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Demoted boss to get back pay

Published Oct. 9, 2005

A state revenue boss demoted after employees described him as belittling, unbearable and dictatorial will be getting his old salary back for the next several months.

Greg Marr, an ex-deputy bureau chief in the Bureau of Collections, will get back pay for wages lost after his April demotion.

The Revenue Department also will pay $8,000 for his attorney's fees and keep the controversy over his employment out of his personnel file, under the terms of a settlement reached last week.

Marr won't get his job back: He will agree to a demotion to a job that involves no supervisory role.

In all, Marr is satisfied after being demoted April 9 following a revenue investigation. He had appealed his demotion to the Public Employees Relations Commission.

"It (the settlement) essentially vindicates me. The whole thing was no more than an attempted smear job by some workers who didn't want to work and by some managers who didn't want to manage," Marr said.

The agency attorney who handled the case didn't return a reporter's phone call Monday, and agency spokesman Jere Moore said only that a PERC hearing officer's order would explain why the department settled.

Hearing Officer Jerry Cheatham said PERC would not hear evidence on most of the Revenue Department's charges against Marr, saying that his behavior generally didn't constitute "conduct unbecoming a public employee."

The department began an investigation of Marr in January after numerous worker complaints.

Sixty-one employees were interviewed and offered an unflattering portrait of Marr.

His management practices were described as "aggressive, belittling, confrontative, demanding, dictatorial, domineering, inappropriate, inflexible, intimidating, pushy, manipulative, militaristic, stressful, tactless, threatening, unbearable, unfair, unprofessional and unreasonable," according to the April 8 letter notifying him of disciplinary action.

Marr was demoted and his salary reduced from $3,813 a month to $3,302.

Marr said Monday that negative description came from employees "influenced by what they felt they were expected to say, and what they felt they needed to say to stay in the good graces of management.'

Under the settlement:

The department will restore Marr's pay to $3,813 a month, and pay him back wages lost following the demotion.

The $3,813 monthly salary will continue for 10 months, after which it will be reduced to $3,302.

Marr will request a voluntary demotion, effective April 9, to the position of revenue investigator in criminal enforcement.

The department will remove from Marr's personnel file any documents relating to the controversy. The documents will be placed in an envelope marked "INVALID," and be kept in revenue's personnel office, separate from Marr's personnel file.

Revenue will provide a "neutral reference." No information about the investigation or employee interviews will be disclosed to prospective employers.

Marr's attorney, Rosa Carson, said that although the agreement did not require Marr to look for another job, he may do so.