This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Reading the Tribune's account of Commerce Director Francine Giani being found liable in court and ordered to pay $250,000 for wrongful termination of a state employee engendered in me a strong sense of deja vu. This same woman was interim director at my agency, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. The administrative abuses detailed in this recent court case pale in comparison to her legacy there.
Giani eliminated a third of DABC office and support staff through firings, forced retirement and job elimination. I knew many of these people personally and heard their stories.
Draconian new policies resulted in continual product shortages and stores were denied the ability to control our orders. Store staffing was cut while sales continued to climb and customer service was no longer a priority.
Most disturbing was an overt change in management tone to one of punitive oversight.
We were told this was the new DABC; and it continues to this day.
I retired last year when my job was no longer tolerable. Sadly, many others cannot afford to do so, least of all those wrongfully terminated. Perhaps this verdict will bring them some sense of vindication. But it won't begin to repair the damage done.
Gary K. Clark
Salt Lake City