Senate Majority reportedly cans top nonpartisan staff

  • By Jerry Cornfield
  • Friday, November 22, 2013 12:43pm
  • Local News

The Majority Coalition Caucus has apparently moved to get rid of the leaders of the nonpartisan Senate Committee Services.

Director Richard Rodger and Deputy Director Sherry McNamara were told to find other employment by January, according to an email that Democratic Sen. Karen Fraser wrote to her colleagues.

“I am stunned to let you know that the MCC Leadership have advised Richard Rodger and Sherry McNamara that their services are no longer needed and they should find other opportunities by early January. My understanding is that Senators (Rodney) Tom, (Linda) Parlette, and (Joe) Fain consulted in advance and made this decision,” begins the email.

She wrote that the action did not follow the formal Senate process for terminations.

In the Senate, there is a five-member Employment Committee to deal with personnel matters such as this. It is comprised of the Senate majority and minority leaders, the chairs of the two caucuses and the floor leader. Any actions are then reported to the Secretary of the Senate.

Fraser’s email says Rodger and McNamara learned their fate in a meeting with Tom, the Senate Majority Leader.

I’ll be watching for an explanation from the Majority Coalition Caucus today.

Here is Fraser’s email

Dear Colleagues—-

I am stunned to let you know that the MCC Leadership have advised Richard Rodger and Sherry McNamara that their services are no longer needed and they should find other opportunities by early January. My understanding is that Senators Tom, Parlette, and Fain consulted in advance and made this decision.

This is outside the normal Senate process for terminating an employee. Senate F&O policy is that an adverse action of this type shall be through a vote of the Senate Employment Committee, of which Senator Nelson and I are members.

An Employment Committee meeting was scheduled for late afternoon yesterday, with extremely short notice, and then abruptly canceled.

At 6 pm, a meeting took place where Senator Tom advised Richard Rodger and Sherry McNamara of the MCC Leadership decision that they should leave Senate employment by early January. Richard and Sherry were told at that meeting that there were enough votes on the Employment Committee to formalize this action.

I want to emphasize that NO meeting of the Employment Committee has occurred, and that as of now none are scheduled.

I’m advised that at the end of the meeting Richard and Sherry shook hands with each person there.

I did ask Senator Tom for the reason for this major decision, but was given no details.

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