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Home | From Bob's Cluttered Desk | SAIF Records Are Missing Number Two…..

SAIF Records Are Missing Number Two…..

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Documents that tell a tale of termination are slowly, glacially, dripping out of SAIF in response to various Public Records Requests, and they shed an interesting light on the back story involving the entire sordid tale recounted here over the last month. First and foremost, it appears many of the employees at SAIF were on target with their suspicions about who was involved, and when.

The files begin to form a very interesting story about the behind the scenes activities that resulted in the termination of SAIF CEO John Plotkin.

I am headed to Nashville today, where I will be the Keynote speaker at the 17th Annual Tennessee Workers' Compensation Educational Conference. Unfortunately that means I can't spend all the time I wanted to in commenting on the documents I am sharing with you today; but here goes.

The first document (available here) is an email dated April 16, 2014, sent by Plotkin to Board Chair Cathy Travis and copied to VP Chris Davie. There is nothing exciting in this email – basic recounting of certain activities that involve SAIF business and that of its Board, but the last paragraph is a curiosity for me.

In that paragraph Plotkin broaches the subject of finding replacements for both Travis and Vice Chair Van Cleave, since they have served beyond the Governors policy of “limiting board members to two terms”.  It is not, as you can read, a hostile approach by any means, simply a man stating what should be obvious to anyone in the system (I was not aware of this until this email surfaced). Plotkin even asked for input from Travis on potential Board replacements.

We don't know if he ever received that feedback, as she terminated him just 3 weeks later. Hmmmmm…..

The second document available for your perusal today demonstrates quite clearly that at least two SAIF VP's were actively involved in John's termination before he even knew there was a problem. Plotkin has testified that he was not aware of any issue until May 3rd, when he received a call from Cathy Travis asking that he resign, or be fired. The day before that call, May 2, 2014, VP of Operations and Human Resources Ryan Fleming and VP of Corporate Policy and External Affairs Chris Davie exchanged several emails on the topic. The first, (all available here) from Fleming to Davie, sent at 9:47AM, appears to be suggested guidance for the Executive Council  on what to tell employees about Plotkin's whereabouts over the next few days. This email appears to either have been redacted, or Fleming was having trouble typing complete sentences that day. While we do not know what is hidden from us, the last instruction is fairly clear to me.

SAIF employees were to be lied to; telling them Plotkin was out of the office “attending to some personal matters for a few days”.

The second email, sent by Fleming to Davie at 10:02AM and titled “Messages for Gilkey”, is a suggested message for John Gilkey, informing him that there is going to be a change in leadership at SAIF. Fleming indicates that “after discussion” with “board members”, “we want you to take the position as Interim CEO”. They also kindly included an incentive, advising Gilkey there "will be a salary change to this position". Davie responds with his suggested edits at 10:56AM. The edited letter states to Gilkey that “Ryan and Chris have been working with the board on the logistics of this change, and you should discuss this with them today or over the weekend, otherwise no members of EC have had any advance notice of this.”

Fleming responds at 11:18AM with a simple “Very good.”

At 12:01PM the same day, Davie sends a “Latest Communication Plan” to Fleming. It outlines recommended actions and responses based on two possible scenarios; 1) Plotkin goes willingly into that dark night, or 2) Plotkin needs to be pushed into that dark night.

Seems to me they should have considered a third scenario: Plotkin gets pushed into that dark night, the foundation quickly crumbles, employees get pissed, media gets involved, and a huge crapfest ensues, ensnaring all involved into a quagmire-like vortex of controversy.

I have a few questions at this point. Why did Fleming and Davie work directly with the board, rather than first notify Plotkin that some employees had concerns? This is a fair question, especially given the idiotic complaints involved. Secondly, why did the board not send these executive underlings back to Plotkin, and instruct them to follow process and chain of command? If Plotkin did not respond, they still had the board as an option.

Why were those two simple steps omitted?

And is it common for Corporate VP's to select Interim CEO's? And tell him what to say? Who is really running SAIF? The emails certainly make it sound like it ain't the board, and it's not the Interim CEO.

Furthermore, Fleming indicates conversations with board members took place. Did the board discuss this amongst themselves in private, non-public settings? I am not familiar with Oregon law, but their meeting minutes make an indication that this would be a problem. Here in Florida it would violate our “Sunshine laws”, and likely end up in criminal prosecution of board members who did so.

And what exactly did Chris Davie say to Brenda Rocklin in their 35 minute phone call at 12:17PM the very same day these emails were generated? (or when they spoke 4 times on the 6th, once on the 7th, again on the 8th, the 9th, two times on the 10th, well you get the picture…)

I personally think these are reasonable questions that deserve open responses from a transparent state organization.

And finally today, I present you with the grand corporate plan to manage this entire ordeal. Sent by Chris Davie to Interim CEO John Gilkey on May 12, 2014, it is a detailed recommendation on dealing with employees going forward. I will let you read it here, but will add just these few observations. This document is hysterical, given the path we now know this story is traveling.

