Today, September 10, 2014, is a big day for SAIF employees angered by the termination of John Plotkin 4 months ago. The SAIF Board of Directors meets today in Salem, at the Parkway Building at 10AM. It is the first time they have done so since Plotkin was summarily terminated in what appears to have been essentially a pre-determined fate May 9th. For two of the members, Board Chair Cathy Travis and Vice Chair Robb VanCleave, this will be their “swan song”, as they are beyond their term limits and replacements have been named by the Governor. Three prospective new Board members, awaiting legislative confirmation, are supposed to be in attendance as well.

For employees, this is an opportunity to show up en mass at the public event and insist on being heard. For four months they have burned up the comments section of this blog expressing their outrage and disgust over the improper termination of a short term but popular CEO. Today is a chance to walk the walk, and show 1) the current Board that they screwed up royally, and should be called to task for their actions, and 2) the incoming Board that similar actions won’t be tolerated, and that employees expect the agency’s issues to be fixed. 

There is strength in numbers. There is persuasion from passion. And voices need to be heard if you are to ever see any significant change. Will SAIF employees be able to break out and do what needs to be done?

Time will tell. Leadership at SAIF has maintained that disgruntled employees are few and far between. I look forward to hearing about what happens, and to learn which side is right about the level of discontent at SAIF.

On a related note, although it is not yet confirmed, I have heard from two sources that the Oregon DOJ has rejected former SAIF CEO Brenda Rocklin’s request that the state pay for her legal defense in the lawsuits that are a result of Plotkin’s termination. Plotkin has alleged that Rocklin violated state law by meddling in the affairs of her former agency, and was instrumental in organizing his ouster. Rocklin claims that she was only “answering the call” (my words, not hers) and offering her assistance when the Board Chair and other execs reached out for her guidance. As such, as a “volunteer”, she had asked the state to pay for her private legal team in defense of the suit.

We are awaiting confirmation, but if it is indeed true that the DOJ rejected her request, I applaud them for a decision well made. 

Stand by for updates. As previously indicated, this is a story that will remain here for some time.


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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