“Never be bullied into silence, never allow yourself to be made a victim, accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.” Harvey’s Firestone.
Short Stories – Dr. Sabina Burton v UW Platteville
Synopsis – A very short explanation of the events of Sabina’s story
The story of the Solicitous Note - The saga of the UW-Platteville administration’s efforts to change, refine, define, redefine and cover up a note that a faculty member passed to a student that said “Call me tonight!!” with the faculty member’s personal cell phone number.
A few things I have learned about corruption – A short story explaining how people become corrupted.
The Criminal Justice Department Chair position. – A story of incredible failed power grabs that left the CJ department leaderless.
A hidden story. On 11/9/16 Burton’s former attorney, Tim Hawks finally provided to her the evidence he had been given in response to a subpoena. This evidence included emails between named individuals. Burton didn’t get this evidence until well after her case had been dismissed and well after she had filed for appeal and even after she had gone public with her story. This is a story of the conversations Burton never knew about, until now.
Titles Mean Something: A story of minimizing a targeted individual while publicly praising and artificially elevating loyal followers. This is how it works at UW-Platteville.
Dr. Burton’s grievance against Dr. Caywood - This story answers the question: “What were Burton’s complaints in the early days of this saga?”
Accusations of Non-Violations that could get Burton Fired - The story of false accusations of non-violations deemed serious enough to fire Burton, a sham-investigation and the ensuing cover-ups.
Debbie Rice v Dr. Burton and Dr. Burton v Debbie Rice - In this story Dr. Burton accuses Rice of legitimate harm and Rice accuses Burton of non-violations. But behind the scenes a sinister plan is enacted to fabricate hidden accusations against Burton in an attempt to fire her. But Chancellor Shields’ plan is thwarted by the power of the first amendment and understanding of law.
Audio Clips that tell a story of retaliation - A few short audio clips that demonstrate retaliation.
Perjury - A listing of the statements made under oath that don’t seem to be true.
The story of Attorney Jennifer Sloan Lattis – A story that shows that the corruption doesn’t stop at the Chancellor. It goes into the legal arena.
The story of Dr. Patrick Solar – Do you want the next generation of police officers to be taught by this person?
The story of Dr. Staci Strobl – Chair of the troubled Criminal Justice Department. Why would she say that?
The story of Dr. Mike Dalecki – oh boy. This guy makes my skin crawl.
The story of Dr. Elizabeth Throop – She harassed Sabina for four years. Now she is at another university. I feel sorry for them.
The story of Chancellor Dennis J. Shields – This guy seems to believe intimidation and leadership are synonymous. He seems to think he is above the law.
Other Short Stories - In no particular order
1. Lots of good facts and easy to find evidence in the appeal (Appeal filed on 9/27/16).
2. Dean Throop called Caywood less than minimally acceptable as a chair (Dkt 101-20). Caywood says he was removed from the chair position while Throop says he stepped down. Den Herder kept Caywood at his present salary. Student tuition paid Caywood full chair salary to do “additional duties” and he didn’t even care. Isn’t that misappropriation of funds? He is now receiving high retirement payments. (Dkt 53-55) It looks to me like Caywood has dirt on some administrators.
3. The Forensic Investigation program was created by Aric Dutelle. Dr. Burton was never allowed to teach in FI. Two independent auditors evaluated the program in May, 2014. Their findings were very critical of the program. One auditor wrote “Departmental leadership is important to addressing the problematic nature of the FI major, but the consequential problems as a result of the creation and perpetuation of the FI program goes well beyond departmental leadership. Campus administration and the dean’s office must shoulder some responsibility for the train wreck that occurred much later” Dkt 53-10. The other auditor also was very critical. Dr. Burton wrote an email to the department which began “I plan to tell students the truth about what’s been happening in the department” after Aric Dutelle left on short notice under mysterious circumstances. She was reprimanded for it in a Letter of Direction. Apparently telling the truth is the last thing the administration wants her to do. In a mediation meeting, before she was allowed to tell her side of the story, Jen DeCoste told her that by sending this email Burton was “bullying” her chair (Timeline at June 27, 2014).
On June 6, 2014 Dr. Dalecki wrote to the department faculty and staff that the department would notify students of the audit reports stating “when we officially notify [the students],” but there was never an official notification to students (Dkt 43-1 BENSKY EXHIBIT YYY – 004).
