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Missouri Department of Corrections employee cites concerns and frustrations

David Kelly of Kennett, MO seems in limbo over his employment
David Kelly of Kennett, MO seems in limbo over his employmentDavid Kelly

Kennett, MO resident David Kelly has found himself in an unusual dilemma with his job and the state of Missouri. During an exclusive interview with the Examiner on March 7, Kelly says he seems to be in limbo with his employment since Feb. 7th and communications have broken down. He cannot seem to be get terminated from his position, even though he is in an appeal process and cannot take the switch in jobs he was offered.

What’s the story? Kelly says that he was hired by the State Department of Administration in 2007 to work as Maintenance Supervisor I at the Kennett, MO Community Supervision Center. He says that on Oct. 1, 2013 the state made the decision to change maintenance at this facility under the Department of Corrections instead of Probation and Parole. So far, so good, right?

Not so says Kelly. On Jan. 8, 2014 Kelly was told that his position was being eliminated and he would be transferred to the nearest prison, which would require a daily 160 mile commute. Kelly was advised he could appeal the decision and did. The reason the position was eliminated was that the work would be replaced by prisoners transported to the facility, and Kelly maintains that is more expensive than the local maintenance workers.

To add insult to injury, his appeal was denied. His last work day was Feb. 7 and he was to report to the new prison on Feb. 10. He did not. He has called in daily to tell them he is not going to report and on March 3 received a letter signed by Ian Wallace, Warden at the Southeast Correctional Center stating that he should report no later than March 17.

The letter also states he has to have a pre disciplinary hearing on March 17 and that he could be “accompanied by a representative (work site co-worker, union steward, or regional human resource officer), but NOT an attorney."

Kelly says he is frustrated. He has contacted State Senator Doug Libla asking for help and as of press time heard nothing. He says he is not going to report on March 17 because he has already explained that he cannot afford the 160 mile commute and he feels all of his requests for assistance have gone unanswered. “I sit in limbo,” he said, “They will not lay me off, they will not terminate me, but want me to resign or quit, or they want me to report for a job and get disciplined when I have explained I cannot take it. I need to get heard on this matter, but it seems to be impossible.”

Kelly said he is waiting for an official decision but it just seems that situation that has been on-going for a month cannot be resolved without the lay-off because he can’t transfer. He is looking to the Senator’s office to help with the dilemma, but again the situation seems to be drawn out.