The Sage Report
This whole scandal has revolved around an "investigation" by Sage Management, and the report that came from it, The Sage Report. The reason I put quotes around the word "investigation" is because in this case, it was not meant to investigate existing allegations, but rather, to see if any complaints legitimately existed. That all changed when Robert Dobrzynski took over as General Manager of the Council.
1) Contrary to what may seem reasonable, the bullying charges were derived FROM the investigation, and were not the reason FOR the investigation. Nonetheless, on the basis of the retrospective charges, my Director and I were vilified and sacked.
2) Council has maintained that the Sage Report "proves" my guilt, but the evidence indicates otherwise. And they are very picky about who they let see it, especially not me.
3) The Sage Report was kept secret from me through a series of legal maneuvers and untruths including claims by Council that the testimonies were obtained with the promise of confidentiality. Furthermore, In a December Workers Compensation tribunal hearing, Council forfeited the right to refer to the Sage Report in defence of my claim, as a final maneuver to keep it from me.
4) The 13 Bullying and Harassment Allegations against me have collapsed!
A taxonomic examination of the Sage Reportn is contained in an incomplete draft document called the Parsley Report. In particular, the unlawful and untruthful aspects of how the Sage Report was derived and handled are highlighted.
Readers wishing access to further information about the Sage Report are directed to the following resources:
The Core Issues
CHARGES DERIVED "FROM" THE REPORT, NOT "FOR" THE INVESTIGATION
Contrary to what may seem reasonable, the bullying charges were developed by Mr Dobrzynski FROM the completed Sage Report, and were not the reason FOR the investigation. It is therefore untrue to state that the Allegations against me were investigated. Nonetheless, on the basis of the retrospective charges, my Director and I were vilified and sacked. Below are two screen grabs from Dobrzynski's letter to Allianz Insurance, 11 August 2010: In the first, it is clear that the Investigation was meant to be forensic, i.e., to uncover allegations rather than to test them; in the second, it is clear that the Allegations were derived from the completed report.
**MYTH**: THE SAGE REPORT PROVES MY GUILT
Council has maintained that the Sage Report "proves" my guilt, but the evidence would seem to indicate otherwise. They won't let anybody see it who would be in a position to challenge them, especially me.
I believe that quite contrary to proving my guilt, that the Sage Report actually exonerates me. I believe this for four reasons:
- The Sage Investigator, Mr Rob Gray, told my Director (Patrick Filmer-Sankey) that he would be "genuinely shocked" if I faced dismissal over anything in the Sage Report.
- If Council hit me with 13 charges that have since collapsed, including unrinsed coffee cups and having a tattoo, then it would seem that they didn't have much on me.
- Certainly if the Sage Report proved my guilt as Council says it does, then they would have thrown it at me by now to let it speak for itself.
- There has to be something in it that they REALLY don't want me to see, to have suppressed it from their defense rather than let me see it... like maybe that it exonerates me...
EFFORTS TO KEEP THE SAGE REPORT SECRET FROM ME
Launceston City Council has gone to great lengths to keep the Sage Report secret from me:
- When my lawyer and I have asked repeatedly, they simply said no.
- The Australian Services Union requested it on my behalf, and was told that Council doesn't own it, Allianz Insurance does (this is untrue; click here for the document).
- My Right to Information request was rejected on the basis of Legal Professional Privilege, which was broken when Council sent it to Dr Ian Sale (the psychiatrist), who used it to inform his opinion of me (get my Right to Information Refusal, and Dr Sale's report). My appeal is still pending.
- Public efforts to obtain it were blocked on the basis that revealing it would be a health and safety risk for the employees who gave testimony on the promise of confidentiality (get the media story about that here).
- The Union's efforts to get it for me through the Fair Work tribunal conciliation hearing on 22 October, came to an agreement to reissue the allegations in full in lieu of full access to the Sage Report; Council simply ignored the agreement, and did nothing.
- My lawyer's effort to get it through the Workers Compensation tribunal, was made on the basis that legal privelege was waived when Ian Sale used it to inform his opinion. Rather than hand it over, Council chose to waive the right to refer to it in their defence.
THE BULLYING ALLEGATIONS HAVE COLLAPSED
Despite all these wranglings back and forth about the Sage Report, two glaringly important facts remain:
1) The Allegations derived from the Sage Report were mostly demonstrated to be false, and have collapsed (see the findings of Council's lawyer, Mr Chris Dockray).
2) Much of the substance of the Sage Report was made available to me through Council's lawyer on 23 December 2010, and is available on this website.
THE PARSLEY REPORT
While fighting paralytic depression over this whole nasty saga, I took it upon myself to gather in one place everything I knew at the time about the Sage Report. I decided to call this work the Parsley Report, because parsley gives a truer and more reliable flavour than sage, when used in cooking.
This report was never completed, and is now seriously outdated, since having obtained the hundreds of pages of my staff's complaint documents on 23 December 2010. None of these documents or their content were known to me at the time, and are therefore not included in the Parsley Report.
It does, however, present a thorough analysis of truths and untruths about the Sage Report, based on the evidence. It further highlights the "Just Plain Wrong" aspects of how the Sage Report came to be, and how it was mishandled. And it might make for good bedtime reading! And look for the sequel as we approach the election: The Rosemary Report....