In that same email Dr. Dalecki, who has no background in Criminal Justice, wrote “I have been researching the issue of job opportunities for FI graduates. There are more jobs than some people’s conventional wisdom suggests. The jobs are not all in Wisconsin, but that is the job market.” However, auditor Dr. Stojkovic, Dean of the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare at UW Milwaukee, wrote “there is a huge concern among both faculty members and staff about the employment of students who major in FI. One staff member felt that there are a number of career options available for students in the FI field, but at best, this is an assertion with limited empirical support. Many faculty members expressed concern over how the FI program not only diverts resources from the criminal justice department, but that it does a disservice to students who believe there are many career opportunities upon graduation from the FI degree when in reality there may be limited career opportunities for graduates. This is a legitimate concern.”
Is the FI program bad enough to win a class action lawsuit for students to get their tuition back? Maybe.
5. On Jan 24, 2013 Dr. Caywood and Dean Throop suddenly and without warning withdrew their support for Dr. Burton’s efforts to create a cyber security program giving Burton only vague reason why (Caywood’s withdrawal), (Burton’s response to Caywood), (Throop’s withdrawal). On 11/10/15 (almost three years later) Burton finally got an indication that one reason for the withdrawal was because Throop claimed that Burton called herself an expert on this press release and on these websites (Dkt 37-2), (Dkt 37-3), (Throop Decl., ¶ 13.), (Dkt 37-4), (Dkt 53-55). Look at the websites and you will see that there is no mention of expertise. Nobody ever told Dr. Burton that her expertise, or lack thereof, or her advertisement of her expertise was a problem. Caywood had gone to Dean Throop in November 2012 complaining of Dr. Burton’s representations of expertise in cyber-security rather than confronting Dr. Burton himself (Throop’s notes). Burton asked Caywood “why do you question my expertise?” But Caywood did not answer the question because he didn’t think it was relevant (Caywood’s deposition pg 7). Throop told Provost Den Herder that Burton had misrepresented her expertise but Den Herder didn’t say anything to Burton about this in their meeting. There are some real problems with the argument that they withdrew support because of Burton’s claims of expertise:
a. Burton is an expert in cyber security. (V1 - Faculty Forum (video)) On April 3, 2014 Dean Throop speaks of Burton’s “expertise in cyber security.”
b. Burton didn’t claim to be an expert in cyber-security on the websites or on the press release.
c. There is no requirement to be an expert in cyber-security in order to accept the ceremonial grant check she was to accept in a few days or to follow through with her plans.
d. The money for the grant had already been accepted by the university and was in the UW-Platteville foundation account. After Throop withdrew support Burton could not legally use the money in the account so it sits there still.
Throop made vague reference to Burton’s use of the word “program” and claimed that Burton misrepresented that the university already had a fully operational cyber security program. She didn’t. Look at the press release and the websites and you’ll see that is not the case. Lots of people had used the word “program” to describe the efforts to build a cyber security “program.” Throop was just looking for any reason whatsoever to push back Burton. Since Burton had done nothing wrong Throop had to make something up. So, she made up stupid things like claiming that an obvious typo was an attempt to skirt procedures.
Caywood said, in letter to Sabina, that she doesn’t have his support. But in Caywood’s deposition he said that he didn’t withdraw support. But the grievance committee found that Caywood withdrew support unreasonably. In depo Caywood said he owes Burton an apology.
6. In about December 2013 Dean Throop wrote some: (Dkt 101-20)
a. Throop wrote: “When I confronted Caywood on his illegal activity, he laughed and said that’s what you get when you deal with former law enforcement: “we know how to get around the law.” I didn’t think it was funny.” She continued to write “he also seemed to be encouraging, or at least abetting, bad behaviors by his male colleagues Gibson and Dutelle and ignoring or denigrating the excellent work of his female colleagues.”
b. Throop wrote: “I became seriously concerned about Caywood’s management of the CJ department. He seemed unable to perform at a minimally competent level.”
c. Throop wrote: “Burton and Caywood kept drawing me into their problems.”
i. Throop wrote that in Nov 2012 Caywood complained to Throop that Burton had misrepresented herself in a grant application. (It was one way he retaliated against Burton for the sexual harassment incident.)
ii. Burton complained to Throop that Caywood was retaliating against her. Throop just wanted the complaining to stop so it seems that her answer to the problem was to ask Caywood to undergo management training and to retaliate further against Burton, without ever investigating Burton’s complaints. (audio exhibit A1) transcript (audio exhibit A1a). Does this seem like good leadership on Throop’s part?
