Vehrs Cleared!

I’m a little late getting to this but don’t take my tardiness as apathy. I’m delighted to pass on the news that Will Vehrs, suspended from his state job for 10 days for participating in a blog caption contest during office hours, has been reimbursed for lost pay. Commonwealth Conservative broke the story here.

Vehrs filed a grievance, and the findings have been posted online. A key excerpt:

The [Department of Business Assistance] charged [Vehrs] with excessive personal Internet access. The agency has not shown that grievant’s blogging affected either his or any other employee’s productivity or work performance, that it adversely affected the efficient use of the computer system, or that he violated any other policy, regulation, law or guideline.

Vehrs did make comments that were “inappropriate and inflammatory,” the case hearing officer found, but “there has not been any showing that grievant wilfully set out to write comments he knew to be offensive. Rather, he wrote them in a somewhat cavalier fashion.” Also, noted the hearing officer, Vehrs immediately apologized when informed that people had been upset by his joke.

Finally, the hearing officer concluded that the DBA deprived Vehrs of due process during the disciplinary action. The state has filed the decision on the Internet here.

Update: The Associated Press ran a brief story. After all the negative publicity given the case, I’m glad to see that Vehrs’ exoneration is disseminated to the public.

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