Jury awards former IW county official $195,000

A Circuit Court jury awarded $195,000 on Monday to a former Isle of Wight County parks and recreation administrator who sued Assistant County Administrator Patrick Small for defamation and the county for breach of contract. Full Story
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Dude Dog - Williamsburg

Bumpass, VA

#1 Mar 24, 2009
I've been supressing knowledge that South Church Street at Smithfield Station will flood during a "notheaster."
Another IOW Resident

United States

#3 Mar 24, 2009
IOW Resident wrote:
Patrick Small is a toxic asset to Isle of Wight. He should be relieved of his position and allowed to infect some other state.
YOU GOT THAT RIGHT! How many of the County's top execs have left because of Patrick Small? The list continues to grow as his power hungry appetite is fed. How much of the $85K in bonuses the county paid to top execs went to him while the rest of the County staff gets no increase this year?
IOW Resident

New Hyde Park, NY

#4 Mar 24, 2009
I certainly do hope that the Board of Supervisors "cuts the cord" with Patrick and that the local paper places "A HUGE RED X" on a picture of his face when he is finally kicked to the curb like so many other outstanding employees were.
IOW Taxpayer

Richmond, VA

#5 Mar 24, 2009
I certainly hope that Patrick Small is put on the hook for the $195K. His arrogant, smug attitude towards the employees of IOWC is what created this mess and I would hope that taxpayers monies wouldn't be used to settle his discretionary and defaming comments. Board of Sups....time to take notice, you've lost good employees ever since Small stepped in...time to take a good long hard look at where the REAL source of the problem lies.
Concerned Citizen

Chesapeake, VA

#6 Mar 24, 2009
IOW Taxpayer wrote:
I certainly hope that Patrick Small is put on the hook for the $195K. His arrogant, smug attitude towards the employees of IOWC is what created this mess and I would hope that taxpayers monies wouldn't be used to settle his discretionary and defaming comments. Board of Sups....time to take notice, you've lost good employees ever since Small stepped in...time to take a good long hard look at where the REAL source of the problem lies.
Great comment! It's EXTREMELY CLEAR that Patrick Small has been the cause of these problems and he should have to answer to the board for his actions but since we need "to take a good long hard look at where the REAL source of the problem lies" let's not forget about another individual - DOUG CASKEY - the county administrator. He's Patrick's immediate supervisor and has allowed him to run wild. Why are we paying him a 6 figure salary when the guy can't even control his own employee??? Get a backbone Doug and do your job! You knew what Patrick was doing was wrong and did nothing but sit back with a sly looking smile on your face. Let's have the board address BOTH of these guys!
Concerned IOW Citizen

Colonial Beach, VA

#7 Mar 24, 2009
They have all been great comments. What a relief this must be for Alan Nogiec and his wife, Jane. I totally agree with "Concerned Citizen's" comments. The Board needs to get rid of both Patrick Small and Doug Caskey. There are too many things that happen in the County offices every day that Doug Caskey should take care of but does not because he has no backbone. He definitely always has a sly looking smile on his face but I wonder how he sleeps at night. That goes for some of the Board members as well.
Observer

Virginia Beach, VA

#8 Mar 25, 2009
It seems that this is not a discussion of the case or article but negative comments that do nothing but hurt people.

As one person said, "We all know South Church Street floods", then why is Mr. Small's comments defamation of character. It seems that someone must have known and why would they store 300 year old artifacts in the basement? From my understanding Mr. Small was just answering questions posed to him by the board and as a public servant his obligation is to answer honestly.

I have always believed that complaining does nothing but breed negativity. Negativity will not accomplish anything. No matter the outcome, the tax payers pay in the end. Maybe a few of you should give up your job and go work for the elected officials of Isle of Wight and have people judge you.
IOW Taxpayer

Richmond, VA

#9 Mar 25, 2009
You are correct Concerned Citizen, Caskey has artfully managed to stay under the radar and has basically allowed Small to run roughshod. Guess you could say Caskey loaded the gun...Small pulled the trigger.
OVERALL, I'm not completely worried about the counties affairs - in general - however, when you take a look at the LOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNG list of "former employees" who have been dumped, run out or just picked up and left...you have to wonder where the SOURCE of malcontent rests and it ALWAYS seems to be Patrick Small's name in the mix. I just don't understand how the county can turn a blind eye to this situation. By and large, county employees have a very low moral which can be directly attributed to the poor management skills of the powers that be.