d. Throop wrote: “We offered to send Caywood to chairs’ workshops, management training, or conflict resolution training. He refused to consider any of these options. I then said, “well, Tom, how do you plan to avoid having another year like the one we just finished?” He said “I will just hope for the best, I guess.” I said “That troubles me a great deal. That can’t happen.” He said “Maybe it’s time for new leadership.” I said “Maybe it is. Are you stepping down?” “I guess so,” he said. “Who would you suggest replace you as temporary chair?” I asked. He suggested Mike Dalecki.”
e. Throop wrote: “I will agree that an election should have been held in the summer before opting for an external candidate.
i. The only person to be chair in the department at the time seems to have been Dr. Burton. By failing to follow policy and hold an election Throop unfairly took away Dr. Burton’s opportunity to be elected chair in a fair election. Throop agrees that an election should have been held but she did nothing to correct the injustice she did to Dr. Burton.
f. Throop wrote: I actually did not expect that Caywood would step down; I was very hopeful that he would have been willing to acquire the management skills necessary to allow the department to run at a minimally acceptable level.”
i. Let this sink in for a moment. Dean Throop seems to be saying that she wanted Caywood to improve to a point where he would be “minimally acceptable” AFTER he took the training.
a. Burton requested a grievance hearing to address Throop’s LOD See (Timeline – Nov 12-13, 2014).
i. A hearing was promised, (exhibit 600), but never scheduled despite Burton’s repeated requests for an expedited hearing.
ii. Grievants are entitled to a hearing within 20 days (Faculty Bylaws-126.96.36.199 Grievances).
b. Throop wrote a memo trying to squirm her way out of a hearing because she knew her LOD could not stand scrutiny - (Throop memo). Dr. Burton wrote a rebuttal (Burton’s Rebuttal) but still she was denied a hearing.
9. Chancellor Shields ordered Dr. Barraclough to conduct a sham investigation against Burton, (Timeline 1-17-15 to present- search for “Barra”)
b. Barraclough sent Burton a link to the recording of the meeting but the link did not work.
c. Burton has never been given a copy of Barraclough’s investigation.
10. Chancellor Shields hired a private investigator, Mr. Burke, to conduct a sham investigation into Deb Rice’s unsupported, fabricated non-violation charges against Dr. Burton (Timeline 6-6-16 to present). Burton recorded the meeting and you can listen to it here (A35-mtgw-investigatorBurke-10-10-16). Burton asks if Deb Rice provided any evidence to support her claims against Burton and Burke responded that she had not.
a. Burton asked for a grievance against Deb Rice for essentially the same issues on the university level. A grievance hearing would have been the correct venue to address this issue but Burton’s hearing request was denied for invalid reason. Then she was told unofficially that her complaints against Rice would be handled by the same investigation that had been initiated against Burton (Timeline 4-26-16 to present).
b. Burton requested that her grievance be heard above Chancellor Shields’ head because of his previous unfair handling of her complaints and the fact that she had complained about the Chancellor and new Provost. The higher authorities remanded Burton’s complaints to the university level where the final decision will be made by the Chancellor.
c. Chancellor Shields decided to pay an independent investigator to conduct this secret investigation rather than allowing a grievance committee to do the same work with more openness for free. Misappropriation of funds. The investigator is paid by student tuition on Chancellor Shields’ authority. The investigator came to Burton’s home during her vacation time and the investigation order was delivered by certified mail. Policy requires only one or the other form of delivery but Chancellor Shields seems to be more interested in harassing Dr. Burton than saving money. He could have delivered one certified letter to accomplish notification but he hired a Madison based investigator to drive to her home in Platteville just to hand her the same letter that came in the mail the following day.
d. Dr. Burton will not receive a copy of this investigator’s report but it will be given only to the university.
e. I expect Chancellor Shields to produce a “finding” based on this hidden report that does not reflect the facts identified in the report. He did this on July 26, 2013 and again on Aug 31, 2016. (see Timeline). He can try to fire Burton based on his own interpretation of the hidden report (unless the appeal process is fair - hah). Burton’s only recourse would be to file an expensive lawsuit to finally obtain the reports in discovery or go public with the information. The lawsuit option could take a year and lots of money for Burton to accomplish, after her income drops to zero. Shields doesn’t seem to fear a lawsuit because he already knows he is in so deep that one more broken law won’t hurt him. Just throw it on the pile. He already knows he will lose in a fair hearing that is why he will not allow a fair and open grievance hearing but opts instead for hidden sham investigations that he can manipulate. Hopefully public exposure will force the university administration to allow a fair and open appeal if Burton is fired.
f. Burton’s teaching schedule has already been published. She is teaching lower level classes and an extra seminar class that is unlikely to have many students sign up. These classes will all be very easy to cancel or assigned to adjunct instructors. The administration has set up Burton’s exit to reduce shock waves to the teaching schedule when they fire her. The administration has already decided to fire Burton and prepared for her exit even before they receive the results of the sham investigation or see any evidence that the allegations against her are true. They already know that the allegations against her do not indicate any violation of policy, law, common sense or good practice. Just look at the complaint against Burton: If the allegations were true would there be any reason to fire Burton for having done those things as Chancellor Shields indicates? Nothing she is accused of violates any law or policy.
