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City employee appeals demotion

Gretchen Hoffman

GLENDALE CITY HALL -- A city employee demoted for misconduct including

sending an e-mail perpetuating Hispanic stereotypes has appealed the

ruling that docked his pay more than $20,000 per year.

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Jose Feliciano, who was demoted from an administrator to an associate

in the city’s Personnel Division on Feb. 1, will plead his case before

the Civil Service Commission beginning March 20. The hearing is expected

to last a month or more.

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The commission approved Feliciano’s request that the hearing be open

to the public Wednesday, although personnel matters are normally kept

confidential. Feliciano charges that the demotion was designed to

“punish, not correct behavior” and is a retaliation against a complaint

he filed against his supervisor and the division head in 1999.

It is city policy to not comment on the details of personnel issues,

Glendale spokesman Ritch Wells said.

The grounds for his demotion, according to a letter notifying

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Feliciano in December that a demotion was proposed, include unauthorized

sleeping on the job, incompetence, failure to meet job performance

standards and violating the city’s harassment policy.

The harassment included an instance in which Feliciano forwarded an

e-mail to some co-workers last year titled, “How can you tell if you are

a Latino?”

“The e-mail made offensive and stereotypical characterizations about

Hispanics, in violation of city policy,” according to the letter.

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It was “insulting” to the people who received the e-mail and “an

embarrassment” to the personnel department, the letter stated.

Feliciano, who has worked for the city for 25 years, maintains that

the demotion was not justified.

“I am a person subject to some frailties, but I am certainly not the

person they are making me out to be,” Feliciano said after the commission

meeting Wednesday. “If indeed I deserve to be demoted, I am the first

person to support that.”


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