It recounts how employees seemed to like the direction the company was headed under the man that just got canned, so the recommendation is that they emphasize how little will be changing on that front. Everything will be the same, except, er, um, for John Plotkin.

It kind of reminds me of a scene in an old “Police Squad Naked Gun” movie, where a fireworks factory explodes. With explosions and fireworks erupting in the background and people jumping from the burning building, Leslie Nielsen steps before a crowd of onlookers and yells, “There is nothing to see here! Everyone just continue on about their day!”

Plus the really good news for SAIF employees is Casual Summer may start EARLY!

Finally, my last two points about this particular document: First, I would draw your attention to the large CONFIDENTIAL watermark resting just below the “SAIF Leadership is transparent” bullet point. The irony on that is just delicious.

Second, this memo offers 3 distinct “Messages”, and numbers them 1, 3 and 3. I have no idea what happened to Number 2.

Oh wait, a minute. I think I do. It is everywhere. That is what happens when it hits the fan.

_________________________

For a list of Bob's other SAIF/Plotkin articles (as well as a couple old AASCIF articles that get picked up in the search), Click here.

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About "From Bob's Cluttered Desk"

Robert Wilson is President & CEO of WorkersCompensation.com, and "From Bob's Cluttered Desk" comes his (often incoherent) thoughts, ramblings, observations and rants - often on workers' comp or employment issues, but occasionally not.

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Subscribe to comments feed Comments (78 posted)

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A-SAIF-Leader 06/18/2014 13:02:35
I am a long time SAIF employee in a leadership position. I am disgusted and saddened by the behavior of SAIF's top leaders including the BOD, the DOJ and the Governor. What is wrong with you people? Do something about this mess!! Why won't do the right thing? There is clearly no honorable person at the top. Mr. Davie, Mr. Fleming and the entire BOD have no choice but to walk away. Submit your resignation and GET OUT! You have made a colossal mess of a GREAT company. You ought to be ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES!!! The employees at SAIF Corporation do not deserve this. We are the ones who will again have to prove to the residents of Oregon, the policy holders, injured workers and providers that we are not corrupt, that we are honorable, that we will do the right thing, and that we care. It is heartbreaking that again we will have to fight for and rebuild SAIF's reputation and that you folks are hiding behind your desks, refusing to do the honorable thing. It is almost sad to think that all of your long careers will end with such a dramatic disgusting story. Mr. Davie and Mr. Fleming do you really want to stay long enough to have the employees escort you out? Or, are you waiting to be taken out in handcuffs? Many of us are starting to wonder if there is a small group of EC folks, lead by Brenda, involved in behaviors that may not be legal. An intelligent person can not fall for this being the whole story. Mr. Plotkin was not removed because of a few statements. He was getting too close to something. Was it the Crown Plaza? Out of State Coverage questions? Rocklin/Davie relationship? HR inter-relationships? Are there kickbacks going to Travis and Van Cleave? Why is Mr. Balasubramani on the board when his interests are clearly in direct conflict with SAIF? The questions go on and on. What a mess!
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06/19/2014 01:55:13
A-SAIF-leader: Another long term employee here, I couldn't have expressed how I feel any better than this and I'm glad there are people in leadership who feel the same. I am most disgusted that the people of Oregon, our injured workers, our customers, and our providers have a reason to distrust us - again! You and I both know how much we "minions" care. As long term employees we've been caught up repeatedly in embarrassing press related to our CEOs and this one shouldn't have ever happened.

I would love to see John Plotkin reinstated but I'm not hopeful anyone in this situation will regain their sanity. I do feel we can move forward but there are things that must change. This is not just a handful of employees posting over and over and this is not going to go away.

BOD - The employees who do the work and love this company matter. Your decision was clearly premature, uninformed, and created another scandal and lawsuit. You have harmed our company, you are incompetent and have failed to do what you were appointed to do. At the very least, Travis and Van Cleave must step down.

Chris Davie and Ryan Fleming - You have put yourselves in a position where you are completely ineffective in your roles. Employees will never trust you again and you have harmed our company. You cannot "lead" us and must resign immediately.

John Gilkey - If Davie and Fleming won't resign, you must fire them. This will never be a workable situation. Their behavior has embarrassed us, it has hurt our brand, we cannot work with them anymore. Getting a 2nd HR department outside the company is not the answer.

