Disciplinary action overturned for CDCR Captain

Captain X* is a long-time employee of more than two decades for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. As is often the case, good employees are tasked with more work than they can handle due to (1) their clear ability to rise to the occasion and (2) a shortage of qualified high-level managers.  During the Fall of 2015, Captain X was running several different sections of the prison in which he worked as well as was holding an acting position as Associate Warden.  But no matter who you are, we are all only human and mistakes can be made. During his handling of an investigation, Captain X inadvertently overlooked a particular detail which otherwise would have required more investigation.  When the matter was subsequently brought to his attention he readily admitted his error and took several corrective steps to protect against ever making such a mistake again.  The department also provided him some additional on-the-job training to assist with correcting the matter.
Even though common-sense would say this would be the end of it, more than a year later the department launched a formal investigation.  During this investigation, Captain X once again took full responsibility for his actions and was even able to explain how his experience with his mistake had allowed him to catch and correct another supervisor’s error in a more recent matter. Despite this, the Department of Corrections still issued him an Official Letter of Reprimand. While this is the lowest form of official disciplinary action for a state employee, Captain X had never received a disciplinary action in his entire 20+ year career. It also caused a black mark in his official personnel file which could have negatively impacted his ability to promote in the future.
Dan Thompson represented Captain X during his pre-disciplinary Skelly hearing. Dan argued that prior corrective measures had been successfully taken and that formal disciplinary action was not necessary to properly “correct” an otherwise stellar employee. As a result, the letter of reprimand was removed from Captain X’s file providing him once again with a discipline-free record.
If you are facing a disciplinary action that is either unfair or unwarranted, please contact Goyette & Associates today for a consultation.
* Name not included due to confidentiality