Officer Candidate Received Conditional Offer Of Employment

Officer Candidate Received Conditional Offer Of Employment

Officer Candidate Received Conditional Offer Of Employment Featured

By / Local News / Wednesday, 19 June 2019 00:40

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

The Carolina Beach Police Advisory Committee recently sent a letter to the Town Council expressing concerns about hiring practices, staffing levels and other issues.

Former Town Manager Lucky Narain responded to that letter including the accusation by the Committee that a candidate for employment was "jerked around" and after receiving an offer of employment with a start date, was later informed they would not be hired.

The following are excerpts from the (PAC) Committee's letter with (TM) Narain's responses:

"PAC: The Candidate, along with other candidates, completed an in-person interview before the hiring committee. All candidates were scored by each member of the committee and subsequently ranked based on their cumulative scores. Subsequent to the interviews The Candidate was notified that he would not be considered for employment because he had scored the lowest among the interviewed candidates."

"TM: The weeks prior to me on-boarding were chock full of administrative issues within the police department. The issues were complex. You might say they represented a veritable hurricane of events resulting in a number of officers leaving before my start date. There may have been systemic issues within the organization that created the situation resulting in their departure. As the Chief Administrative Officer for the Town and consistent with the authorities of the office of Town Manager, I sought direct involvement with all police officer hires and promotions. I created my own un-biased and entirely neutral ranking. I had zero knowledge of a committee ranking throughout my ranking process."

"PAC: Seeking clarification, The Candidate made multiple calls to our Town Manager, leaving messages and requesting a return call. After several attempts at contacting the Town Manager went unanswered, The Candidate called town hall as “a citizen” and requested a meeting with the Town Manager. Ironically, this resulted in a meeting the next day."

"TM: It’s my understanding, and consistent with general human resource practices - the Town is not obligated to explain the reasons as to why an applicant was not selected."

"PAC: During this meeting The Candidate was again told that the reason he was passed over was that his score was well below the other candidates. When the Candidate questioned the accuracy of the Town Manager’s claim, a police department Captain was called-in to confirm the scoring. The Captain refuted the Town Manager’s representation, confirming that not only had The Candidate not scored the lowest, he had scored the highest, and by a significant margin."

"TM: FALSE/MISLEADING: A Committee’s ranking is not the conclusive element in a hiring decision. The PAC ranking may be one of many elements considered in the hiring of a person. The Town Manager’s ranking is the de facto ranking of the organization – not the PAC.

"PAC: This should not be news to any council members, as you have received numerous calls and texts regarding these questionable happenings. Who did the Town Manager receive the incorrect information from? Our leadership is hired with the expectation of honesty and integrity, surely, he would not intentionally present false results to a very qualified candidate? After further consideration, The Candidate was eventually offered employment; an offer he accepted."

"TM: FALSE/MISLEADING: Police officer candidates are offered conditional letters of employment. The offer of employment is contingent upon an applicant successfully passing all phases of screening process."

"PAC: The Candidate was well qualified and was a former CB Officer who was ready to come back. It is our impression that both CBPD and Chief Spivey were excited to have this officer joining the CBPD, especially considering The Candidate was a trained LEO and former CB officer, and would therefore be able to be effective in an expedited timeframe. There were no issues with hiring him before, therefore the whole process around The Candidate’s experience gives an appearance of impropriety."

"TM: MISLEADING: Previous applications to the Town are not weighted and are not generally a significant factor in the re-hiring of that individual. No one is entitled to work for the Town because they have worked for the Town in the past."

"PAC: Unfortunately, a few days before The Candidate’s projected start date on Monday, May 27, he received a call saying that “something had come up” and he would not be hired. No other explanation was offered. Not only should applicants be able to rely on a transparent and fair hiring process, if an applicant does fall short in a given area, they should be given the reason they failed to meet our hiring standards. Our PD administration should be able to hire good qualified candidates without their hands being restricted by staff unqualified in law enforcement."