Our company has been taken over by some lying egomaniacs and their incompetent puppets. Don't tell us to get back to work, we never stopped! You are the ones who have failed to do your jobs.
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06/20/2014 03:19:26
I am another long term employee in leadership and was physically sick to my stomach reading those emails. I couldn't agree more with everything that has been said here. There needs to be a complete independent investigation separate from SAIF, the BOD or DOJ and Chris and Ryan must step down. Any other EC members identified in this fiasco should also step down. Unfortunately because our other EC members have not or feel they can not step up to demand action, they too should be removed. In order to begin healing and correct the corruption and damage to this organization there needs a complete change in leadership including the BOD immediately. I will be writing my representative and state Senator since we have no where to turn at SAIF and no one is listening or taking action. Thank you Bob for shedding light on sad and most unfortunate situation. I would hate to think of leaving SAIF because I love the work I do but at some point if nothing is done I'm also not sure how long I can continue to work for a company with no ethical boundaries for it's leaders and stress of working in the current environment. John Plotkin, I'm sad for you and your family and I hope you are compensated for everything including pain and suffering but when all is said and done you may actually be the lucky one! You have the support of many.
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Sick at SAIF 06/19/2014 00:43:36
I am actually physically sick to my stomach, sick at heart, sick and tired of the lies and underhanded behavior by VPs and BOD and of course BR and her sidekick Colleen. Antidote: fire BOD, Davie, Fleming, Gilkey, McHugh and Woods. It wouldn't hurt to get rid of all the state agency cronies in HR either. Then, maybe that division will start to function like it should.

Interesting, yet again sickening, is reading about how executives at SAIF view the peons that do the work that keeps this company going. Throw them a bone, tell them what they want to hear, and they'll forget all about the illegal treachery that has gone on for years at SAIF. I'll bet if records of past EC communications were requested, we'd learn even more about how they have "managed" us through the years. I have to say it's becoming harder and harder to concentrate on my job knowing what you think of us.

Davie, Fleming, Gilkey, McHugh, Woods, Sealock, and ugh Rocklin, you are like the idiots in the storm cellar that come out after a storm has passed, view all the wreckage and devastation left behind and say, "Ain't it great folks, the wind stopped blowin." Your actions have destroyed the morale of SAIF's work force. Even those who stated you weren't capable of such despicable behavior are now stunned and silent. I'm sure more facts will be revealed showcasing your lack of integrity and egotistical behavior.

They say what goes around comes around. Get ready evil ones, another tornado is coming, and it has your names on it. To us ignorant peons at SAIF, it'll be a breath of fresh air.

Stand by John Plotkin
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06/18/2014 20:49:03
Brilliant!!! Excellent questions, the answers to which I hope are forthcoming, through one means or another.
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06/18/2014 13:44:31
This makes me so upset. I hope Ryan and Chris stay on vacation permanently.
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Wacky Wednesday 06/18/2014 13:45:54
In addition to the frequent phone calls between Davie and Rocklin, Rocklin and Sealock were spotted in the parking lot speaking to Davie on Wednesday, May 7th, just prior to the aborted board meeting.

I'd love to find some documents detailing why the Wednesday board meeting was abandoned.
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saif employee 06/18/2014 23:54:03
Way before that on a Friday afternoon around 4pm, "after" Rocklin had exited I saw Davies, Rocklin and a short woman with dark hair who I wasn't familiar with were having a conversation in the parking lot behind the Parkway building. ????? Wonder what that conversation was.
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Angry SAIF employee 06/18/2014 14:10:19
Their damage control plan obvioulsy hasn't been working. SAIF employees are not stupid. We knew when they announced the early summer casual days that it was an attempt to placate us. How right we were. It is unbelievable to me that Ryan Fleming and Chris Davie are still employed at SAIF. John Gilkey is completely ineffective and in over his head. There is no such thing as transparency when it comes to management at SAIF. They actually have been having "employee focus groups" to discuss this situation - the VP's have been inviting groups of people to meet with them, ostensibly to help people understand and feel better about the situation, but it really turns out that they were just information gathering for the crooks.

Governor Kitzhaber, when are you going to wake up and do something? John Gilkey - how about you grow a pair and fire Fleming and Davie (just for starters, I'm quite sure there are more that need to go).
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SAIF-where employees aren't... 06/18/2014 14:23:43
Bob: As a current SAIF employee who fortunately works outside the Kremlin, I appreciate the information provided here. It is an embarrassment to see the sausage being made, and the lack of transparency exhibited by our "leaders".

As this saga has unraveled, I have wondered why the media has completely ignored this news until the past week in the Oregonian. Even that article bordered on the superficial...the fact that the lead has been buried for the past month in mainstream media has put my radar on "skeptical".

I am unaware of the past CEO incidents-again as a field employee am not privy to those experiences. The question going forward (which SAIF needs to focus on) is how to create a win/win result.

I can't imagine the current EC/CEO continuing intact...the trust in the leaders has left the room. Could JP be brought back, and would he consider it after this disaster?

From day one, I predicted this was a palace coup (sadly as a joke). The joke isn't as funny now.
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sylvester 06/18/2014 14:30:03
OMG I am angry! Even though we knew this was what happened to see it in print and the condescending approach to the employees at SAIF OMG! They hired us for our intelligence and our ability to think on our feet and now they, EC, treat us as idiots.

