DEERFIELD BEACH _ The unpaid suspension of a city maintenance worker for failing to greet the mayor on Monday was downgraded Wednesday to a written counseling.
Also on Wednesday, Aug. 5, Mayor Peggy Noland wrote a memo to acting city Parks and Recreation Director George Edmunds, stating that she never sought discipline against Cassandra Moye, and did not notice any improper conduct by the employee.
The two moves followed a report on the situation Tuesday in the South Florida Times.
It is unclear whether Moye will now be paid for two days off this week.
Noland, who did not respond to calls or emails from the newspaper, said in a city memo to Edmunds that she did not call for discipline against Moye for passing by her without speaking on Aug. 3 in the beach area where Moye works.
Edmunds also did not respond to calls or emails from the newspaper.
“I have read your recommendation with regard to a two day suspension for Cassandra Moye for a certain incident that occurred on August 3, 2009,” Noland wrote in the Aug. 5 memo. “I want to be clear that I have not advocated any discipline against
Noland also met with the president of Moye’s union about the issue.
“I met with the Mayor, and she told me Cassandra didn’t do anything improper, and absolutely nothing that she should have been suspended for,” says Joseph Metts, president of local 1010 of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) union, which represents over 500 tradesman, maintenance and clerical workers employed by the city of
“She [Mayor Peggy Noland] said she had nothing to do with the suspension, and that she [Moye] got out of her truck and walked passed them, and nobody said anything to anyone, and there was no problem with her conduct at all.”
Nonetheless, Edmunds has rescinded the original charges and suspension against Moye.
He is now accusing her of violating a new personnel rule, and has imposed a written counseling as punishment, even though Moye already served her suspension on Aug. 4 and 5, and is scheduled to return to regular duty on Thursday, Aug. 6.
Moye, 44, is a five-year maintenance worker in the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. She earns $12.33 an hour keeping the city’s beach area clean, including public restrooms and pavilions.
Moye told the South Florida Times that on Monday, Aug. 3 at around 9 a.m., while on her way to a supply closet, she walked past Nolan, who was on a sidewalk on the beach, talking with another city employee and Edmunds, her supervisor.
Moye did not speak to them.
Less than an hour later, Edmunds summoned Moye into his office, which is located across town in the city’s maintenance facilities at 210 Goolsby Blvd.
There, Moye said, Edmunds counseled her for not speaking to Nolan, and informed her she could face termination. He then issued a notice of suspension without pay.
Edmunds now appears to be backing away from the suspension.
“After reviewing my memorandum of August 3, 2009 to you (copy attached) recommending a two day suspension without pay, I see the need for correction,’’ Edmunds wrote in his Aug. 5 memo to Moye. “My memorandum gives the impression that disciplinary action was requested by the Mayor. That is not correct and I want to make it clear. I observed your conduct and, in fact, felt it to be disrespectful to me, and the Mayor, and was in need of strong guidance and correction so that it does not reoccur. It clearly appeared that by your conduct you were attempting to demonstrate to those around you that you were ignoring the Mayor.”
Edmunds laid out Moye’s new punishment in the memo: “In addition, your conduct in my office toward me upon receiving my August 3, 2009 memorandum was disrespectful and a violation of the Personnel Rules and Regulations, Article 9.03 h. as follows: ‘Offensive conduct or language toward the public, toward City officials or toward other employees.’ As a City employee you are expected to treat all persons with respect at all times. In consideration of the above and after reviewing your personnel file with Linda King, Acting Director of Human Resources, it is my decision to change my recommendation for a two day suspension without pay to a written counseling.’’
Moye said she has heard about the new charge and the reduced punishment, but that she intends to fight on, and acting on the advice of union representatives, she intends to pursue full exoneration.
“I have not seen it, but I’m going forward with my grievances,’’ Moye said. “They are doing this because I’m standing up for myself, so now they have some new charges, and this is not right because I didn’t do anything wrong.”
The union president agreed.
“He [Acting Parks and Recreation Director George Edmunds] wants to rescind the suspension and reduce it to a written counseling,” Metts said. “We are still not happy with it, and we intend to fight it because this is worse and I told him that.”
Metts said he also met with Edmunds on Wednesday, and said that Edmunds is adamant that Moye’s failure to greet the mayor amounts to insubordination.
“He said he will not apologize or withdraw the charges,” Metts said. “So our first witness against him will be the mayor.”
Pictured above is Cassandra Moye.