11. Threats to fire Dr. Burton
a. Fuller informs Burton of Throop/Dalecki plot to fire her Dkt 46-135.
b. Cancelled Class plot
i. According to Dean Throop’s sworn testimony Deb Rice falsely informed Throop that Burton cancelled class. Deb Rice denied having told Throop in a sworn testimony. One of them committed perjury in a federal investigation. (Deposition-Throop), (Deposition-Rice)
ii. Dalecki’s involvement includes:
1. Throop stated that Burton didn’t get permission from chair to cancel class – this indicates that she had consulted the chair (Dalecki) prior to making the accusation.
2. Dalecki said in his deposition that he told Throop that Burton had cancelled class, or something like that. He was vague about it.
3. Chancellor Shields wrote that Throop had not sent her email to any uninvolved party. Since she cc’d Dalecki it appears that he was involved.
iii. December 15, 2014 5:38 PM - Throop sends HR director Lohmann an email saying “I wonder if you have some time tomorrow for a phone chat about where I am with Burton (I am going to have to file a Ch. 6 Complaint against her) Ch6Complaint-before-CnxClass Note that Throop decided to file a Chapter 6 complaint before she even accused Burton of cancelling class. She never asked Burton if she conducted the class, that didn’t matter. Throop doesn’t need an employee to violate policy in order to fire them, she just needs the employee to go quietly to slaughter. Burton declined to do so.
iv. December 16, 2014 4:51 PM - Throop informs Burton that she will be disciplined because it had come to Throop’s attention that Burton cancelled a class (Dkt 41-42).
v. Burton asks for help in proving she conducted the classes. (I need your help!!! -Exhibit J). About 30 students respond that she conducted her classes.
vi. Two weeks after Throop made the false accusation that Burton cancelled class, instead of apologizing for the false accusation, Throop files a complaint with Chancellor Shields to get Burton fired. (Throop complaint against Burton-pg1-3) (Burton’s rebuttal). Burton is accused of “drawing students into her dispute.” Asking students to verify that she was innocent of an accusation that could lead to her termination is, in and of itself, an offense worthy of termination (according to then-Dean Throop). It is interesting that Provost Throop has not accused Burton of the same non-infraction since she went public with her complaints.
vii. Chancellor Shields quickly initiates a rushed sham investigation to fire Burton (Sham investigation initiated – pg2), (attached exhibits). Burton met with Dr. Barraclough for the investigation. Burton paid her attorney to attend the investigation. Dr. Barraclough recorded the meeting and notes were taken. Barraclough emailed Burton a link to the audio but the link does not work. Burton has never been given the notes that were taken at the investigation meeting.
viii. The Chancellor failed to act on the investigation results, which were never delivered to Burton. Finally, almost a year after the rushed investigation and after Burton had complained to the Regents that Shields held over her head a “sword of Damocles,” the Chancellor finally produced a response to the investigation, saying that the false accusations “had merit” without describing what merit it had. Chancellor-8-31-16-letter and ResponsetoChancellorLtr-8-31-16.
c. Chancellor Shields sets out to finally fire Burton once and for all, this time he uses Deb Rice’s complaint as ammunition.
ii. Deb Rice files a complaint against Burton on 8-8-16 (Complaint-Rice-8-8-16). The accusations are ridiculous. The corrupt administration doesn’t need a serious accusation to fire someone they can fire you for sneezing if they want to.
iii. Chancellor Shields initiates a sham investigation (Complaint-Rice-8-8-16). He threatens to fire Burton over some pretty ridiculous allegations. Isn’t it interesting that the Chancellor threatened to fire Burton for posting Deb Rice’s name on Facebook but now that Burton has gone public with her allegations Chancellor Shields has not attempted to fire her for exercising the same first amendment right even though she has posted much more than Deb Rice’s name. This is a sign that Chancellor Shields did not believe his statement that Rice’s allegations warranted termination. It is silly to fire someone for posting a person’s name on Facebook. The allegations and the investigation can’t withstand scrutiny and that is why everything was done behind closed doors.
iv. Investigator Dale Burke interviews Burton as part of Chancellor Shields’ investigation. Burton recorded the interview (A35-mtgw-investigatorBurke-10-10-16).
