It has been quite some time since I've written about the termination of John Plotkin. In fact, it has been just over a year since we've shared any new information regarding the Oregon insurers rendition of the Salem Witch Trials, where the vaporware backed canning occurred. People still ask me about Mr. Plotkin, and are concerned to know if he ever received any satisfaction over the alleged plot to remove him by subordinates and others.

The unfortunate answer is “not yet”, but the fight quietly rages on.

For those of you who are unaware, John Plotkin was the then new CEO of SAIF Corporation, the publicly owned non-profit workers' compensation insurer for Oregon. He had only been in position for 3 months when, on May 9, 2014, he was suddenly and unceremoniously dumped in what appeared to many as an orchestrated coup. The allegations against him would eventually be shown to be false and exaggerated. The reaction of many SAIF employees was overwhelming, with over 200 employees showing up to defend him at the hastily arranged meeting where the board “officially” voted to terminate him (Oregon Sunshine Laws would prohibit them from making that decision outside of a public meeting – go ahead and read the minutes of the termination meeting and see how well you think they did on that point). Thousands of comments supporting Plotkin inundated this blog in the weeks and months following the firing.

All of the people alleged to be involved in the scandal took their leave of the company within a year of the termination. Plotkin filed suit over the firing shortly after it occurred.

That suit ridiculously continues, with SAIF and their lawyers from the ironically named Oregon Department of Justice, stubbornly refusing to bring closure to the affair. Their reasons for continuing the struggle are unclear, but the perverse relationship between SAIF and its sister DOJ agency may be partly to blame. For the DOJ, SAIF is a billable client, and the hundreds of hours spent defending and managing the suit are being paid for by the insurer. In my humble opinion, this means that from a government funding perspective, there would be little or no reason to settle or close the case. SAIF is probably a cash cow for the DOJ, and Oregon employers can pay for the ongoing legal proceedings via their premiums for long as anyone at the two agencies prefers.

Regarding the case itself, there will be nothing new to report until it settles, and all of the related documents and depositions become part of the public record. I will certainly provide that information as soon as it happens. In the meantime, let us hope for both the Plotkin family and their many, many supporters, that this comes to a positive resolution soon.

And that, for the people who wanted to know, is my non-update update.


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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