And then to have the further thought that nobody would notice or consider the actions illegal, immoral and totally lack integrity.

We are still waiting for the main stream media to act on the information and the lack of information being sent out, we are still waiting for the Oregon and the 40,000 employers to call for an investigation.

We are not going to go away, we will stick this out and learn the truth. Since I see Red I will wear Red.
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Kristin Hinchman 06/18/2014 15:03:56
"You can trust that we will do the right thing." Is Mr. Gilkey sure about that?
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SammyQ 06/18/2014 15:11:08
It looks like, to quote Cypress Hill, Chris Davies and Ryan Flemming went," Insane in the membrane.."

I am even more disgusted they think employees are like little children, give em' some candy ( early summer casual) dangle the chocolate bar ( possible jean pilot) and play along ( CEO is back to work!) and we will all happily skip along like nothing happened. Idiots. Seriously? And we have ONE newspaper article.. Hello Jeff Manning??? Are you there? Its SAIF employees calling, and Bob appears to have found some possibly illegal actions... Are you there Jeff? Hellllllllllooooooooooo?
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06/18/2014 19:21:02
Jeff is on vacation this week. He will continue to follow up on this story.
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Angry SAIF employee 06/18/2014 15:42:48
On second thought, what John Gilkey needs to do, as the interim CEO, is fire Fleming and Davie, reappoint John Plotkin, and resign/retire. NOW. longer this goes on, the worse all of EC and the Board looks, and the worse it makes the rest of the company look. You may have gotten away with this type of behavior in the past (and we are quite sure you have), but you aren't going to get away with it this time.
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doglover16 06/18/2014 15:58:18
Like many others who have posted, I am a long term SAIF employee. Up until now I have been following all of this with my own suspicions but after reading the actual e-mails there is no doubt in my mind of wrong doing. I am disgusted by the plotting and conspiracy and even worse, INSULTED that Davie, Fleming, and the BOD think that SAIF employees are stupid enough to have the wool pulled over their eyes and go on with business as usual. I truly believe that 99% of SAIF employees are committed and dedicated to the work we do and were it not for this work and all of the real people that depend on me I would be calling in "sick" as I do feel sickened by the actions of our "leaders"!
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Rex Reed 06/18/2014 16:24:55
These emails between Davie, Fleming, and contact with Rocklin confirm it. SAIF EC meets the definition of a self licking ice cream cone. In political jargon, a self-licking ice cream cone is a self-perpetuating system that has no purpose other than to sustain itself.

(Of course the work of managing claims will go on. The operations folks are a mature and hardworking group of people. They know their business and their customers. And, there really has never been any substantive overlap in day to day ops and these people).

I am of the opinion after reading these emails that the EC's behavior rises to the level of administrative bad faith. Bad faith (Latin: mala fides) is double mindedness or double heartedness in duplicity, fraud, or deception. It may involve intentional deceit of others, or self-deception.

The expression “bad faith” is associated with “double heartedness”, which is also translated as “double mindedness”. A bad faith belief may be formed through self-deception, being double minded, or "of two minds", which is associated with faith, belief, attitude, and loyalty. In the 1913 Webster’s Dictionary, bad faith was equated with being double hearted, "of two hearts", or “a sustained form of deception which consists in entertaining or pretending to entertain one set of feelings, and acting as if influenced by another”. The concept is similar to perfidy, or being "without faith", in which deception is achieved when one side in a conflict promises to act in good faith (e.g. by raising a flag of surrender) with the intention of breaking that promise once the enemy has exposed himself. After Jean-Paul Sartre’s analysis of the concepts of self deception and bad faith, bad faith has been examined in specialized fields as it pertains to self deception as two semi-independently acting minds within one mind, with one deceiving the other.

Some examples of bad faith include: a company representative who negotiates with union workers while having no intent of compromising; a prosecutor who argues a legal position that he knows to be false; an insurer who uses language and reasoning which are deliberately misleading in order to deny a claim.

You can take it from here. The damage to SAIF by their behavior will take a long long time to overcome. Big step backwards. And for what?
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I STAND BY JOHN PLOTKIN!!!

Just sent a copy of this article and the link to the rest of Bob's stories to Kitzhaber? How long will he remain silent on the situation and hope that it goes away? Does anyone have contacts at the Wall Street Journal? This may be just the type of story they want to run. Then we'll have national attention beyond the WC arena. (No offense Bob, I just LOVE you; and you can take that to the bank!)

I plan on wearing something red every day be it clothing, jewelry, pin, ribbon, etc. SAIF Corporation, you might want to consider postponing the 100-year celebration until real leadership is in place again.

Mr. Plotkin, thank you, thank you, thank you for having the courage to see this through. Kim, thank you for keeping us informed from your perspective. It has meant the world to SAIF employees. I hope you can hear the cheering from the rank and file from all over the state.