1. Burke reveals that Deb Rice had provided no evidence to support her claims against Burton.
2. Mr. Burke informs Burton that his report will not be provided to Burton but will only be given to the administration.
3. The investigation reveals that Deb Rice’s complaint is full of lies.
4. Shields used student tuition money to pay Mr. Burke to harass Burton with this sham investigation. That is misappropriation of funds.
v. Burton has not yet been fired because she went public with her information. Chancellor Shields’ reasons for firing Burton can’t stand up to scrutiny. If Burton had kept quiet Shields would have fired her quietly by now. Going public was Burton’s only chance of staying employed.
12. The German Delegation Visit in June of 2014
a. Dalecki is fuming mad at Dr. Burton for the damage her tornado did to his property. He gave both barrels. (Dalecki deposition pg 170-175).
b. Dr. Dalecki excludes Burton from welcome breakfast. He called her and told her to stay away but claimed (under oath) that he didn’t call her. Phone records proved he did call Dr. Burton that morning. (Dalecki deposition pg 170-175), (Dalecki-Calls-6-17-14-redacted),
c. Dalecki tells people that Burton dumped her guests on him but they were in fact guests of the department and of the university. (Dalecki deposition pg 128), (Invite-signed by Director - International Programs).
d. Burton was not paid to handle the visit but was expected to handle the visit with no assistance or support.
i. Burton’s mother became seriously ill and Burton was unable to lead the delegation visit, offering instead to take a lesser role and to help out when she was able.
ii. Dalecki and at least three other department members took over to do the work they expected Burton to do alone for free. All four were paid. Two were paid using money that Dr. Burton had donated to the exchange visit.
iii. Burton was reprimanded for not completing volunteer work during her vacation that she had never been assigned to do.
iv. Burton did a lot of work in preparation for the German delegation visit. (Timeline June 9-26, 2014)
v. Dalecki told HR director Lohmann that Burton was not doing enough and that she was doing too much to help with the visit. (Timeline June 26, 2014)
vi. Dalecki scheduled Burton to give her welcome speech to the delegation at 7 pm on a Sunday. Dalecki refused to give money to Burton to buy sandwiches for the delegation when she gave her welcome speech. (Timeline June 11, 2014)
1. He claimed that there was no money left in the budget for the sandwiches but
2. there was still $394 in the budget in March 2016.
3. Dalecki used money in the budget to pay helpers after the visit was done. (Dalecki’s deposition)
4. the budget was possible because Burton donated over $6000 to the exchange program. (Timeline June 16, 2014)
14. Dr. Burton is accused of battering, intimidating, threatening, belittling and bullying her bosses and other members of the department:
a. Jeann Durr, HR Director told Dr. Burton that “[Caywood] could totally ignore everything that you send him from now till you both retire…He can continue to ignore you forever,” and “Tom is probably going to feel battered” by Burton’s letter to Dr. Caywood of 1/24/13 (exhibit EZZQ). A2 - Meet - Jeanne Durr - 2-7-13
b. Chancellor Shields wrote to Dr. Burton “I am directing you to cease using University resources to harass, intimidate or threaten your co-workers and supervisors” (Shields-LOD-6-3-16), (Shields-LOD-6-3-16-Attachments), Burton’s rebuttal: (ShieldsLOD-Rebuttal). Chancellor Shields was setting Dr. Burton up to be fired because exposing corruption was “threatening” to her supervisors.
c. Without letting Burton tell her side of the story Mediator Jen DeCoste, Chief Diversity Officer and Assistant Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion, called Dr. Burton’s emails “another form of bullying” at a mediation meeting with her chair Dr. Dalecki and said that the style of email communication that DR. BURTON was participating in was “quite aggressive and belittling.” She also said that the tone of Burton’s emails was “threatening.” A3 - Mediation Mike - 6-27-14 , A partial transcript is A3a, Timeline June 27 & 28, 2014.
i. Burton later was able to tell her side of the story to the mediators. Hear the story directly from Burton:
1. A12 - Meet deCoste and Lohman 8-13-14, (partial transcript A12a) Dr. Burton was very weak at this meeting as stress had caused her severe medical conditions which hospitalized her two days later. She had not been able to keep any food down for three days prior to this meeting. She went five days without being able to eat. She later had three surgeries for severe stomach problems.
d. Oct 17, 2014 10:57 AM – (Dkt 42-78, Dkt 37-15-THROOP EXHIBIT WWW – 028) Dkt 42-78, Dkt 37-15 (exhibit H) Dr. Solar calls Burton a “bully” because she complained that he excluded her from participation in formulating the job description for three new positions and then he lied about it.
