December 5, 2016 2:00 pm ET
There may be some glitches, but at least it’s a start
Before I get into the nuts and bolts of these new developments in this sad case regarding the wrongfully terminated teacher’s aide, and the lack government accountability regarding the victims they leave behind, this story in the Sun grabbed my attention.
I guess it grabbed my attention because I also wrote about it, but more importantly, it involved the Baltimore County Police Department and the lack of accountability that goes right on the shoulders of Baltimore County Executive Mr. Kevin Kamenetz.
One would think that, with all the victims of both crime and social injustice, one day Mr. Kamenetz just might get the hint by that buck that stopes at his desk, which just might one day cost him a lot more than some bad publicity, especially when his future may involve a run at Governor.
So, whether it’s the chief or the chief bottle washer in BC, any mishandling can cause quite a mess.
With that said, back to the latest update regarding teacher’s aide.
In my last column, I wrote about the “Jane and John Doe family” who, by all accounts from my investigation, have been victimized by our government.
Although the Sun story involves the crime of rape, one of the most violent and attacks on a human being, there are other types of harm often perpetrated by the lack of accountability of government agencies assigned to investigate, and ultimately prevent and punish, wrongdoing.
Folks, to be brutally honest, it’s that simple. However, in the real world this rarely happens, which leaves millions of lives in tatters.
I have often referred to a quote about the Academy Award winning film titled Spotlight, which states that “journalists hold those in power accountable.”
And that is basically what Jane Doe’s story and the story of the victim involved in the Sun story are all about.
In the continuing saga of Jane Doe, the morning after I published my story I received a call from the EEOC investigator Brandon Sanders.
It is my policy that I always contact the main characters in the plot before writing about them, so I had contacted Mr. Sanders and left him a voicemail message regarding the reason I called.
By the end of the day, I did not get a return call and figured he didn’t want to discuss this case that he had for four years (yes, that is correct, FOUR years). It’s always been my experience that unless I release the story, it could disappear like the rape kits did in Baltimore County.
So, naturally, the next morning when my phone rang and it was Mr. Sanders, I was honestly shocked.
I was somewhat gruff in my response (for which I later apologized), but I told him that I felt the MD EEOC basically dumped this case because it does not take four years to write a letter to a law firm that says Baltimore County did nothing wrong when during those four years he never interviewed the victim, Mrs. Doe. Not only that, but the law firm that charged Mrs. Doe $2,500 only interviewed her one time.
Maybe they did not like the way she sounded, since she is not able to hear.
A few hours later Mrs. Doe, called me and said she had received an email from the EEOC that read as follows:
From: BRANDON SANDERS [mailto:BRANDON.SANDERS@EEOC.GOV]
Sent: Thursday, December 01, 2016 9:56 AM
Subject: Re: BCPS/Para educators Master agreement
Dear Mrs. XXX,
Please be advised that you have the right to submit a written request for reconsideration of our office’s determination in your case. Under the Commission’s charge processing guidelines, there are three standards for which a charge can be reopened. Charges are only reopened if one of the following standards has been met:
-misconduct by an agency official which may have affected the outcome;
-substantial new and material evidence that was not previously considered and which may have affected the outcome, or;
-an error in the interpretation of the law, which may have affected the outcome.
If you choose to submit a request for reconsideration, it should be sent to our office and addressed to Ms. Rosemarie Rhodes, Director, who will review and respond to your request. Please be advised that the submission of a request for reconsideration DOES NOT extend the 90 day time period during which you have the right to file suit in court as explained in the Dismissal and Notice of Rights that you previously received.
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Baltimore Field Office
10 South Howard Street, 3rd Floor
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: (410) 209-2212
Fax: (410) 962-42708:41 AM >>>
Well, I thought to myself that move by Mr. Sanders was a step in the right direction, and Investigator Brandon Sanders did the right thing.
With that said, the following is the most disgusting letter from a political leader that I have ever read:
From: Klausmeier, Katherine Senator [mailto:Katherine.Klausmeier@senate.state.md.us]
Sent: Friday, December 02, 2016 11:20 AM
Subject: RE: article
Good morning Ms. XXX,
Thanks so much for your email. I’m so sorry to hear about what is going on with BCPS.
Unfortunately, we would be unable to assist with this case. The EEOC is a federally run agency, not a state agency. Therefore, you would want to contact your federal elected officials. Currently, those would be Senator Cardin (410-962-4436) or Senator Mikulski (410-962-4510). If you know who your congressman is, they would be a good contact as well. If you’re not sure, you can go to www.mdelect.net and type in your address to find out who your congressman is.
They may be able to ensure that you are receiving proper communication from the EEOC, but more than likely they would not be able to overturn a decision. It is standard practice for the legislative branch to stay out of judicial matters.
Thanks again, and I hope that this information helps. If you have any other questions or concerns, please let me know.
Have a great weekend!
Evan K. Richards
Office of Senator Katherine Klausmeier
11 Bladen Street, Room 103
Annapolis, MD 21401
Fax: (410) 841-3085 email@example.com
I guess State Senator Klausmeier was out holiday fundraising, because her aide does not have a clue to what he is talking about. Simply put, these cases are cross filed with the MD State Civil Rights Division.
Why couldn’t Mr. Richards at least send the Doe family the proper links rather than have a depressed, stressed-out family who can’t afford an attorney, or even a filing fee, file a law suit themselves?
The worst part about the clueless Klausmeier and the less than able and heartless aide were two lines—one which dealt with crossing state and federal lines (yeah sure), and one being the crass tasteless ending of:
Have a great weekend!
That surely will lift their spirits. (Sarcasm alert)
I talked to Mrs. Doe, and the only thing expected this Christmas is the lump of coal they will get in their stocking by local and state governments that are broken in more ways than one.
As for Councilman David Marks, he could only offer the strength to send a Web link.
Way to go David. Great constituent work. Sorry the Doe family isn’t rife with developers, because at least then you could write a MUD … sorry, I mean a PUD.
The reason I don’t identity the Doe family by name is that Jane can’t find work because of her disability, –she doesn’ right) which means that her husband will probably wind up in an early grave as he struggles to keep working.
John Doe will at least go down as a hard working American who refuses to give up, even though he does not have the strength to throw a punch.
More to come … stay tuned!