Signed, SAIF Employee Determined to do the Right Thing and Stay the Course
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06/19/2014 13:20:17
Send something to Bill Post and Lars Larson, two local radio guys. I'm sure they'll be interested.

http://larslarson.com/contact/

Bill@BillPost.com
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Call Lars Larson 06/22/2014 03:50:11
Lars Larson has already talked about the firing of John Plotkin. You can listen to the podcast at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-lars-larson-podcast/id783763928?mt=2. He discussed Plotkin during the 6/17/14 Lars Larson Northwest show. After he talks about Plotkin, he talks about other topics, and then callers bring the Plotkin topic back up. So, you have to listen to the entire show to hear it all. You can call Lars anytime noon-3pm and let him know you want to discuss the "canning" of John Plotkin, he is all over the topic.

JP - Lars said he is hoping you will call in. While that likely is not possible, I just wanted to be sure you knew.

Lars Larson show is on 101.1 KXL from noon-3pm.
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06/18/2014 20:29:31
...could send an email to Rush Limbaugh, he loves this kind of stuff.
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DIGUSTING 06/18/2014 16:56:50
I cannot believe Davie is still allowed to be the spokesperson for SAIF and Fleming VP of HR. What is wrong with DOJ, Gilkey and BOD? They have both violated numerous SAIF policies and protocols. They are malevolent, back stabbing liars and need to be removed immediately!
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06/18/2014 17:36:03
Yes!!! I believe you are on the right track. He was going to expose the many many issues going on and make big changes that the BOD and Fleming/Davie did not like.
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SadinClaims 06/18/2014 17:36:52
I think one of the amusing things about this is they have to remind us to work. We are working, we don't need to be told what to do. We work, everyday for our workers, employers and for Oregon. We pay the bills, manage the claims, answer the calls and respond to emails. We work hard. We are strong, we support one another. To see our head honchos treat a CEO like this is so sickening.

I see one claim director in particular able to hug people, stroke hair, stroke peoples backs, ( people who do not like this and don't like her) this is ok. Its ok to physically touch people when they don't want to be, in a management role, but to ask some to speak actuary is not ok? Its ok for our supervisors to slap numbers down at us say, " meet this number" but offer no mentoring, no support and no guidance. No wonder. If the supervisors aren't being taught to manage people is to Inspire.Build people. Push you to your best and support and mentor you, clearly the EC doesn't appreciate this. We are going to lose good people, long term people. Good Adjusters if this does not stop.

Listen to your employees. Look at them, support them, teach them and motivate them. Its not a numbers game. Its about people. People matter, injured workers matter and Oregon matters.
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thisjustin 06/18/2014 18:03:38
this was posted today.. You think we trust this? Uh Nope!

"Confidential reporting process available
Posted June 18, 2014 -- As John Gilkey mentioned in a May 27 email, employees will soon have access to a confidential process for reporting concerns about SAIF’s work environment to a neutral third party.

The Department of Justice has engaged two outside employment attorneys—Paula Barran and Amy Angel—to serve as Special Assistant Attorneys General and investigate employee concerns and complaints.

Want to know more? "

Watch the video

Read the Q&A

This process will take place between June 23 and July 11. If you have questions that aren’t addressed in the video or Q&A, feel free to contact Paula at 503.276.2143 or pbarran@barran.com or Amy at 503.276.2195 or aangel@barran.com.

During and after this process, employees may continue to raise concerns via established channels, including their direct supervisors, the regular HR process, and Direct Talk."



ted today... you think we will trust DOJ now?? Uh.. Nope.
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06/19/2014 04:03:15
As special assistant attorney generals, they represent the EMPLOYER (EC, BOD). Everything you say to them will be protected from the public via attorney-client privilege. That is why the are here, to keep your complaints away from public records requests, and put them in the hands of Davie, Fleming, Travis, Rocklin, et al.

DO NOT TALK TO THEM - DO NOT TRUST THEM
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Rex Reed 06/18/2014 23:47:37
Uh....DOJ lawyers are joined at the hip with Rocklin and company. I would NEVER contact them with anything of substance. There is no environment of trust...none. Rocklin's ties at DOJ go far and wide. Outside counsel should be brought in for people to lodge complaints with...not DOJ. Waste of time and money and will only bring you grief. Be smart. These people are smarmy.
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Not on our side 06/18/2014 22:57:30
These two are employment law attorneys at Barran Lieberman LLP, but they are known for representing employers, not employees. These are lawyers are here to protect EC, BOD, not us.
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Angry at SAIF 06/19/2014 02:16:42
Not only are these two not on the SAIF employee's side, if you watch the video that is available on our intranet, they specifically state that they represent the EMPLOYER. They make it very clear who they work for - the EMPLOYER. Meaning SAIF.

