VSEA Press Release: State Tries To Prevent DOC Commissioner’s Testimony

 First time VSEA has ever heard of the State trying to prevent a Commissioner from being deposed.

Contact: Abigail Winters
State Tries to Prevent Corrections Commissioner From Testifying
     The State has filed a Motion to try to stop Department of Corrections (DOC) Commissioner Andrew Pallito from having to testify in a Vermont Labor Relations Board case.  In the Motion, the State claims that Pallito is a “high-ranking” government official who should not be deposed in a case that alleges the DOC failed to follow State hiring laws. 
     Rick Plank, an 12-year veteran DOC employee with consistently excellent performance evaluations, was bypassed for a promotion by someone with no previous DOC experience.  The Vermont State Employees’ Association (VSEA) represents Plank. 
     “This is the first time that the State has asserted that its commissioners are ‘too important’ to have to participate in legal proceedings directly involving them,” commented VSEA Director Jes Kraus. “Until now, I’m not aware of anyone else who has claimed they are above the law, and that they shouldn’t have to testify in public legal proceedings."
     The Vermont Labor Relations Board is expected to rule on the Motion shortly.  Abigail Winters, the VSEA attorney representing Plank, says she intends to go forward with the deposition on Wednesday, February 24; unless the Labor Board rules otherwise.