6/6/2014 3:17 PM - Dkt 43-1 BENSKY EXHIBIT YYY – 002 Dkt 41-37. (exhibit 512) I wrote a lengthy email exposing some things about Dalecki and his position. I was angry when I wrote the email. What I wrote was true, accurate and relevant but it was an angry email and I am sorry that the tone was angry. I have apologized for that but received no slack for my apology whatsoever. I wrote an emotional response. See the thread in (exhibit 523). I was at the end of my rope. I was tired of the hypocrisy, double standards and cover ups. I just couldn’t take it anymore without speaking up. This email exposes Dalecki’s retaliation against me. It may be considered a protected activity.
The email discusses:
1. the Stackman house sitting issue.
2. The email vice face to face communication issue
3. Dalecki’s prior bias against me
a. Room to grow
4. Dalecki’s retaliation against me
a. Rip me a new one
b. Disparate treatment (get off my toes)
5. Diana Johnson removed from FI coordinator unfairly
6. Departmental dysfunction
a. Too many adjucts
7. I asked several questions (which were never answered) The fact that they were not answered indicates that Throop didn’t believe her admonition to be warranted.
8. Dalecki had told me that everything I had told him had been true.
9. I stated that I wanted transparency and accountability. The fact that Throop provided cover ups shows that she didn’t believe her admonitions.
An article by the National Association of Scholars (NAS) published on Sept 28, 2011, “OCR’s New Sexual Harassment Guidelines Threaten Academic Freedom, Due Process” described the retaliation Burton would soon suffer. The article stated: “A local cadre of enforcers in the faculty and administration were commonly the most aggressive movers and shakers: drafting their school’s code, monitoring faculty members and students, “planting” student observers in ideologically suspect courses, encouraging complaints, and staffing the administrative bodies charged with adjudicating them.”
It's almost as though back in Sept 28, 2011 the National Association of Scholars had a crystal ball to see what the UW Platteville administration would do to Burton. But they couldn’t see the future, they just reported on the tactics that other corrupt administrations had been using for years. Let’s break down this statement into its component parts:
1. “A local cadre of enforcers in the faculty and administration were commonly the most aggressive movers and shakers:”
i. In Burton’s case the same names seem to come up repeatedly. Who is the “cadre” in Burton’s case? Read about their actions in the timeline by searching for these names. Chancellor Shields, Dean, now Provost Throop, Dr. Caywood, Dr. Dalecki, Dan. Fairchild, Dr. Balachandran, Dr. Barraclough, Deb Rice, Dr. Fuller, Aric Dutelle, Dr. Zauche, Dr. Pat Solar and new entrant UWP police chief Joe Hallman.
2. “drafting their school’s code”
a. Dr. Balachandran, with cooperation from UW Legal attorney Thomas Stafford, wrote new Seriously Flawed and Discriminatory Grievance Hearing Procedures (SFDGHP) which was improperly approved by the grievance committee on Nov 21, 2014 and was whooshed through the faculty senate without discussion, comment or vote on Dec 9, 2014. Search the timeline for “grievance hearing procedures” to see the rest of this story (never sent Dear Faculty Senate members-c).
3. “monitoring faculty members and students”
b. Instead of answering Dr. Burton’s questions about irregularities in a grant application (exhibit COPS-Grant-Submission) Dr. Strobl forwarded Burton’s emails to Chancellor Shields. The emails wound up in a letter of direction from Shields to Burton just two days later (Shields-LOD-6-3-16), (Shields-LOD-6-3-16-Attachments). Burton rebuts the LOD but it is still in her permanent personnel file (ShieldsLOD-Rebuttal).
4. “”planting” student observers in ideologically suspect courses”
a. Dean (now Provost) Throop’s false accusation on Dec 16, 2014 that Burton cancelled class, and threat of swift and sure discipline, originated with a report from un-named students (Throop deposition), (Rice deposition), (Timeline at 12-19-14). Why would students make a report about a cancelled class to the Dean unless they were asked to “keep an eye” on Burton?
