Arbitrator upholds firing of absent emergency managerby Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
An arbitrator has ruled that the state had just cause in firing a Minnesota Department of Transportation employee, Sonia Morphew Pitt.
St. Paul, Minn. — MnDOT fired Pitt in November 2007, after an internal investigation found that she committed serious misconduct.
Pitt, who was MnDOT's emergency manager, did not immediately return to Minnesota from the East Coast after the I-35W bridge collapse. An internal investigation also found that she allegedly used taxpayer money for personal benefit.
Pitt appealed her dismissal. An arbitrator ruled that Pitt misused her state cell phone and knowingly violated MnDOT's travel policy. She added that Pitt abused the freedom accorded to her in her capacity as manager.
The commissioner of the Department of Employee Relations issued a statement saying the arbitrator's decision affirms that serious misconduct cannot be tolerated.