Tuesday was not a great day to be a Clark County taxpayer. An arbitrator ordered the reinstatement of Donald Munn, one of only two county firefighters terminated last year following the Fire Department’s sick-leave abuse scandal. In addition to getting his job back, Mr. Munn will receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in back pay, benefits and restitution for legal expenses.
Meanwhile, the County Commission authorized a $499,000 wrongful termination settlement for former Assistant Parks Director Terry Lamuraglia, who was fired in 2008 over a plan to leave almost 90 public parks without police coverage over Memorial Day weekend that year.
As these developments highlight, it’s nearly impossible for any government to fire any employee because of Byzantine work rules and lengthy, unpredictable appeals processes written into union contracts.
The arbitrator ruled county officials couldn’t prove that Mr. Munn had not used sick leave to care for his adopted, developmentally disabled son – a legitimate use of sick leave. Mr. Lamuraglia, meanwhile, blamed the park plan on his boss and claimed retaliation.
Commissioner Steve Sisolak was dumbfounded by the arbitrator’s ruling in favor of Mr. Munn, and he voted against the settlement for Mr. Lamuraglia. Good for him. Taxpayers need someone on their side.