Emails reveal friction between Milligan staffers | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Emails reveal friction between Milligan staffers

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2015 at 2:26 PM

click to enlarge Milligan and fired employee David Singer.
  • Milligan and fired employee David Singer.
On Monday, a long-time supporter of state Treasurer Dennis Milligan, David Singer, was fired from the treasurer's office. Singer, head of outreach,was a member of Milligan's original staff; the job paid $65,000 a year. 

Singer's personnel record shows he was fired after a receiving series of prickly emails from Milligan's chief of staff, Jim Harris. In a hot April 3 email to Milligan's deputy chief information officer, Gary Underwood, Harris complained that he had not seen the schedule for upcoming community outreach visits, and that because "I can't catch [Singer] working and not seen any productivity from outreach," Harris demanded a list of counties to be visited be given him by April 7 and the May schedule by April 15. The email exchange continued April 3: 

Singer's reply to Harris and Underwood: 

There has been a schedule laid out for the past 3 weeks. No action was taken because we were waiting on approval of the dates. This schedule was in multiple hands.

Harris to Singer and Underwood:

Who is to approve these items? I have not seen anything. I have set deadlines. They will be met or there will be consequences. David, please respond and let me know you understand this. 

Singer to Harris, Underwood:

No one approved the schedule. Grant had the first draft and Gary was given a copy and access to a shared calendar for review. Since point I have been working on a database at Gary's direction.

Harris to Singer:

What part of "David, please respond and let me know you understand this." was I unclear on?

Singer to Harris:

None you were perfectly clear.

Harris to Singer:

Then I need a yes or no answer. You have a consistent pattern of answering questions by trying to blame other. That stops now. In the future, when you are asked a direct question by a supervisor and you try to avoid a direct answer, it will result in a day off without pay. So, do you understand the first question and do you understand what I have just said?

Singer to Harris:

Yes I understand what you said.
Yes I understand your prior statement.

I don't think Harris and Singer liked each other much. Harris informed Singer he was fired in a letter dated April 27. 

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