5. “encouraging complaints”
a. Instead of apologizing to Burton for the false accusation that she had cancelled class Dean Throop filed a complaint against Burton on Jan 5, 2015, less than a month later (exhibit 619a), (Rebuttal exhibit i619d).
b. Deb Rice filed a complaint with the Chancellor on 8/8/16 with no evidence to support her accusations, which did not amount to violation of any policy or law. (Complaint-Rice-8-8-16), (A35-mtgw-investigatorBurke-10-10-16).
c. On 10/17/2014 Dr. Solar complained to Dr. Fuller about Burton’s refusal to drop the issue of his policy violation calling Burton a “bully.” Burton’s true and accurate claims against Solar were never investigated but Burton received a letter of direction admonishing her for her for them. Dkt 37-15 (exhibits I, H)
6. “staffing the administrative bodies charged with adjudicating them”
a. Dan Fairchild was made chair of the grievance committee and effectively blocked Burton from ever again being allowed to address her concerns in front of an unbiased grievance committee violating policy and law in the process (search for “Fairchild” in the timeline).
b. Dr. Barraclough was assigned to conduct a secret investigation against Burton, the results of which have only been seen by the administration. Burton was never given the notes taken at the meeting. The link to the audio recording of the meeting that Barraclough sent to Burton does not work (see timeline Sept 23, 2015).
c. Dkt 41-39. Burton sent an email to Chancellor Shields respectfully requesting an investigation into Dean Throop’s false allegation that she cancelled class and requested that he not assign the investigation to Den Herder. He responded “Lodging a complaint does not give you the right to dictate who will adjudicate the matter.” (Exhibit 654) The Chancellor assigned the investigation to Dr. Barraclough.
d. Dr. Dalecki was a member of the grievance committee.
e. Several members of the grievance committee were completely silent the whole time. These seemed to be the people who were easily intimidated into compliance by the “movers and shakers.” They were on the committee to vote with the “movers and shakers.”
f. Membership in the grievance committee was hidden from the public and seemed to be determined on a case by case basis. One only found out who was on the committee after they had been scheduled for a hearing.
July 28, 2003 – The Office of Civil Rights published a “Dear Colleague Letter” which stated: “ No OCR regulation should be interpreted to impinge upon rights protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution or to require recipients to enact or enforce codes that punish the exercise of such rights. There is no conflict between the civil rights laws that this Office enforces and the civil liberties guaranteed by the First Amendment. With these principles in mind, we can, consistent with the requirements of the First Amendment, ensure a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for students that is conducive to learning and protects both the constitutional and civil rights of all students.” Chancellor Shields’ letter of direction to Burton seems to violate the intent of this instruction (Timeline 6-6-16), (Shields-LOD-6-3-16), (ShieldsLOD-Rebuttal). In his LOD Chancellor Shields clearly threatened Burton with termination if she exercised her right to take her concerns public.
Chancellor Shields’ asserted that his Letter of Direction “in no way infringes upon [Burton’s] rights.” Does this qualify as a lie, or is it just a twisted misinterpretation of the fallacy that his words mean nothing? Would you buy a used car from him? ‘Trust me, the paragraph stating that the warranty is not applicable in no way infringes on your right to request coverage should your car EVER need repair.’
A CJ department meeting was held on 8-29-14 in two parts First Dr. Dalecki conducted a department meeting and a special meeting in which Dean Throop conducted a discussion about what to do about the chair position (Dalecki was absent for this meeting). These were quite interesting meetings which produced some shady decisions.
Three and a half months after the meeting Dr. Dalecki asked Deb Rice for the electronic minutes of the meeting. (CJ_Dept_mins_8-14-email) Deb Rice delivered the minutes to Dalecki as requested. (CJ_Dept_mins_8-14-email) (CJ_Dept_mins_8-14). She wrote “Mike, I don't think you officially "approved" these so you might want to check first.” Three and a half months after the meeting Dalecki “checked” the minutes.
Several months later the university produced minutes of Dean Throop’s special chair position meeting as part of discovery in Dr. Burton’s lawsuit. (Dkt 37-15 pg 20-22).
What neither Dean Throop nor Dr. Dalecki knew was that Dr. Burton recorded the meetings.
