Stirling University to explain fraud

The Employment Tribunal has asked Stirling University to comment on my allegation of fraud. Link to details.

They will be required to explain how, in March 2010, Deputy Secretary, Eileen Schofield and HR Partner, Karen Stark were able to refer to a document that did not exist until June 2010. Furthermore, they will be required to explain how that document was able to influence the decision Mrs Schofield made in March 2010; that I had bullied my manager, Kathy McCabe, and that Mrs McCabe had not bullied me.

The apparent fraud supports my claim that I had been subjected to a sham grievance procedure immediately after I had made a Protected Disclosure informing the Principal that my allegations of bullying and sex discrimination were not being handled properly by management and HR.

To avoid admitting that the process was a sham, Stirling University tried to fool the Tribunal into believing they had investigated my allegations of bullying. They produced a ten page fraudulent document purporting to be details of an investigation and decision process that took place in March 2010.

I can't imagine how the university will be able to explain this; other than to admit that the grievance process was a sham, and that they have committed fraud. As well as Mrs Schofield and Ms Stark, this revelation also implicates University Secretary, Kevin Clarke who conducted the appeal hearing and said he saw no flaw in the grievance procedure.

Stirling University now requires snookers!

1 May 2011

I received a copy of a letter that the university sent to the Tribunal in response to my letter to the tribunal informing them of the fraud.

Firstly, they criticise me for bringing the matter to the attention of the tribunal. Clearly they would prefer that the tribunal was not aware of their fraud. That is perfectly understandable.

Secondly, they misquote what I said in my letter, and then they say that what they misquoted was simply wrong. If they had quoted me correctly, they would have seen that what I said was simply correct.

Then there is a very long winded explanation of how the author of the document that was referred to in the fictitious investigation sent them a copy of it around 15 April 2010. They accept that this post dates Mrs Schofield's decision by roughly three weeks.

Then they say that the ten page document is an explanation of the findings made in the context of the general conclusion reached on the grievances.

They state that, because of the information received on 15 April 2010, an allegation I made in my grievance against Kathy McCabe's long term bullying behaviour was upheld.

But nowhere in their letter, which I have read very carefully several times, can I see any explanation of how information, that they accept didn't exist at the time of Mrs Schofield's decision, could have influenced that decision. And it certainly influenced her decision because, without it, my allegation would definitely not have been upheld.

The ten page fraudulent document states that neither I nor Kathy McCabe were given any further opportunity to provide further evidence before the decision was made as it was not thought to be necessary, proportionate or appropriate.

It is therefore extremely unlikely that Mrs Schofield would think it was necessary, proportionate or appropriate to use further evidence at least three weeks after making her general decision to alter her decision on one allegation, especially when she knew that it would not change her general decision.

The process they describe in that document simply did not take place before the decision was made, because the decision was not based on any evidence, but was a response to me having made a protected disclosure to the Principal.

It took them five weeks to provide the information which they say was originally created within a week or two while they were carrying out the investigation. They should have been able to supply the information by the following day. In fact, they should have given it to me when the decision was announced. They didn't, because it never existed.

No one in their right mind would go through every allegation, and make a decision on each one, when the general decision is not based on any evidence. So, as you can imagine, the contents of that ten page document are not just fraudulent, they are the biggest pile of tosh ever written. It is hard to imagine that anyone from the university would actually want to appear at a tribunal hearing and, under oath and with a straight face, argue that it represents a fair and thorough grievance process.

There is a list of flaws a mile long. University Secretary, Mr Kevin Clarke may have to appear in order to explain how each one of those flaws is not a flaw. That should be interesting!


Stirling University's Fictitious Grievance Investigation

I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when the powers that be met to discuss what they should do in response to my request for the details of the alleged grievance investigation.

I guess the attendees at that meeting would have included Kathy McCabe and her husband, Liam, Karen Stark, Eileen Schofield, Kevin Clarke, Martin McCrindle and Mark Toole. Principal Gerry McCormac would also have attended because he knows how to get the best out of people. Their solicitor had also indicated that he'd met with them to discuss the issue.

The choice was whether to simply admit that the investigation was a sham; to lie and make up a fictitious investigation; or to simply do nothing. The solicitor would have made them aware that doing nothing was no longer an option because the Tribunal would be compelled to order them to answer. They had amazingly managed to stall the Tribunal for five months by saying that the information was not relevant to my claim. I've still to hear their explanation for this. We must keep in mind that this was information that Stirling University claimed would help their case; so it didn't make sense for them not to produce it.

