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Mayor Rogero's Letter to the News Sentinel 
In response to this article, which appeared in the News Sentinel on Thursday, Sept. 24, Mayor Rogero wrote the following letter to the editor (which you can also read on the News Sentinel website):

I was very disappointed by the News Sentinel's misleading and sensationalistic depiction of the hiring appeals process for our police and fire departments. By selectively emphasizing a few cases, the article and headline created a false impression of what is actually a decades-old component of our rigorous and demanding hiring process.

As both Police Chief David Rausch and Fire Chief Stan Sharp told the reporter, this rarely used appeals process has in fact led to many exemplary officers joining the ranks of their departments over the years.

The appeals panels were put in place in the 1980s as part of an agreement by the City with the U.S. Department of Justice to protect against discrimination in hiring. In the years since, anti-discrimination guidelines have broadened, and the panels now serve an important role in ensuring that we are complying with all federal employment regulations.

The data in the article provided no reason to believe that employees who are approved by the appeals panels are more likely to have performance issues than any other employees. To list the background details and names of those employees — most of whom have spotless service records — served no public purpose. It cast aspersion by implication on dedicated officers and firefighters whose only apparent offense was to step forward to serve their community.

There is the old saying that "No good deed goes unpunished." This article certainly illustrated that maxim for our uniformed employees who voluntarily put themselves in harm's way every day.

Madeline Rogero, mayor, Knoxville

Posted by On 25 September, 2015 at 1:01 PM