Final arguments heard in former SHPO’s case

Former state historic preservation officer Lynda Aguon was fired in June by Department of Parks and Recreation Director Richard Ibanez.
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Final arguments were heard before the Civil Service Commission this morning over former state historic preservation officer Lynda Aguon’s bid to get her job back.

Aguon was fired in June by Department of Parks and Recreation Director Richard Ibanez.

He claimed Aguon was insubordinate. Aguon has said she believes she was fired because of her opposition to the military buildup.

In his final notice of adverse action issued to former SHPO Lynda Aguon on June 18, Parks and Rec director Richard Ybanez wrote: “You are being issued this final adverse action as a result of your unethical, criminal, dishonest, notoriously disgraceful, disrespectful, discourteous, unprofessional, unbecoming, unlawful and insubordinate conduct.”

A conclusion that her attorney John Bell disputed in his closing argument today.

“Ms. Linda Aguon has always owned up to the fact that she sometimes says things she regrets despite her impeccable record after decades of public service. Mr. Masta, who knows Lynda better than anyone, noted that Lynda is always the first to apologize and that she is hard on people because she takes her job so seriously despite a lack of support from upper management,” Bell said.

Assistant Attorney General Matthew Wolff countered that the evidence supports the decision by Parks and Rec director Ybanez to fire her.

“The administrative law judge has reviewed the evidence plainly describing Ms. Aguon’s unprofessional, discourteous, and insubordinate conduct. The bottom line is that Ms. Aguon admitted on the record under penalty of perjury to several counts of insubordination,” Wolff said.

But Atty. Bell said: “Ms. Operal with her history of actual threats of violence against Lynda as well as foul language against Lynda, somehow became HR and kept her history with Lynda a secret because she had the nerve to do her job and correct her work.”

Assistant Attorney General Wolff said: “Ms. Aguon was insubordinate. She did refuse to accept documents and emails on May 9th and 10th … etc. At what point do we let the director do his job? A burdensome thankless job of removing a highly intelligent but also deeply entrenched and deeply flawed worker who has crossed the line one too many times. That time is now.”

No decision on Aguon’s appeal for reinstatement was reached today. Administrative law Judge Eric Miller is expected to review the testimony and announce his decision on Aguon’s bid for reinstatement at a later date.