There was actually a fourth option; to try to settle out of court. However, it is unlikely that I would have settled before I received the information that was bound to strengthen my position. The optimum time for them to have tried to settle was the moment they received my claim. In my opinion, they should never have told the Tribunal they would defend the claim by lying. That was just plain stupid!

Kathy McCabe would certainly have been opposed to telling the truth. To admit that she was found not to be a bully only by means of a sham process would have been as good as admitting that she is indeed a bully. She would have insisted that her husband agree with her. She would also have told the meeting that she could invent an investigation that could convince the Tribunal that it was authentic. Admitting to a sham process would automatically have meant that Stark, Schofield and Clarke were all liars; so they would also have preferred the lie option.

Even though it was a massive gamble, they decided that Kathy would invent the grievance investigation and decision process. The fictitious investigation had three vital requirements.

The simplest requirement was to ensure she only referred to information that existed at the time; but even that proved beyond her capabilities. In my post, Kathy McCabe - Silent Witness I describe how Kathy is a compulsive and terrible liar who actually thinks nobody can possibly detect her lies. In my post, Stirling University lies to Employment Tribunal, I describe the schoolgirl error.

The second requirement was to provide the Employment Tribunal with the information very quickly. The alleged investigation had only taken a week, and of course the information they were about to send was supposed to exist already. That was what they were trying to convince the Tribunal. However, it took them five weeks from the time they agreed to produce the evidence to send it to the Tribunal. Even then, there was a sense of panic as they sent it at 5:21 pm on the date they finally promised it would be sent.

The most difficult requirement was to describe a fair and thorough grievance process that took the evidence available as input, and output the decision that Kathy was not a bully, and that I was a bully. The difficulty of this requirement was obviously the cause of them failing to meet the second requirement. I intend to talk a bit about how well or otherwise they tackled this impossible task.

Suppose you have been asked to investigate a murder. There is video evidence showing the suspect committing the murder. He has signed a confession admitting that he did it. There is also video evidence of him threatening to murder the victim because the victim was a tea drinker. How would you investigate this?

Well, here's how Eileen Schofield and Karen Stark would do it. They wouldn't look at the video evidence because that would influence them unnecessarily and impair their judgement. They wouldn't look at the confession or ask him if he did it either. They would note that the victim was a tea drinker, and carry out an investigation into the prices of tea. They would also speak to Eric Hall who would inform them that he vaguely remembers that there was a guy he knew about six years ago who took a day off sick, and that he thought he drank tea; or maybe it was coffee.

Once completed, they would look at the evidence they've gathered and note that there is no proof that any murder has been committed. In their report they would add that if a tea drinker has died, then all the evidence points to the tea being the killer. The suspect would then be released.

That's the quality of investigation they have described for all of my allegations.

I just realised I made their investigation sound better than it was. I should have added that the video of the threat to kill was delivered to Ms Stark with a note that said: "Should I die suddenly, please investigate my murder and not the prices of tea. Also, I don't drink tea, I only drink water!"

I submitted 26 documents to support my allegations and to refute Mrs McCabe's allegations. I also submitted a list containing my own documents as well as a further 9 documents submitted by Mrs McCabe. My list indicated the allegation to which each document was related. The response shows that my documents were not referred to in any part of the investigation.


People can only take so much.

I wonder if that guy learned a lesson.

It's a pity nobody decked Kathy when she was a school bully, but I wonder if she now wishes she hadn't bothered picking on me.


What now for Stirling University?

The revelation that Stirling University has sent fraudulent evidence to the Employment Tribunal places them in a very awkward position; and that is putting it mildly.

The term 'nip it in the bud' means nothing to the uni management. What was once a manageable problem of bullying has escalated firstly to widespread corruption at the highest level, and now fraud. Rather than deal appropriately with a bully, they have tried to cover it up to the point where Stirling University, once associated with ducks swimming on a peaceful loch, is now known to Googlers, Bloggers and Facebookers all over the world to be associated with employees and students that are sitting ducks for a corrupt management. (And late offers to potential students!)

One Postgraduate Researcher was so exasperated by management's dishonesty that he was compelled to threaten to kill one of them. I know exactly how he felt. Ironically, the same management that has clearly opted out of living by rules, chose to go to the police to get them to uphold the rules.

The new Principal, Gerry McCormac said he knows how to get the best out of people, but his chair was still lukewarm when we discovered that he thought that it would be a good use of their time for the Deputy Secretary and an HR Partner to spend five weeks fraudulently creating a document in an attempt to fool the Employment Tribunal that they had spent a week carrying out an investigation a year earlier. Maybe he should have asked them to spend another ten minutes making sure it wasn't bleeding obvious that it was a fraud. Or better yet, he might have done what he was paid to do, and nipped the problem in the bud. I think Gerry should maybe change his motto to 'I know how to get the best people out!'