I have had direct dealings with Doug in the past and in his defense, he helped me....quickly....and with positive results.

I just wonder if we have a case of the Tail wagging the Dog...
Another Observer

Chesapeake, VA

#10 Mar 25, 2009
Observer wrote:
It seems that this is not a discussion of the case or article but negative comments that do nothing but hurt people.
As one person said, "We all know South Church Street floods", then why is Mr. Small's comments defamation of character. It seems that someone must have known and why would they store 300 year old artifacts in the basement? From my understanding Mr. Small was just answering questions posed to him by the board and as a public servant his obligation is to answer honestly.

-you are the first, and only person that I'm aware of, that has ever used Patrick Small and the work "honest" in the same sentence. You said this was "from your understanding", you're understanding must have come from Patrick himself if you believe he's honest.

I have always believed that complaining does nothing but breed negativity. Negativity will not accomplish anything. No matter the outcome, the tax payers pay in the end. Maybe a few of you should give up your job and go work for the elected officials of Isle of Wight and have people judge you.
These comments aren't complaining or negativity. They're things that should have been said a long time ago, or as other posters have mentioned, Doug Caskey should have fixed a long time ago. Taxpayers have already been paying since Patrick has run all of the good employees out of town and the county incurs the expense of training all of these new people. Lastly, it wouldn't surprise me if some of these posted comments have been made by former IOW employees (there's certainly a large group of them thanks to Patrick). If the posters are outsiders, do not take "Observer's" advice and go work for the county. You'd have been job security if you worked for a company already in bankruptcy as along as Patrick's "wack a mole" management style is still in effect.
Former IWC employee

Suffolk, VA

#11 Mar 26, 2009
I can guarantee you that the majority of these comments are from former employees. Who else knows better than those that have been ridiculed, harassed, intimidated and disrespected by the powers that be at IOW. The taxpayers of this county are sick of the big money makers in their suits and ties that run this county with arrogant, pompous attitudes and so quickly forget the "little people" that do ALL the work for crappy salaries in return. These are the people that actually get things done in this County. There are been several big money makers in the news over the years that have blatantly not done their jobs and have been called on the carpet for it. But, miraculously they have been able to keep their jobs for the same salaries, some conveniently re-aligned to make it look like demotions were done. You can ask any employee there and they will tell you, it is all in who you know. If you play the game with these big wigs, you are fine. But, if you have any questions concerning ethics of actions, or GOD forbid expect somebody to actually EARN that 6 figure salary, you are quickly placed on the chopping block. This whole county is run this way. The taxpayers need to demand that the County as a whole be cleaned out starting at the top. And it isn't spreading negativity by speaking the truth. IT IS THE PLAIN AND SIMPLE ACTION OF HOLDING PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS. Especially those that live nice cushy lifestyles at the taxpayers expense.
Higher Standard

Greenville, SC

#12 Mar 26, 2009
If any other employee (especailly one who worked under "Mr. Higher Standard" -- Patrick) had been found guilty of this kind of action they would already been gone! The notice to terminate would have already been written and ready to go waiting on the verdit. Guess Mr. Small and the Board do have different set of "standards". And in this case they are the acceptance of trash values!I want to know WHO is going to pay these damages? Who is going to answer that $195,000 question? It had better not be the taxpayers.Why is he continuted to be allowed to "be toxic"? He must have some good dirt on his boss and the board to still be here.
board tell him goodbye

