5, ben franklin is rolling in his grave with your anonymous rants calling out a person specifically as have been with Ms. Collier. Get over yourself, the rings hollow.

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Feb-25-13 10:26 AM

FishCric said "Face it the government is just as evil as any big company"

You are incorrect in saying this for the simple reason that as a consumer and inhabitant of this world we are able to avoid a "big company" to which we disagree with (for whatever the each there own etc..) whereas with a government(s) we do not have that choice.

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Feb-25-13 9:57 AM

bjccd5: I have to tell you that I've rarely disagreed with anyone more completely than I disagree with you on this issue.

Peter Crowley, managing editor

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Feb-24-13 9:22 PM

If we allowed every State employee access to the media, HOLY Cra.p.!!! We'd have a thousand Jessica Colliers around, reporting everything negative heard.

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Feb-24-13 9:16 PM

Wondering is too simple. Rank & File employees should not be allowed to represent the State or Organization, PERIOD!!!! They don't know a plethora of details that go along with most any issue/project/response. They only form opinion from a quite limited factual basis (much like most of your posts)! If one shall choose to go on record speaking from a personal view, then have at it. But from a professional point of view, it comes from the Admin..and needs to be that way!!!!!

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Feb-24-13 9:10 PM

There's probably not a First Amendment issue here, at least not under the way the courts interpret the law now. The Supreme Court ruled in the 2006 Garcetti case that public employees acting in their capacity as employees don't have First Amendment protections. Since then, it's had a chilling effect on whistle blowers and people looking to call attention to actual malfeasance. So maybe it was bad public policy, but it's the law right now.

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Feb-24-13 8:50 AM

The reason rank & file are banned from speaking is really quite simple. They are far more prone to telling the truth than are the "bosses". That's true in private and public employment.

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Feb-24-13 6:55 AM

Have to agree with BJCCD5, although the State was a bit heavy handed. If the DOT worker was aware of policy, it's on him, however. But, when the State made public his personnel file on air to let it be known that Fayette was indeed a rascal and should be dealt with for other matters, that was a big no no. It also showed a huge double standard with the State. Fire rank and file employees, but keep the elite ie Sheldon Cooper Silver, who used public money to hush a couple of state workers sexually abused by an assemblyman. The assemblyman should have been canned and made to pay any retribution. Silver should just leave.

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Feb-23-13 10:12 PM

Further yet; as much as I bash Jessica Colliers inept ability to report accurately, I do bring into question Mr. Knight. He is quality reporting "101" imho. But, he knows the 'gag' rules and why would he press for this and place Fayette in such a position? and if he claims he didn't know, then shame on him, for such a seasoned reporter.

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Feb-23-13 10:03 PM

Don't get me wrong, I hate the unlevel playing field w/in the State or any other business, but, rules are rules, so follow them or be up for discipline!

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Feb-23-13 9:57 PM

There is absolutely good reason for workers to be 'muzzled' from talking to the media!!! Are you serious Peter? Organizations/companies have public relation people to deal with media. Front line/hands-on employees are not authorized to speak for very good reasons, most of the time. They do not (often times) have the correct history or data to accurately speak intelligently. Further, that's not their job. Most agencies have a POLICY regarding the media, and if you choose to not follow that, die by it!

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