The confusion surrounding the "dismissal" of Maureen See is a recent case in point. What is her status? No one seems to know. Her dismissal was announced 11 days ago. At first, she was "fired." Then, we were told that she was placed on "administrative leave," but in reality, she was placed on administrative leave only for one week, to be followed by subsequent termination. It's been more than one week now, but the County has not clarified her situation, not even to Ms. See or her attorney.
What is going on? As press stories have pointed out, See allegedly ran afoul of a law that often involves a simple reprimand. Moreover, other than an occasional posted memo or a broadcast email from the County Administrator, there was no dissemination of a County policy or related employee training about appropriate behavior. So how were employees to know what might constitute behavior that "crossed the line"?
And as has come to light since See's "termination," it appears Howie Rosenfeld also may have been violating the same law for months. Then his wife endorses him in his election bid, not in her individual capacity, but as mayor of Friday Harbor, which many people feel is yet another violation of the same law because she is using her elected office as the platform for her endorsement.
It's just a mess of double standards, but it's no surprise. That's just the way this place works.
If you get caught in a similarly capricious vortex for CAO matters, you'll have to pay $2300 just to appeal the allegations made against you. It is a strange world we live in when filing an appeal in Washington State Courts costs $280, filing an appeal in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals costs $450, filing an appeal to the United States Supreme Court costs $300, but filing an appeal for land use determinations in San Juan County is $2300.