If you have complaints (of harassment or other) against Fleming or Davie, I strongly suggest that you hire yourself an attorney first. DOJ represents SAIF, and does what upper management wants them to do. They will not protect you, and neither will this "confidential" reporting process - and oh by the way did you notice that they will only be available June 23 to July 11?
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ploy 06/18/2014 22:24:57
Sounds like an information gathering ploy to me. I wouldn't trust the DOJ as far as I could throw them.
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DOJ Really? 06/18/2014 20:59:23
Do not trust anything DOJ has to offer. They rubber stamped everything Davie and Fleming did. DOJ never advised the BOD to investigate or follow HR protocols for the accusations against John Plotkin. Fleming also has some close ties with DOJ so most likely all "confidential" information will be fed back to him. Love the reference to "regular HR process" what's that? John Plotkin did not see any "regular HR process"!!
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MANY SICK EMPLOYEES 06/18/2014 18:24:00
Bob, thank you for your passion around this wrongful termination. These revealing e-mails confirm many rumors that are circulating around the company and this includes branch offices such as Portland.
Employees are actually getting ill over learning how corrupt and unethical SAIF Leadership is.
The candy coating some VP’s are giving to various work groups is that they know nothing because it’s an employment issue and this too will pass!
With all the facts leading to a Fleming- Davie-Rocklin-Board, “13 grade set him up” type mentality and Gilkey being the scapegoat to lead the company where do the other 8 VP’s stand? Do they think employees are stupid enough to believe the other 8 VP’s knew nothing? Do these 8 VP’s have zero say with the Board? Employees would like to know if any of the VP’s came to John’s protection and tried to stop this wrongful termination.
Rumor has it only two VP’s came to John’s defense. Bob, I think you should find out their names and put it in print so we can give them a Medal of Honor. The rest should be fired along with some Board members.
I’m trying to picture these 11 VP’s sitting in their weekly EC meeting with John Plotkin and none of them sense anything was a-muck. It’s hard to believe not one of them saw another VP rolling their eyes and being disrespectful. What’s coming to light is that the entire EC Board lived in fear from the BR days and they are a pathetic dysfunctional group.
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Kim Plotkin 06/19/2014 00:38:26
Please do not throw the baby out with the bath water. John had several VP's that supported and defended him. They did not include Davie, Fleming or McHugh!
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Jeni Shaw 07/03/2014 03:47:29
I must respectfully comment here. My involvement with SAIF is as a business member with insurance. I, and I'm sure others, are really watching how this situation is unfolding. I've only recently been concerned due to the newspaper articles and wanted to learn more.

There are so many comments here that are disturbing to me. Professionalism is at question. It appears several employees are providing more gossip, rumors, innuendos, and name calling that is distracting from what the situation is about. How are you all going to fix this? Do you need a leader to do that? Who is stepping up today to bring calm to the situation? What are you doing to bring calm? I'm seeing everything in these blogs and it's embarrassing for you all. I understand people are upset but contributing in the same manner employees are saying is unjust doesn't feel appropriate to me. To see the wife of the CEO commenting in this manner makes me feel it's all gone too far. What if SAIF apologizes and Mr. Plotkin comes back? I'm guessing those you've called out here have wives, husbands, children - should they come on these blogs and do the same? Yes, families are involved - but not in the decisions of the business. I'm scratching my head here thinking you've all let yourself get out of control.
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Bob Wilson 07/03/2014 11:14:50
Jeni, I don't often comment on my own articles, but will do so here. You are correct, the anger is palpable and shows in these comments (You should see some of the ones we didn't approve for publication). I also agree that some of the name calling is inappropriate. However, I have been very surprised at the accuracy of the information from many, as very early allegations made here have been proven true with the release of records. No matter what happens, whoever ends up picking up the pieces, a plan for healing will need to be priority number one.

But please do not underestimate the cause for these peoples frustration. There is currently a leadership vacuum at SAIF due to the actions of a few, and the rest, who really just are asking for fairness in their workplace, want to see that occur and go back to doing what they do best.

As for the "wife of the CEO commenting", you have not seen that. You've seen the wife of the former CEO, a man who, with false accusations, was publicly cast as a foul mouthed lout and put to the street as a result. I completely understand where she is coming from. Perhaps it is because I see some of that in my own wife. As delightful a person as I am, people occasionally say some disparaging things about me. It might be good natured ribbing from friends about my weight, or something a bit harsher from this blog. Those things generally roll off my back, but my wife can take true offense.

Give these guys some slack. They all just need a place to vent a little.
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MANY SICK EMPLOYEES 06/21/2014 23:20:18
Kim, We all hope you're right about many of the VP's supporting JP but so far it does not appear that way to employees. It might bring back some trust if those supportive VP's or any Manager/ Directors sign their names on the petition to reinstate John.
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sylvester 06/20/2014 17:11:45
I would like to think that not all of the EC participated in this disgrace, but I see many EC walking around and telling us "we do not yet know the facts and should trust the BOD" Then they will smile and joke as if nothing is wrong.

