Bakke Cross Examines Long - Part 1


November 3, 2010

Defense attorney Randy Bakke showed the jury documents on a large screen in the courtroom.  He went to the issue of Doug Hintz wanting to be part of the ITTP committee.  He showed an email from Halvorson to Hintz, Schenfisch, Wahlin, and Long saying he wished to have a meeting to discuss the matter.  He showed an email from Long back to Halvorson saying he had already met with the others and that he had decided Hintz should have an informal role in ITTP.  Bakke noted in the email a reference that Long wanted Halvorson to allow him the right to make the calls. 

Bakke: So you're telling your boss he's showing a lack of faith in your decision making because he wants a Monday meeting?

This began a line of questioning from Bakke to Long which was at times combative; Long would often answer indirectly but would add more information to his answers.
 
Bakke:  Again, you're telling the boss you consider Halvorson wanting a meeting a lack of faith in your decision making, correct?
Long:  Yes.
Bakke:  Halvorson says he thought he was clear he wanted to get everyone in a room.
Long:  I can read the email.  I think we all can.
Bakke:  The email talks about eliminating perceptions of favoritism.  Your approach has been contrary.  WSI will make decisions of what is best for WSI. ...  Regarding your request for autonomy, there were a series of events where your judgment and decisions have been questioned, correct?
Long:  That's what he says.  I can't control what he writes"
Bakke:  You received concerns about progress with ITTP, true?
Long: I think global concerns.
Bakke:  Take this email.  You didn't follow the chain of command, correct?
Long:  No, not correct.
Bakke:  You're a big chain of command guy, right?
Long:  Yeah, would you like me to define it for you?
Bakke:  Show me an email that shows you sent email to Halvorson first.
Long:  Chain of command doesn't mean I put it in writing.  Halvorson was well aware of the concern.

Bakke produced an October 1, 2007 email to Evan Mandigo, former board member, asking for an offsite meeting.

Bakke:  Was Halvorson invited?
Long:  The board members did the inviting. 
Bakke:  You wrote, this is a yucky topic to bring up, for the good of the agency we need to work on these issues.
Long:  Yes.

Bakke introduced an email from Justin Data about his concerns about problems with the ITTP project.

Bakke:  Justin Data was not complaining in his email of any crimes or violations, right?
Long:  I don't know his motivations.
Bakke:  I'm not asking about motivations.  Is it in the email?
Long:  Initially a large part of this.
Bakke:  I'm not asking you to interpret.  Does he use the word crime or suspected violation of law or illegality?
Long: You want me to search for those three words?
Bakke:  Yes.
Long:  He says, "There's politically motivated management."  That's a violation of The Hatch Act.  We've talked about that.
Bakke:  You're not a lawyer.
Long:  That's the point.
Bakke:  You attached Data's email to the one you sent to Mandigo.
Long:  Yes.  It's his opinion the threats to this project are created and exacerbated by Halvorson. 
Bakke:  Can you show me in that email the name Halvorson?
Long:  Not name, but pronouns and titles and he talked to me.
Bakke:  Is Halvorson's name there?
Long:  It's implicit.  Justin Data wouldn't put his neck on the line to use his name.
Bakke:  You used Halvorson's name.
Long:  My job was to put my neck on the line.

Bakke:  Were there many people involved in ITTP?
Long:  Yes.  How do you define involved, working on it or power?  Halvorson had the greatest amount of control. 

Bakke established with another email that there was a meeting to discuss the ITTP project with Mandigo.  At the meeting, Mandigo said that until a pending outside investigation took place Long and Halvorson must develop a method to deal with their differences.

Bakke:  Important for you and John to deal with your mutual problems, face to face.  Is that right?
Long:  That's what the email says.
Bakke:  It says you should deal with Halvorson in this.
Long:  That's fair.  You don't want me to get into the whys.  Based on talks with Brad Ballweber and Bob Indvik, it's obvious to me somebody got to them.

Bakke established there was an executive steering committee for ITTP, that Kay Grinsteinner was on the committee, and that Grinsteinner told Long in an email of 10/04/07 to sit tight on this issue.

Bakke turned his cross examination to the issue of an alleged inappropriate relationship between Long and Human Resources Director, Billie Peltz.  Bakke produced a witness statement from Rob Forward at WSI legal that Halvorson had told Long the perception of the interaction between Long and Peltz was inappropriate.  Halvorson asked Long to consider their positions and that he would have to consider removing Long from supervising Peltz. 

Bakke:  Did Halvorson or Forward say they heard rumors reported about inappropriate conduct between Miss Peltz and you?
Long:  I am not backing away from this.  There was never any truth to this.
Bakke:  I am not asking that.  I'm asking, did they tell you that?
Long:  I think John said people were talking.  That's typical in any organization. 
Bakke:  Is it true that Sonja Nallie confronted you?
Long:  There was a meeting where she brought up rumors. 
Bakke:  There was so much talk you had to let your wife know, true?
Long:  Absolutely true.  These were lies.  They were assassinating my character and getting my family involved.  I had to defend my family.
Bakke:  Are you aware employees were calling you Ken and Barbie?
Long:  Laughs.  I was not aware of that.
Bakke:  Were you aware there was a report from a WSI employee that you touched Peltz on the butt?
Long:  I was aware of a report that somebody touched somebody.
Bakke:  Peltz touching you or you touching her?
Long:  Correct.