Partial Transcript - A11a)
So here is your homework assignment: Listen to the audio and check off all of the events in the minutes that actually happened. Were the meeting minutes changed three and a half months after the fact? Why? On a scale of one to ten, how ethical is it to change the meeting minutes three months after the meeting? Now comes the hard part. After you have identified the items on the minutes that actually happened – forget about them. Focus on the things on the written minutes that did not actually happen as shown on the recording. Why would someone put comments on a legal, written documentation of events of a meeting, months after the event? Hmmm. See if you can find out why those comments were included in the written record. Were the records changed to support the administration’s arguments against Burton’s lawsuit? Hmmmmm. To be honest, I have not had time to do this exercise myself but when I get around to it I’m pretty confident I’ll find some cover up.
Here is a link to the Grievance policy for UWP: http://www.uwplatt.edu/employee-handbook/uws-6-complaints-and-grievances
If an employee follows these procedures, as Dr. Burton did, and actually reports a grievance, they will highlight themselves as a “complainer” and will very likely be retaliated against for their complaint. The policy on this web page is problematic for a number of reasons. Here are a few of them:
The web page is designed such that it looks like the UWP policy is actually UWS 6.02 state statute law. This is misleading and it allows the university to convince people that the state law is more restrictive than it actually is.
For example: the web page seems to say that state law a 300-day window for filing grievances.
The real state statute (UWS 6.02) says nothing about a 300-day window: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/code/admin_code/uws/6/02
There are many other problems with this particular policy.
Read (SFDGHP) above to get an understanding of how corrupt administrations write their own policies.
Read entries for 12-9-14, 1/31/15 & May 8, 2016 on the timeline.
20. The snitch story
The fact that Dalecki, Fuller, Strobl and others forwarded every little communication with Burton directly to Throop indicates that they were fishing for anything to get her on.
Later I’ll compile evidence of the snitching that went on later. Fuller, Rice, Dalecki, Strobl all snitched Burton’s actions to higher authority. Others in the department were likely active in snitching too.
21. The prime directive
The courts are a bit lazy in that they don’t want to spend any more time than necessary on issues where they may actually need to dig into the facts. They like cut and dry right and wrong issues that don’t have a lot of extraneous factors confusing things and muddying the water. If they find a case like this they will probably dismiss it in summary judgment so they don’t need to hear it in court.
The administration knows how the courts work. So, they do what they can to confuse things. They pile up accusations against any employee who stands against corruption. These accusations don’t need to be true as long as there is an element of truth to it. Throop admonished Burton for asking a colleague to house sit. As ridiculous as it sounds she will argue till blue in the face that asking a colleague to house sit is a serious breach of ethics that warrants firing the terrible person who commits such a heinous act. Sure, any reasonable jury would conclude that asking a colleague to house sit is not any kind of offense. But that doesn’t matter to the systemically corrupt university administration because they will never have to tell their story to a jury. Their plan is to tell it to a kangaroo court. They can’t allow their stupid accusations to be considered by anyone fair so they keep it only in the arena of their unfair minions. That is why they can’t allow Burton to get a fair grievance hearing. They would rather violate her due process rights than allow her to be heard.
The administration uses lots of little tricks to harass the target, in this case Dr. Burton. But they won’t fire them because the courts recognize this as a serious harm. The administration wants to build up a lot of little harms that the courts don’t want to wade through. This puts burden on the target to bring a case of many small harms to convince a judge to bring the case to trial. Meanwhile the administration works on building lots of little problems for the target to make her look bad. They mess with her evaluations, they hit her with false accusations etc. All of these little falsehoods find their way into the target’s personnel file. The target has the right to put a rebuttal to anything in her personnel record but the administration won’t leave the rebuttals in. They only put in the complaints. Even if the target can successfully rebut every allegation in the complaint it still looks bad if an investigator gets only the complaints and none of the rebuttals. Also, any positive reviews for the target, like a letter of congratulations from the Chancellor, are removed from the target’s personnel file.
This puts a huge burden on the target to explain away all of the false accusations against her. We all know that excuses stink. Most people would lose interest in hearing rebuttal after rebuttal for a person being accused by multiple people of multiple things. If the person(s) reviewing the files are lazy or if there is a conflict of interest that provides them a benefit to be unfair to the target there is a good chance they will make the assumption that the many false allegations are in fact true. This is especially true when the target admits to having done the thing of which they are accused. The administration will argue that there is a basis of fact in their accusation that Burton asked a colleague to house sit. Yes, there is a fact in there. She asked a colleague to house sit. But there is no basis to the accusation because there is no reason to admonish someone for doing something as benign as this. It’s like sticking your dog’s nose in its poo after he took a dump in the back yard in the designated poo spot. You wouldn’t do that. Yes, the dog took a dump. That is a fact. But there is no basis for punishing the dog because it took the dump in the spot where it was supposed to.