Our reputation we took nearly two decades to repair has been taken away and thrown in the trash. If we have EC who defended Mr. Plotkin and just deplore this travesty where are they now?

"On Vacation" like Chris Davie?
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In the lions den 06/18/2014 20:15:53
I sit here wishin' and hopin' and thinkin' and prayin' and plannin' and dreamin' of the day when I am no longer sickened by the idea of coming in to work every morning. I can't believe that I've stayed quiet for so long about the injustice I've witnessed. I am aware of many female employees who have been victimized again and again by the dirty, old-man-perv Davie. He has no self-control when it comes to making inappropriate comments to female employees. I've recently found out that after the Plotkin canning, two employees finally came forward with their stories of horrific sexual harassment. Think less "salty" language, and more like deliberate come-ons and innuendos. It has now been over a month! since those employees came forward, and even though Davie's been "on vacation" for a large chunk of the time, he is still employed at SAIF, communicating with employees via email, giving them direction, etc. I am APPALLED that SAIF's HR department hasn't put him on mandatory leave without pay pending the investigation of these serious sexual harassment allegations! Or better yet, resolved this matter in a swift-like manner, as SAIF's harassment policy promises. It only took three days to get rid of Mr. Plotkin, including cutting off his access to the SAIF network the weekend he was told to resign. But Davie, on the other hand, is being treated with gloves. While HR conducts a thorough, month-long investigation, he gets to take a vacation and continues to conduct SAIF's business. Do you know how hard it is for employees to come forward against their superiors??? Do you know what this does to morale when you victimize the victim AGAIN by your lack of action?? John Gilkey where are you on this issue? Why aren't you listening to the employees of SAIF (or even your own gut) and cleaning house? Do you still feel like you owe it to Davie and Fleming for getting you the job that you weren't selected for in the first place? I beg you to cut your strings and start LEADING. Nobody respects a puppet.
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06/18/2014 21:28:29
EMPLOYEES AT SAIF...do not trust the "outside" DOJ appointed attorneys...to serve as Special Assistant Attorneys General and investigate employee concerns and complaints. ARE YOU KIDDING!!

WHAT IF we were “allowed” to form our own panel w/representatives from each department, ie: claims, RTW, Safety, policy holder, underwriting, IS, etc. These should be front line employees and NO managers. SAIF EC and John G would allow this group to meet and discuss what we think we need in terms of help (or just a place where employees can “safely” vent). (If employees do not want to voice their concerns with this employee advocacy group, they will not be ostracized for preferring to use the Special Assistant Attorneys from the DOJ.)
Consider this group a type of "Focus Group". Topics discussed in the meetings will be private and no minutes will be taken (unless the group or individual agrees the information needs to be taken forward). We might also consider allowing an outside counselor type person in to the group to help us with all the anger and betrayal we all collectively feel.
I welcome all your comments positive or negative….as we all know, SAIF employees have NEVER been able to meet as a group to discuss ANYTHING without a manager/supervisor/director present! I have even overheard managers say, employees are not allowed to have any type of “work” meeting without a manager present.
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Alert to All SAIF Employees 06/18/2014 23:02:57
Be very careful if you choose to talk to the attorneys from the law firm of Barran Liebman, per the invitation you just received by email from management. This is the same law firm DOJ retained to look into allegations made by former SVP Mike Mueller concerning inappropriate behavior and actions of then CEO, Brenda Rocklin. The information Mr. Mueller provided was not acted upon by the law firm, DOJ or the board. And, as you know, Mr. Mueller was later rewarded for reporting wrongdoing by being asked to resign, much like John Plotkin. It is likely that anything you tell attorneys from this firm will go directly to SAIF senior management. There is no guarantee of anonymity, either. It will continue to be difficult for SAIF employees to report wrongdoing, let alone obtain justice, until the entire reporting system is changed in the SAIF human resources department and through the Department of Justice.
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sylvester 06/20/2014 16:58:45
Maybe it is time we talk with the District Attorneys Office?
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James T. Stewart 06/18/2014 23:50:02
Bob,

I am more than a little "Bummed"! While I live in California, I was born in Klamath Falls, Ore. and SAIF's recent actions are starting to make North Dakota look a little better, which is sad for Oregon!

When I go back to Klamath Falls and Grant's Pass people tend to make fun of the California tourists. Hell, I grew up in Arcata only 100 miles or so south of Oregon and recall a "SoCal hunter with patent leather boots who shot a Roosevelt Elk, which dressed out at around 900 lbs, and took it proudly to the nearest ranger station to have his tags for a black tail deer (60-80 lbs perhaps) validated!

The story made the front page of the newspaper!

I hate to say it, but management at SAIF is doing a poor job by imitating North Dakota! They'll probably start jailing people soon for what they're thinking! Actually, if they're smart they'll think about getting the "bleep" out of Dodge!

