Supervisors punished in Tempe bikini flap - East Valley Tribune: Tempe

Supervisors punished in Tempe bikini flap

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Posted: Friday, February 18, 2005 10:07 am | Updated: 8:59 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

February 18, 2005

A pair of Tempe Public Works supervisors have been suspended without pay for a week for allowing a bikini-clad woman to hand out doughnuts during a retirement party on city property.

Ruben Rey will begin serving his suspension today, while Ramon Saiz will start his suspension next month, according to city disciplinary records.

City officials also ordered them to attend additional training and warned they could be fired if similar events occur under their watch in the future.

An investigation found that the two supervisors made no attempt to stop the unauthorized Jan. 21 gathering and failed to report it.

The city decided not to fire Rey and Saiz because of clean work histories and good work performance, according to city records.

Meanwhile, the city’s internal audit department has recommended against reinstating former supervisor Dale Cogswell, who was fired after the incident, according to Cogswell’s wife, Barbara. She said her husband received a letter Thursday.

Dale Cogswell delivered a statement to the city last week refuting claims that he did not try to stop the party. He can appeal his termination to the city’s merit board, officials said.

The former supervisor, who was nearing retirement, has claimed he is the victim of a "politically correct" employer. The city said that his work history and the seriousness of the event influenced its decision.

Dale Cogswell had been disciplined several times the past three years, including a 30-hour suspension for forwarding sexually explicit emails to a co-worker.

He has said that there was nothing inappropriate about the e-mails, according to city records. Dale Cogswell also has received two letters of appreciation from supervisors praising his work performance.

A retiring city employee escorted the woman into the building.

Employees at the 5 a.m. farewell party have said Dale Cogswell was the only supervisor who asked the woman to leave.

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