Hall of Fame nominee – Merilee Fielding

Posted on December 1, 2010

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Merilee Fielding was working in AOC’s Human Resources division when she came across an inconsistency. It appeared that she discovered that one of their AOC HR temps had embezzled more than a hundred grand and she would report it to Ernesto Fuentes.

Ernesto Fuentes told Merilee Fielding that the information about the embezzlement should not leave the HR division and to keep the matter quiet. A little alarm went off in Merilee Fieldings head saying this wasn’t right. So what did Merilee Fielding do? She made an appointment with Bill Vickery and Ron Overholt to discuss the matter and kept the appointment. She disclosed to Bill and Ron the details of the embezzlement in the HR division. After the meeting, she would walk back to her office where Mr. Ernesto Fuentes would be waiting for her right outside her office door and fired her on the spot for divulging the embezzlement outside of the HR division.

After that event, things get a little murky. I’m informed (though I cannot verify)* that Merilee filed a wrongful termination suit and that the whole matter was settled under a non-disclosure agreement. Bill Vickery would appear in front of the Assembly committee on Accountability and Administrative Review in October of 2009 and lie through his teeth, indicating that the DA refused to prosecute he embezzlement.

Well, ya the DA would refuse to prosecute because no crime report had been submitted to the DA! One has to report the crime before anyone can prosecute it. Maybe those auditors from the department of finance can actually get a crime report because no one else can seem to get their hands on this elusive crime report.

This was the start of the rocky road the AOC enjoys today.

*Edited to add – independent verification was achieved in the form of Mr. Ernesto Fuentes own testimony in his deposition of March 9, 2010. Negley v. AOC. I’m going to be posting these deps up on the web as well as they make for some interesting reading if you’re an AOC employee.