Subject: Topic G.1 On September 27 Board Agenda (sent 9/21/2023)
IVGID Board of Trustees:
I wanted to send a quick note to caution the Board on Agenda item G.1 for Next week’s board meeting – on possible action against the former HR director for disclosure of non-public IVGID documents. The Board is headed down a very dangerous path with this item.
As background, Cliff Dobler lied to the Board during the August 9 meeting when he claimed (in response to questions from Trustee Noble) that he had not been suspended from IVGID’s golf venues for intolerable behavior towards staff. If Dee Carey disclosed IVGID documents verifying that Dobler had, in fact, been suspended, she has prevented the perpetuation of a fraud committed by Dobler in his misrepresentation to the Board that allowed him to secure a position on the Capital Investment Committee.
Assuming the above is true, then the former HR director is likely a protected whistle-blower. Any steps by the Board to even publicly consider taking action against her, let alone actually taking any such action, violates not only IVGID whistleblower policy, but Nevada law (The Nevada False Claims Act). This opens the Trustees and the district to legal action. Taking action against Ms. Carey would also have a chilling effect on other potential whistle-blowers, delivering a very clear message that they subject themselves to Board retaliation. I cannot believe this board would be foolish enough to go down that path.
Ms. Carey should be commended, not vilified, for coming forward with the information that ultimately led to Dobler resigning his position on the Committee. She stepped forward and did the right thing, when the Board sat by and failed to acknowledge or rectify their error in appointing Mr. Dobler. She has also protected IVGID from potential future liability had Dobler continued to perpetuate his intolerable behavior under the guise of an appointed IVGID committee member.
I’d offer another related observation on this topic. The Board has had very public discussions at multiple board meetings where certain Trustees have repeatedly expressed their outrage and disappointment at how the letter became public. At the same time, not a single Trustee has made a public comment at those meetings in defense of or support of the employees who were victims of Mr. Dobler’s actions, other than Trustee Noble before he was cut off by other Trustees at the August 9 meeting. The actions of Mr. Dobler were investigated and corrective actions were taken against him. So even if, as some Trustees have claimed, they were not aware of the actions before the meeting, each of you is well aware of it now. I’m sure staff has all observed your effort to “investigate” how the materials were made public, while at the same time, taking notice that no one has come to their defense. Your actions on the former, and lack of actions on the latter, speaks very loudly. I believe with all the staffing issues you currently have, it would/should be expected that you publicly admonish this behavior, acknowledge your error in appointing Mr. Dobler to the Committee, and deliver a very clear message to staff that this type of behavior will not be tolerated.