If you’ve paid for any licenses or other documents at Niagara Falls City Hall lately, you may want to make sure your documents were properly filed.
That’s because Tina Pugh, an account clerk in the City Clerk’s office, has been fired for stealing from the public. For the second time.
We would like to lay this all at the feet of the Dyster Administration. After all, this sounds like something that
the spineless jellyfish running Niagara Falls Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster might do without prompting. But, it turns out that the city didn’t have a lot of choice here.
A couple years back, after Pugh was fired the first time, when it became clear she’d stolen $30 from city coffers, the city did the sensible thing—the thing that would happen to you and me, out here in the private sector. They fired her.
Enter the unions. Steelworkers Local 9434-00 (which, of course, makes perfect sense as a union to represent government bureaucrats whose greatest on-the-job danger is a paper cut, but I digress) immediately went to bat for Pugh, saying that firing her over a $30 theft was “excessive punishment.”
Um, not where I come from. I’ve worked jobs where employees returning late from lunch were docked pay and warned about their future employment prospects. I’ve seen employees fired for having bad attitudes. So, I don’t think losing your job over a $30 theft is excessive punishment! But again, I digress.
Anyway, to make a long story short, the union thugs won, and Pugh was reinstated by an arbitrator. And promptly returned to her life of crime.
Yesterday, Pugh lost her cushy job. For the second time. Mona Miller, the arbitrator who overruled the city, should lose hers as well. Miller said Pugh seemed really remorseful, and she paid back the $30, so what’s the big deal? OK, that’s a slight paraphrase. But only slight. We’re still inclined to think Miller’s a more serious threat to the public than Pugh. How many other bad decisions will she offer up as an arbitrator?
We could plumb the depths of this story further. We could point out that Dyster and City Clerk Carol Antonucci could have assigned Pugh to a job where she would no longer be allowed to handle money. We could urge Antonucci to take down Pugh’s contact information from the city webpage. We could point to numerous other cases where local unions, instead of standing up for the little guy, stand up for the crooked one. But we won’t.
Instead, we’ll just let this story stand as a sad testament to the cliff that public-sector unions are driving us all over in New York State.