SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Fair Treatment?
By Jeff Orr


April 18, 2011
Monday PM

I am writing this letter the year I should have retired from the Airport Police in Ketchikan Alaska. 2011

I began my employment with the Ketchikan Gateway Borough in May of 1991 as an Airport Police Officer and things were going great until 2006 when they hired outside for a Chief, even through they had a Policy for hiring within, they of course did not follow it.

This being said, I watched a fellow officer get placed on Admin leave by the chief, a few weeks later I received a call from the Chief who advised me that the officer Resigned!, I asked him if he got fired as I knew this officer would not quit and I was again told that he resigned!

Well, shortly after I was called into the office where I received my yearly Evaluation, of course it was not good! this is where my problems began as I was unsure as to why I received such a low eval for doing the same amount of work as the fellow Officers.  I asked the chief as to why it was so low, he advised me that I was not checking the gates, so of course I asked him if the other officers were checking them, the chief stated, "Yes", I was the only one not checking them.  The Chief asked me if I had some questions for him regarding my Eval, I told him that I did and I was quickly told that he had already set up a meeting downtown with the Borough Manager, and himself to discuss my poor work habits!

Well, the day that I was supposed to have showed up for my meeting downtown, I ended up at the Emergency room with a Gall Bladder attack so I called the chief to advise him that I was not able to work that morning due to being Ill, the only thing this Chief cared about was if I was going to make it to the meeting..the Doctor even called him and I could hear the doctor advise him that I would not make it to any meeting at all that day.  Seems that the Chief only worried about the meeting and not myself. Yes, I underwent surgery to have my gall blader removed and was placed on medical leave for a period of 30 days. The chief never told me to get better at any point, he only cared about the meeting!

When I was released back to duty, I received a certified letter from the Borough advising me that I had another meeting set up, but this time I was to have my Union Rep present. Not knowing why I needed one as I was not at work, I showed up to the meeting and was told that I was Paranoid and that I caused my medical conditions, they then gave me an envelope with a round trip ticket to Seattle set for the next morning to have a police psychological test done to determine if I was fit to be a Police officer..I was very upset with this and asked them when I passed, if they would leave me alone! the chief then looked that the Borough Manager for a few minutes and then stated "yes". Well, I took the exam and passed with flying colors as I knew I would.

I was able to return back to work but I had to sign a work agreement that lasted for 4 months and if I failed at any one thing, I would be terminated. Just prior to this, I had set up one of the Gates to see if I was the ONLY officer Not checking it, after one month, yep you guessed it, I wasn't the only officer who did not check it, when the Chief found out what I did, I was placed on Unpaid leave for 3 days and was told that I was not in charge! How is this fair treatment?

I had informed the Airport Manager two times that the Chief had almost pulled his duty weapon on me, but nothing was ever done, even after I told the Manager that he could probably find it on one of the many Suveillance Cameras.  The Chief continued his employment!

Well, I passed the psychological exam,  one but my troubles would not be over.  We had a few fellow officers that had friends that worked for Alaska Airlines, so they received what is called a Guess Pass that could be used for Travel. The Alaska Airlines employees all receive passes to do what they wanted with them, so the officers would not only ask for them, but use them. One such officer had went to Washington D.C on a pass and the Chief allowed them to do so, that is until my Ex wife got stuck in Denver, so she asked me if I could ask one of her friends for a pass as the Ex worked for ASA for 7 years, I did recieve a pass for her and paid for it and figured since the chief had NO problems with the other officers using them for their own personal use, I was okay but of course I figured it all wrong. When my Ex wife left, I really didn't know where or how long she would be gone for, so the next day I was standing at the ASA podium, upstairs talking with a friend who knew both us, he was working as a custodian.. well, the ASA employee over heard our converstation and told me where my EX wife went and how she even paid for it. I quickly told the ASA agent that I didn't want to hear this and then I was asked not to tell her supervisor that she told me the above information. Of course this witness was never questioned.

I was placed on Admin leave to be investigated by AST regarding the pass that was used by my Ex Wife, and when I asked why the other officers were allowed to use passes with the most recent one at the time being to Washington DC, I was told that the chief asked them about the passes, but they never were placed on admin leave at all. Again, Fair Treatment?

Well, AST did their investigation and it went up to the Office of Special prosecution and appeals and it was dropped! I was then called and told that I was going to be placed on Admin leave again, and this time the Chief would do his own investigation!  after 2 months, I was then called down to the Borough offices where I was told by the Airport Manager that my employment with the KGB had been terminated effective March 23, 2007! But of course they quickly handed me a Pre Filled out Resignation letter and I was told that if I signed it, that no one would know about this alledged investigation, and I was offered a good sum of money if I took the offer. Since I only had 4 years left to go in Law Enforcement to retire, I decided to take the offer as I was done fighting a loosing battle with the Chief as it appeared he had an agenda since he was hired to get rid of the two police officers that worked prior to his arrival. The Assistant Borough Manager told me that he would shred the investigation paper work if I resigned, I asked them what they would tell potential employers when they called, I was told that they would tell them that I resigned, but found that to be a LIE when I signed up for Unemployment as they were told I was terminated! Again, Fair treatment?

It should be noted that the Borough decided to drop the ASA pass issue, only because they allowed other officers to use them! and then the other issue, which left me trying to figure out why I was being terminated if I did NOTHING wrong! This was not right and I did not deserve to be treated the way I was treated. I did my job and I was an excellent employee!

I can't begin to tell you how the above changed my life forever! I lost everything near and dear to me and was forced to seek employment out of the State, even when I applied for the current Job I have now, I was told by the H.R director that the Borough tried to advise them NOT to hire me! This made me wonder as I had a job offer from another Police Department in Alaska, but that offer was quickly taken away after a back ground check on me!

All I want is my name cleared up and to let EVERYONE know what really happened to me, and why I left my employment with the KGB! But of course if the Borough sees fit to maybe offer me some of my lost wages, and a letter of apolgy, that would be great as well.

Jeff Orr
Spanaway WA

Received April 16, 2011 - Published April 18, 2011




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Ketchikan, Alaska