Bakke then produced a string of emails between Billie Peltz and Jim Long. 

Email Peltz to Long.  Crushed you were cancelling, but you made up for it by telling me how great I am.

Email regarding fire extinguisher training.  Peltz: Too cool.  I get to use a fire extinguisher.  Long:  I thought you'd get mad.  Peltz:  Jim, Jim.  Would I get mad at you? 

Email.  Peltz:  I can't believe you called me an elf.  Long in courtroom:  I did call her an elf.  Peltz in email:  At least I have a designer cut.

Email.  Peltz:  I'd be honored to attend a meeting with you.

Email.  Peltz:  Jimmy, Jim, Jim.  I was wondering if it would be ok.

Bakke commenced questioning.

Bakke:  Is that what subordinates do, call you Jimmy, Jim, Jim?
Long:  I have a light hearted relationship with my staff.  Lots of people call me Jimmy.
Bakke:  Jimmy, Jim, Jim?
Long:  Some do.
Bakke:  Would you agree these would be described as flirtatious?
Long:  No.

Bakke introduced the WSI policy handbook and asked Long for the definition of sexual harassment at WSI.  The definition included unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, physical conduct of a sexual nature.

Bakke:  Would you agree touching someone on the butt is contact of a sexual nature?
Long:  If it indeed happened and it would depend on the nature of the contact.

Bakke then turned to WSI policy on fraternization which included a work environment free from romantic dating relationships in a supervisor subordinate position. 

Bakke:  This would directly apply to you and Peltz, right?
Long:  Right.
Bakke:  Violation of this policy may lead to termination, right?
Long:  Correct.

Bakke then introduced another series of emails. 

Email.  Peltz to Long.  You have a haircut appointment with Stacy Hamms at Electric Sun.
Bakke:  This is your HR manager, setting up haircuts?
Long:  I was very busy.  Stacy is a personal friend of Billie's and she was helping me.
Bakke:  Is this the same place you and Peltz went for pedicures?
Long:  With Jodi?  Jodi and Peltz. 
Bakke:  Did you ever get pedicures together?
Long:  Along with Jodi. 
Bakke:  Do you agree it's inappropriate to get a pedicure with a subordinate who is married?
Long:  No.

Bakke showed another email.  Peltz:  Sounds good.  Miss me yet?  Long:  Nope.  Peltz:  I don't believe it. 
Long told Bakke this is how Billie communicates.  Bakke shows another email.  Peltz:  Who's a big sweetie? 

Long's attorney, Tuntland then bellowed at the court that the entire email should be put into context.  Judge Goodman agreed.  Bakke then showed how the email began with a picture of a dog and the caption "Who's a big sweetie?  Krishna is."  There was a cartoon bubble next to the dog saying, "Might Jim adopt this dog?" 

Bakke continued his examination of Long. 

Bakke:  Is it true you kicked each other under the table?
Long:  No.  I didn't.  She kicked lots of people.  That's her way of getting attention.
Bakke:  She'd kick you and you wouldn't kick her back?
Long:  I might have nudged her.
Bakke:  Did you throw pencils and pens at each other?
Long:  I don't remember that.
Bakke:  Are you aware of the ICF employee morale report?

Bakke then produced a document, the Employee Morale Analysis Review and Action Plan.  The report stated, "Inappropriate and unprofessional behavior is creating the impression of disrespect and favoritism particularly in support services and other departments." 

Bakke:  Isn't this a special concern in human resources?
Long:  Yes.
Bakke:  Isn't the reason people will be reluctant to come to Peltz in HR or you if you were engaged in the same type of behavior they might be complaining about?
Long:  Inappropriate sexual activity is not good in any department.
Bakke:  But wouldn't human resources investigate inappropriate sexual conduct.
Long:  Yes.
Bakke:  Are you aware Denise Bachler was concerned about the amount of time you and Billie spent together?
Long:  No, but that's typical.
Bakke:  That you had time for Billie Peltz and not her and she was upset about it?
Long:  There was an investigation going on at the time and there was a great need for me to be working with human resources.  Billie is giggly and lighthearted and that's why she's so good at human resources, because she makes people relaxed.  That's what makes her effective as an HR person. 
Bakke:  Did her good nature appear flirtatious?
Long:  She can be flirtatious with board members and others.
Bakke:  Did you have pedicures with Peltz?
Long:  I went to get a pedicure on a dare from Jodi.
Bakke:  Did any other males go for pedicures with Billie.
Long:  I don't think so.
Bakke:  Did you tell Blunt that Billie wanted to have a sexual relationship with you.
Long:  No.
Bakke:  Did Blunt tell you to knock it off with Peltz?
Long:  No.
Bakke:  After Blunt left, Halvorson talked with you again. 
Long:  And made a fair characterization of the perception of an inappropriate relationship.

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