The situation is now that I am scheduled to attend a Tribunal to defend myself against false allegations of gross misconduct which, even if they were true, are about one gazillionth as gross as the misconduct of the people I will be defending myself against. Karen Stark is meant to be there to represent the uni; but any reasonable person would expect she would be sacked before then.

The funny thing is that they probably still don't think the hole they've dug themselves into is deep enough yet. To hell with a spade, lets get a JCB.


Stirling University lies to Employment Tribunal

As part of my claim to the Employment Tribunal, I had complained that I had been subjected to a sham grievance investigation after I had made a Protected Disclosure to the Principal. Stirling University denied this. The Tribunal asked them to provide details of the alleged investigation, including the facts that led to the decision. It took five months and several letters from me before they finally provided the information they claimed existed in March 2010.

However, there is irrefutable proof that they have lied to the Tribunal. The information they sent describes how Eileen Schofield arrived at a particular decision after referring to the contents of a certain document in March 2010. She describes its contents. Unfortunately for Mrs Schofield, the document she referred to doesn't contain what she said it does.

There is, however, a different document from the same author which contains exactly what she described; but that document was never available to her as part of the grievance process. In fact, it didn't even exist until June 2010.

Therefore, Mrs Schofield has told the Tribunal that she was able to come to a decision based on evidence that simply did not exist until three months after she made her decision.

It's a big fat lie!

It represents an elaborate fraud in an attempt to fool the tribunal into believing that a real investigation had taken place, rather than just admit that there was none.

Last week, Stirling University rejected my suggestion that they were stalling by taking so long to provide evidence that a fair investigation had taken place.

In an earlier post, I spoke about how providing false evidence is fraught with danger.

It would be astonishing if Mrs Schofield was to survive this massive fraud with her job intact.

Employment Tribunals and Interim Relief

I expect that most, but probably not all employees in the UK know that they are legally protected from unfair dismissal, and that they can make a claim to an Employment Tribunal within three months of their dismissal.

However, I'm pretty sure that most people will be completely unaware of the fact that, under certain circumstances, they can make a claim for the Employment Tribunal to order their employers to continue to pay their salary until the Employment Tribunal makes its judgement.

If you claim that you were unfairly dismissed for certain reasons, including whistleblowing, not only is it possible for you to continue to receive your pay (called interim relief), but you will be placed on a fast track for speedy justice.

However, you can only claim interim relief within seven days of your dismissal. That is a huge disadvantage, particularly if, like me, you had never heard of this law. I would imagine that very few people have ever heard of it, and by the time they do learn of it, the seven day period is likely to have passed. Seven days is not long, particularly if you have to consult a lawyer. At the time you are dismissed, you may also be suffering from depression, and not able to act at your normal level of efficiency.

A common criticism of Employment Tribunals is that employees can often make hopeless claims. Employers also make hopeless defenses against genuine claims. In 2009, Stirling University turned up at the Glasgow Employment Tribunal and didn't defend a hopeless case which they had previously told the Tribunal they would defend. Like other unscrupulous employers, they were dragging out the process in the hope that the employee would tire and give up. The effect of this is that Tribunals get clogged up with cases that are never heard, and the days that have been scheduled for cases that are eventually cancelled cannot be used for other cases that are waiting to be heard. Another common practice is for the employer to wait until the day of the hearing, and make the employee an offer to settle out of court.

My guess would be that very few people will ever gain any benefit from interim relief, simply because they won't have known about it, and because it has to be claimed in such a short period of time.

Like me, many employees may have learned that Employment Tribunals frown upon claims made before disciplinary procedures, including any appeal procedures, have been exhausted. By that time, the right to interim relief is likely to have lapsed.

One solution to this would be for there to be a legal requirement for letters of dismissal to inform the employee of their right to claim unfair or wrongful dismissal and interim relief, and to indicate the time limits for those claims.

A further useful law would be for employers like Stirling University, who have been found guilty of unfairly dismissing employees, to be banned for a period of time from dismissing any further employees without ACAS conducting an investigation to ensure that the dismissal is fair. This would have saved me and all of the other employees that Stirling Uni unfairly made redundant recently. It would also result in fewer cases being brought to Tribunals.

Finally, in cases where it is found that an employee was unfairly dismissed, Employment Tribunals should have the power to dismiss any individual employees whose misconduct led to the unfair dismissal. Under those circumstances, I doubt if Mark Toole and others would have acted in the way they did to get rid of me. There is no disincentive for arse lickers like Graham Millar from acting dishonestly to deprive an innocent employee of their livelihood just to benefit his own corrupt career.