It's surprising those "above them" on the food chain haven't caught a whiff of what has been stirred up below!
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06/18/2014 23:58:24
Paula Barran and Amy Angel are employment attorneys specializing in representing and defending employers AGAINST claims of employees. Your boss sexually harasses you? Barran and Angel will be the ones cross-examining you before a jury, making you appear to be a slut and your boss the innocent victim. Get fired for blowing the whistle on employer fraud? Yep, you guessed it. Barran and Angel to the rescue, pulling out all the stops in an effort to discredit you and destroy your reputation. They have expertise no one at DOJ has, and DOJ will now tap it to protect Team Rocklin and defend their conduct. Note the distinction between protecting and defending SAIF versus Team Rocklin. SAIF's best interests will only be served by swift, severe action against the members of Team Rocklin. But we all know where DOJ stands--right under Brenda's boot.

It is crucial to note that the DOJ designated both private sector attorneys "Special Assistant AGs." If their role is contemplated to be merely one of facilitating employee concerns and assisting HR in addressing them, there would be no need whatsoever for such a designation. However, the designation makes them part of the defense team, with all the concomitant privileges and protections for their work product and records, keeping everything safely out of reach from Mr. Plotkin's legal team and the meddling media.

What do you think Barran and Angel will do on the EC's and BOD's behalf? The DOJ did not retain them to spread warm fuzzies to the rank and file or pave the way for John Plotkin's return. They were retained to gather information that will: aid the DOJ in further discrediting and destroying Mr. Plotkin; allow Rocklin, Davie, Travis, et al. to skate; and solidify and further entrench the incompetent, dysfunctional and thoroughly discredited members of the EC and BOD responsible for this disaster. Anything less would be tantamount to admitting fault. Regardless of cost, we must never do that, right, DOJ?

If you cooperate with Barran and Angel you are aiding and abetting those responsible for the biggest and potentially most damaging scandal to hit our company in any of our careers, perhaps ever. If DOJ wants to know what employees think of their clients, they can read the comments here and on oregonlive.com. There's no need to send in their spies.
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06/19/2014 01:33:00
Do NOT trust the attorneys that are supposedly here to step in and help the employees!!! After I watched the video and heard how they said EC cares for us and wants us to feel at ease, I laughed my head off. How stupid do they think we are????
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NWagent 06/19/2014 01:37:24
SAIF employees: what about the extra incentive for commissions that SAIF has recently put out (today?) They will pay extra commission to extend 10-1 policies. Is it because SAIF wants this to blow over before Policyholders have to renew? Is there no dividend? YOu have to think it's related to this hoopla.
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06/19/2014 04:36:00
Not to be rude, but this has nothing to do with what's going on right now.... It's a work load issue & started before this travesty even started. Nothing shady there
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06/19/2014 21:13:47
Yes I agree
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Plotkin's Employee Support 06/19/2014 04:23:00
Please sign this petition to bring John Plotkin back to SAIF. You can select to not have your name publicly identified; but please, remember to use your real name and information.

Without it, your signature will not count. Several people have already signed with fake names that have been deleted. I understand the need to protect yourself, but without real names, it just doesn't count. There is strength in numbers. I stand with Plotkin.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/595/926/247/bring-john-plotkin-back-to-saif-corporation/
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Kim 06/19/2014 01:43:34
This smacks of the scandal 10 years ago - poor ethics, power, greed. Those that were part of that and survived the Kulongoski house cleaning are pulling strings in this scandal. The sad part for those who continue to do the good work of Saif and believe in the core mission of the company like I did when I worked there - that place is littered with individuals with no moral compass who will rise to fill vacancies created by this mess. I'm just a nobody who happens to have a ridiculously developed sense of right and wrong along and a big mouth who saw people in leadership roles do bad things and I narked. Those bad things lead to more bad things all the way up the chain - ethics, power, money. I paid the price for my big mouth. My experiences are small time but speak to a culture problem among a certain people there. I have never again worked with such a smart, conscientious, talented group of people than the claims people at Saif. It's a shame to give them casual summer and think that they will be placated. Give them back their John Plotkin and send the losers packing.
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Dig 06/22/2014 07:47:37
What scandals could be found if a real investigation were conducted? What has been buried over the last ten years, or more? What was about to be uncovered? For instance - Was insurance fraud committed by an insurance company? SAIF and the flood damage $$

Any connection?
- Prior to SAIF, Jen Coney was the State Risk Manager working with Sealock on flood recovery - getting dollars from the insurance companies to replace "damaged items"

- Sealock retired but was hired back by Rocklin a week later to handle everything flood related and work directly with the insurance companies. Coney was hired by SAIF shortly after.

- During this same time Sealock was amid reelection of her partner Supreme Court Justice, Virginia Linder

Give SAIF back John Plotkin. The employees need someone who believes in them and SAIF's mission. This company and Oregon need a true leader.
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