C’dale should reconsider its decision on supervisor | PostIndependent.com
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C’dale should reconsider its decision on supervisor

Carbondale is now directly in the crosshairs of a controversy.A former employee recently put the town on notice that he will file a $1 million lawsuit, claiming he was wrongfully fired for reporting a poaching incident against his supervisor.Tom McClelland’s lawsuit notice is the latest troublesome chapter targeting Carbondale. Whether or not McClelland was wrongfully terminated is now in the hands of the legal system.The main controversy centers around Carbondale utility director Ed Fortner. He poached a deer from his back porch in November, 2005, and is accused of using a town vehicle and employee to discard the remains, and also using other utility workers in the incident.Fortner was cited for poaching by the Colorado Division of Wildlife. An independent agency found that Fortner’s actions were inappropriate, but the town determined the behavior was not grounds for dismissal.Breaking the law away from the job may not be a reason for termination, but when Fortner used city resources as part of the crime, the gray area suddenly gets a lot darker.The poaching incident and Fortner remaining on the job is disturbing, and now that a lawsuit has been filed, it gets even more uncomfortable.The town of Carbondale determined that Fortner was a dedicated and valuable employee who deserved another chance, but we disagree.Fortner lost wages when he was on unpaid leave during the town’s investigation, but it seems like there should have been more of a punishment. Fortner committed a crime, and then as a supervisor, he used his power, influence and position. The town should give serious thought to reconsidering its decision, or consider demoting Fortner out of his supervisor position.


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