November 3, 2010
Defense attorney Bakke next moved into the issue of Long's having tape recorded conversations with Sonja Nallie and Tim Hutchings.
Bakke: Is it fair that Nallie and Hutchings were the only two people you tape recorded?
Long: That's fair.
Bakke: What date was that?
Long: Tim was being accused of sexual harassment. I don't remember the date.
Bakke established that a formal complaint regarding a pre-interview notification with Hutchings was August 29, 2007 and with Nallie on August 30, 2007.
Bakke: You pulled out a small tape recorder, right?
Long: Correct. I did it in plain sight. I didn't hide it.
Bakke: Nallie's complaint was that the only two people you recorded were two African-Americans.
Long: It wasn't about race.
In reply to Bakke's questions, Long said he talked with Mr. Forward about recording Nallie and Hutchings and others if necessary and that Nallie and Hutchings just happened to be African-American. He said he was intimidated by Hutchings and that he placed the recorder in plain sight so they knew they were being recorded. He said that he had a concern about Nallie retaliating against him and agreed with Bakke that it was important to be consistent in the pre-interview notification. Long said that Tim Wahlin had investigated the incident and did not find evidence of racial motivation. Bakke asked whether he agreed he used poor judgement. Long said no. Long said he'd been advised by WSI attorneys to record things; that Bjornson, in particular, always recommended that he record things to protect himself, and he was to use his best judgment in so doing.
Bakke established that Halvorson told Long not to record any more conversations.
Bakke: Halvorson told you he was upset and that you had poor judgment by tape recording the only two African-Americans at WSI.
Long: He said he was concerned.
Bakke: Was he overreacting regarding poor judgment?
Long: Yes he was. He thought I needed to let him know why.
Bakke: Did Nallie withdraw her complaint because Halvorson tried to get her to do so.
Bakke: Wasn't that helpful to you? It seems he wasn't out to get you.
Long: I can't figure out his motives.
Bakke: After you were told by Halvorson you had poor judgment, that's when you filed your first whistleblower complaint.
Long: Yeah, it was after that.
Bakke showed a Risk Management document with Jim Long's name on it dated 8/30/2007. There was discussion over whether that document was an actual complaint and even whether Long had himself created that document. Long said his name was on it but it was not signed and that he remembered talking to Risk Management, but did not remember filling out a form. The form used the words "WSI has a policy against retaliation. Whistleblower Act."
Bakke: Are you saying you didn't create this?
Long: I don't know. Anybody could have typed that.
Long said he'd been assigned to facilitate the investigation of Hutchings per Grinsteinner. He'd hoped to bring a WSI attorney with him, but instead brought a tape recorder. He said he was called into Halvorson's office and reprimanded for it and thought that Halvorson was using the information to jeopardize his career.
Bakke: This is a document that you filed, true?
Long: I can't say that with certainty.
Bakke: There was nothing illegal for Halvorson to have reprimanded you regarding the tape recording, right?
Long: I thought there might have been.
Bakke: What was the reason you filed the Risk Management document?
Long: I'm not owning that document. I'm not saying that I didn't file it, but I didn't sign it.
Bakke: This document does sound like what you reported to this jury, right?
Long: It sounds like something I talked about with Risk Management.