Politician Phoebus lies about firing staff
"...your services are no longer required. Your position... is hereby terminated, effective immediately." (Gail Phoebus to her employees)
Happy Thanksgiving! Merry Christmas!
That's the terse, one paragraph letter Assemblyperson Gail Phoebus sent to the career civil servants at her legislative office staff just before Thanksgiving last November. Phoebus fired them all and in their place, she hired a personal friend with no legislative qualifications and a questionable background in the skills needed to handle constituent services.
Since firing them, she has compounded her action by telling lies about it. First, she tried to justify it by accusing them of wrong-doing. When this didn't work, she claimed that the office had been shut on orders from the Office of Legislative Services (OLS). OLS issued a statement refuting Phoebus' lie. And now Phoebus is telling people that the firings never happened at all.
At a recent Republican club meeting in Warren County, Phoebus' new staffer (her lunch-buddy, Kim Seelagy) told those present that nobody was fired and Phoebus nodded in agreement. Seelagy's very presence at the meeting is a testament to the employee's firing because she is being paid with the money that should have gone to them.
To settle this matter, Watchdog is publishing Assemblyperson Gail Phoebus' letter to her employees:
From: "Gail Phoebus" <email@example.com>
Sent: Friday, November 18, 2016 4:57:51 PM
Subject: Termination of Employment
Please read the attached letter.
So there you have it. In black and white. We have half-a-mind to mail it to every voter in the 24th District. We haven't seen this kind of indifference to the humanity of employees since Leona Helmsley -- the Queen of Mean!
Phoebus refused to meet with her employees before firing them, did not provide a reason for their firing, and did not give them notice face-to-face. The firings did not provide for the customary two-week notice. But this is nothing new for Phoebus.
Watchdog was recently asked to publish the story of five area residents who formerly worked for Assemblyperson Gail Phoebus at the country club she owns. The former employees of the Farmstead Golf and Country Club contacted Watchdog. One employee identified herself and forwarded a statement and the letter of dismissal from Farmstead. This is an excerpt from that statement:
The former employees believed that their ages played a role in their firing. They believe that the legislator's actions "speaks to her character." Referring to Phoebus' firing of her legislative staff before Thanksgiving and to the further attempts to destroy their reputations and ability to earn an income to provide for their families, the statement notes that "this behavior with Gail Phoebus is nothing new. She has been treating people badly for quite some time."
Not content with just firing people, she has attempted to destroy the reputations of those who served her loyally. That is very base behavior and it is not very nice.