Report: General Dismissed, Had Tiff With Gov’s Office

The man who just weeks ago served as Acting Adjutant General of the Montana National Guard was dismissed from his position.  As Phil Drake with The Montana Watchdog reports, the General had a tiff with the Governor’s office prior to his dismissal.

(Note: for full disclosure, I am a member of the Montana National Guard, and therefore will refrain from commenting on this news story at this time.)

The Montana Watchdog has this, following an interview with former Acting Adjutant General Joel Cusker:

He (Cusker) said during his five weeks in that position, he rehired a person who had been laid off from the Department of Emergency Services because of a reorganization in force. She then filed a wrongful discharge lawsuit. He said he met with the governor’s counsel and they expressed concerns and strongly suggested she not be hired because of the lawsuit. He said he told them the person was a good performer and was not laid off because of performance issues.

“I made it quite simple,” Cusker said. “I am an officer and I have an oath to the Constitution and it is an individual’s right to file litigation, and we cannot not hire her because of the lawsuit.”

In a separate story, KXLH-TV had this background on a woman who was let go after a “reduction in force” by DES Administrator Ed Tinsley and mentioned filing a grievance.  However, it should be noted that the piece by Phil Drake with The Montana Watchdog did not specify the woman’s identity:

A single mother of two teens, Monique lost her husband 10 years ago, and has since been providing for their children alone.

She said, “I still have bills to pay and I still have kids to raise and I am doing this on my own, and I just need to know what I have to do to be able to survive in this world.”

 (*Note: this post has been updated.  First, it has been updated to make it clear that the woman mentioned in the KXLH piece is not necessarily the person referenced in the Watchdog piece.  It has also been updated to recognize the fact that she was let go after a “reduction in force” rather than being fired.)

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