Greenville, SC

#13 Mar 26, 2009
Higher Standard wrote:
If any other employee (especailly one who worked under "Mr. Higher Standard" -- Patrick) had been found guilty of this kind of action they would already been gone! The notice to terminate would have already been written and ready to go waiting on the verdit. Guess Mr. Small and the Board do have different set of "standards". And in this case they are the acceptance of trash values!I want to know WHO is going to pay these damages? Who is going to answer that $195,000 question? It had better not be the taxpayers.Why is he continuted to be allowed to "be toxic"? He must have some good dirt on his boss and the board to still be here.
Poor employees at the courthouse - sounds like morale already was low and not escorting this man out right away has got to be making it worse, cause you are right, if any of the rest of them had this over their head Mr. Small would have pulled his trigger already.Good point about the dirt - ain't much else making sense here --- it is obvious that he needs to be gone - and great question about who will pay this bill? Is the guy really still at work? They should have removed him the next day -- Calling all Citizens of Isle of wight, e mail your board members with a request to terminate this bad apple. Say goodbye to him.
Concerned Human

Suffolk, VA

#14 Mar 26, 2009
This case has two deeply unsettling aspects. First, for any manager that must speak during public meetings it is very scary that your professional opinion (the one you are paid to have) could result in a personal lawsuit against you. There is no question that a Doctor's malpractice insurance would cover any lawsuit, and yes, you the patient foot the bill with the astronomical rate of insurance premiums. Why would this be different for another line of work?

The second aspect of this case that is unsettling is how litigious our society has become. It is shocking that someone would sue, and win, over this.
IOW Taxpayer

Greenville, SC

#15 Mar 26, 2009
IOW Taxpayer wrote:
I certainly hope that Patrick Small is put on the hook for the $195K. His arrogant, smug attitude towards the employees of IOWC is what created this mess and I would hope that taxpayers monies wouldn't be used to settle his discretionary and defaming comments. Board of Sups....time to take notice, you've lost good employees ever since Small stepped in...time to take a good long hard look at where the REAL source of the problem lies.
Of course the IOW citizens will pay this settlement with our taxes, not to mention attorney fees, as Mr. Small acted as an agent for the county and therefore the county is liable. This is a lot of money for our county. Hopefully this will go into Mr. Small's personnel file.
Jeff Sletten

Minneapolis, MN

#16 Mar 26, 2009
First a simple rule I feel everyone should follow when posting comments...put your on it. If you don't stand behind what you say, then don't say it. Patrick Small was asked a question regarding an employee and answered honestly in his professional opinion. 45K of the award is based on NEGATIVE memos in the employees file that were not removed and this man has people believing he was a "good" employee?! There is a difference between long term employee and a good employee...good employees don't need to negotiate having negative memos removed from their files when they retire.
I admit that my opinion is biased. My wife has had the great opportunity to work under Mr. Small for the past few years and her leadership skills and knowledge has grown tremendously. She knows that she will be held accountable for her actions. Patrick is trying to hold everyone to the same standards that he holds himself to and that resulted in the people who were taking advantage of their positions being held accountable. It looks like the concerned residents of IOW would rather let the county retain incompetent employees who allow mistakes (museum floods, poor fairground conditions, etc) then a strong leader who does not expect any more out of his employees than he does himself. Run him out of town if you must, there are other communities that would love to see someone come in and take out the trash.
Lifelong IOW Citizen