"TM: “Hands being restricted by staff unqualified in law enforcement” is a charged statement. I have personal experience working in law enforcement oversight as a civilian, as an attorney, and a military officer. The Town’s HR Director and Town Attorney have experience with law enforcement related administrative issues. Is the expectation that the Town Manager, HR Director, and Town Attorney have some other qualifying law enforcement experience? What about members of the PAC given that they create a ranking? How exactly is calling candidates to personally inform them that they would not be hired not fair? Would having an applicant wait for an automatically generated rejection letter be more fair or transparent? The expectation addressed of a fair and transparent hiring process is noted. To the extent members of the community and the PAC have recommendations on improving processes and/or practices in the Town, we would happily evaluate them for legality in accordance with North Carolina law and consider adopting them. As I do with staff, I would also encourage any member of the public interested in this course of action to do some research. If there is a problem, come to me with some solutions…. Are there any other municipalities in NC that are doing what you propose? How long have they been doing it? Does it work? What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) involved in implementing this course of action? And, if there is a cost associated with the training and implementation of the change – where does/should that money come from?"

"PAC: In addition to issues with The Candidate, we believe Council is aware of broader problems within the police department, and potentially with the HR De partments interaction with the Police Department. Why then; is this Council unwilling to address issues of this level of importance, including the manner The Candidate was treated? If we allow these issues and actions to stand, where will it stop? Who will be the next person lied to or mistreated? We do not want to believe that this Council feels it is okay to falsify test results, lie to applicants and otherwise jerk an applicant around by offering them a job, only to retract the offer, but neither have we seen any effort on the part of any council member to intervene."

"TM: FALSE: “Council feels it is okay to falsify test results…” What test results were falsified? Who exactly is being accused of falsifying results? What lies are being referenced? There is a difference between not understanding processes or different ranking lists and being lied to. Candidates throughout various industries and organizations are frequently extended conditional offers of employment. To have those offers rescinded during the screening process is not jerking an applicant around."

Following the response from the Town Manager to the PAC Committee's letter, the "Candidate" provided comment. The Candidate would only comment on the condition of anonymity and said that in fact he did attempt to schedule a meeting with the Town Manager without success and later requested a meeting as a citizen. That meeting was scheduled and ultimately lasted four minutes.

The Candidate said he inquired about the issue with scoring during the interview process and was told by the Town Manager that he did not score the highest from the group of applicants. The Candidate questioned the accuracy of that statement and after the Town Manager spoke to another person in the police department, it was confirmed that the Candidate had not only scored high, but had the best score of all applicants considered by a hiring committee.

The Candidate said within a few hours following that meeting he received a "Conditional offer of employment" in a letter from the Town.

That letter - dated April 25th, 2019 - stated:

Based on your qualifications, experience and training, you were selected as the most qualified candidate during our recent hiring board. I am writing to you to confirm the Town of Carolina Beach’s conditional offer of employment.  We are pleased to offer you the position of Police Officer with the Town of Carolina Beach Police Department. The terms of our conditional offer are as follows:
• Your state date of employment will be on/around May 27, 2019.
• You must receive a passing score on any type of examination required of you by North Carolina Training and Standards.
• You must obtain a passing score on the North Carolina Training and Standards approved firearms qualification course.
• You must successfully pass a post-offer medical screening including a physical exam, a psychological examination and a drug screen.
Your rate of pay will be $37,128/year or $17.00/hour.  You will report to Patrol Lieutenant Anthony Marcucilli.
You will serve a 6-month probationary period. Once you are in the position of Police Officer for 6 months, you will receive a written evaluation and you may be eligible for a merit increase.  
The Town offers a comprehensive benefits package including a core package of single medical, single dental, Short Term Disability, and life insurance paid for by the Town. Additional benefits such as 401k match, and a variety of optional insurance products such as vision and cancer insurance are offered. 
The Town participates in the Local Government Employees Retirement Plan, as well as other State mandated benefits for Law Enforcement Officers. The Human Resource Department will provide you with additional information regarding employee benefits.
Enclosed you will find a Conditional Offer of Employment Statement for you to sign and return to Human Resources. If you have any questions as you review this information, please feel free to contact me directly.
Sincerely,
Holly Brooks
Holly Brooks
Director of Human Resources

The Candidate said last week that he fulfilled the conditions of the employment offer and days before his start-date he was informed he would not be starting on that date.

The Candidate said he had not spoken to the PAC Committee before, during or after the PAC's letter to Town Council and the Town Manager's response to the Committee's letter.

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