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article imageOp-Ed: Saying the Right Thing Can be Detrimental to Job Security

By Sandy Sand     Mar 21, 2009 in Politics
It’s all in the politics. Given the okay to make a statement to the press the day after the Sept. 12, 2008, Metrolink crash in Chatsworth, California, about the cause, harsh criticism still forced Denise Tyrrell to resign.
Tyrrell found herself in the untenable position of “damned if she did, damned if she didn’t” after the train wreck that killed 25 and injured 135.
Tyrrell, who was Metrolink’s spokeswoman, was given the green light by Metrolink chief executive David Solow, to announce the day after the crash that a preliminary investigation had found that the Metrolink engineer ran a red light.
Almost immediately after that, investigators confirmed the same thing, yet Tyrell had been criticized so harshly for what Metrolink board members and federal officials called a “premature admission,” she was forced to resign.
After being out of work for nearly six months, Tyrrell will be the new manager of the Los Angeles office of the Public Utilities Commission’s office, directing community outreach to consumers, community groups and local elected officials. She may also serve as spokeswoman for the PUC.
Tyrrell said:
"I'm relieved to be back at work. It's been a difficult period for me," she said. "There is not a perfect response" in crisis communications, she added. "There's no ideal message that won't rile someone or upset someone."
PUC President Michael R. Peevey noted:
... that most utility users live in Southern California but the agency is based in San Francisco. "We've needed more representation there for some time."
In light of the City’s mismanagement of the solar energy ballot measure that was defeated, and equally despicable actions by Mayor Antonio Villagaigosa, the city council, the Department of Water and Power and its union members, with their secrecy and political hanky-panky, let’s hope Tyrrell never loses her candor.
We, the tax payers, foot the bill for everything they do.
The public not only has a need to know what their city officials are up to…they have an absolute right to know.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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