Suffolk, VA

#17 Mar 27, 2009
Jeff Sletten wrote:
First a simple rule I feel everyone should follow when posting comments...put your on it. If you don't stand behind what you say, then don't say it. Patrick Small was asked a question regarding an employee and answered honestly in his professional opinion. 45K of the award is based on NEGATIVE memos in the employees file that were not removed and this man has people believing he was a "good" employee?! There is a difference between long term employee and a good employee...good employees don't need to negotiate having negative memos removed from their files when they retire.
I admit that my opinion is biased. My wife has had the great opportunity to work under Mr. Small for the past few years and her leadership skills and knowledge has grown tremendously. She knows that she will be held accountable for her actions. Patrick is trying to hold everyone to the same standards that he holds himself to and that resulted in the people who were taking advantage of their positions being held accountable. It looks like the concerned residents of IOW would rather let the county retain incompetent employees who allow mistakes (museum floods, poor fairground conditions, etc) then a strong leader who does not expect any more out of his employees than he does himself. Run him out of town if you must, there are other communities that would love to see someone come in and take out the trash.
First of all, for someone to make such a derogatory statement against an employee's performance and most of all, character, you should know better what you are speaking about. For an employee to devote 28 years to a county with great dedication and respect, is an incredible accomplishment. And, let me tell you Mr. Minnesota, the people would be lined OUT THE DOOR to sing Alan's praises. That, you would not know, because you do not have roots in this community, nor have you volunteered thousands of hours alongside him trying to get things done. Neither does Patrick. It amazes me how these transplants can come in here with such pompous attitudes and always know more than those of us that have been born and raised here and have strong emotional ties to this county and its citizens. WE care about this county, we care about the people who are a part of this community. That is something that has been lost along the way. I guess ALL THOSE OTHER EMPLOYEES that have left because of hostile work environments, or either outright fired, are wrong too, huh, Mr. Minnesota? Let's do a little experiment. Call a meeting for all those people against this type of dictatorship and, then do a meeting in support of it. And, then you take down the numbers of those that attend. Then call us and give us the results. Taxpayers need to wake up. We deserve better. And, we should demand it. And, worst of all, Doug why are you making statements in the trial that seem to be in support of Alan by saying that you were made aware of all this but, yet you sat back and let this tyrant run him right out of his position. Shame on you Doug, don't your employees deserve better. Didn't Anne deserve better, didn't Jon deserve better, didn't everyone else deserve better?
Another Concerned Human

Chesapeake, VA

#18 Mar 27, 2009
Concerned Human wrote:
This case has two deeply unsettling aspects. First, for any manager that must speak during public meetings it is very scary that your professional opinion (the one you are paid to have) could result in a personal lawsuit against you. There is no question that a Doctor's malpractice insurance would cover any lawsuit, and yes, you the patient foot the bill with the astronomical rate of insurance premiums. Why would this be different for another line of work?
The second aspect of this case that is unsettling is how litigious our society has become. It is shocking that someone would sue, and win, over this.
I believe that you made your comment is being made without hearing all of the facts. Try reading the article in the Smithfield Times, or on smithfieldtimes.com , and see if that changes your mind on why someone would sue.
Peacemaker

Suffolk, VA

#19 Mar 27, 2009
Maybe we should get Dr. Phil to come in here and show us all how to play nice.
IOW Taxpayer

Greenville, SC

#20 Mar 27, 2009
Jeff Sletten wrote:
First a simple rule I feel everyone should follow when posting comments...put your on it. If you don't stand behind what you say, then don't say it. Patrick Small was asked a question regarding an employee and answered honestly in his professional opinion. 45K of the award is based on NEGATIVE memos in the employees file that were not removed and this man has people believing he was a "good" employee?! There is a difference between long term employee and a good employee...good employees don't need to negotiate having negative memos removed from their files when they retire.
I admit that my opinion is biased. My wife has had the great opportunity to work under Mr. Small for the past few years and her leadership skills and knowledge has grown tremendously. She knows that she will be held accountable for her actions. Patrick is trying to hold everyone to the same standards that he holds himself to and that resulted in the people who were taking advantage of their positions being held accountable. It looks like the concerned residents of IOW would rather let the county retain incompetent employees who allow mistakes (museum floods, poor fairground conditions, etc) then a strong leader who does not expect any more out of his employees than he does himself. Run him out of town if you must, there are other communities that would love to see someone come in and take out the trash.
However, I cannot believe the number of qualified and talented people that have left their positions due to the management styles of Mr. Caskey and Mr. Small. This has taken place over many years that perhaps you aren't looking at not just a few years. Review the history, something needs to be evaluated regarding the top leaders.
I know better

Annapolis, MD

#21 Mar 28, 2009
It's known that Patrick Small rules with an iron fist and he's beyond arrogant. My problem is that Doug Caskey is coming out of this smelling like roses. Patrick Small cannot do anything that his supervisor does not allow, so why isn't he under fire? Doug Caskey is like the rotten neighbor that lets his pitbull run the streets terrorizing the neighborhood.

Futhermore, Mr. Sletten, you just walked into a hornet's nest. I can't find one person that works for the County (besides maybe your wife) that can defend Patrick Small's actions. Mr. Small was in the wrong here, but if Mr. Caskey's allowing him to run wild, can you honestly blame him?

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