Dear Mr. Seidenberg,
It has come to my attention that my friend, Jeffrey L. Jordan, a Verizon employee in New Hampshire, has not been reporting to work since his arrest in Ohio for an alleged firearms technicality. This concerns me greatly because I do not believe it is by his choice.
When I learned of Mr. Jordan's arrest, I headed up to New Hampshire (via Ohio) as an observer and to provide moral support. So I'm in a position to see some things which I can't explain, mainly because Mr. Jordan has apparently been advised not speak about any aspect of his case that isn't already public knowledge.
As I mentioned, one of the things I've noticed is that Mr. Jordan hasn't been going to work since he returned from Ohio. From years of association with him, I know that he is a long-time employee of Verizon. With expensive legal actions in progress, it is unlikely that he would voluntarily cut his income by simply neglecting to go to work. I've asked, and he tells me there's nothing he's free to speak of regarding his employment status.
This gives me pause to wonder: Some companies suspend or terminate employees who have been convicted of violent crimes. Are you doing something similar to Mr. Jordan? I sincerely hope not. Allow me to put this in perspective. A private company may well be entitled to suspend/terminate an employee whose danger to society or individuals has been established by a court conviction; but this is not the case with Mr. Jordan.
First, he isn't accused of a violent crime. As best the Ohio Highway Patrol can determine, he may have violated a technical rule on licensed carry. No one is claiming that anyone whomsoever was harmed or threatened.
Second, there was no crime. Mr. Jordan was licensed to carry a firearm, just as he was licensed to operate a truck. Ohio authorities arbitrarily chose to acknowledge his driver's license but not the carry license. This is an interesting take on the "Full Faith and Credit" clause of the US Constitution (the very clause that causes states to accept one another's driver's licenses, marriages, even Verizon's own corporate status).
Third, Mr. Jordan's trial has not even begun, much less brought (an exceedingly unlikely) conviction.
Fourth, all this took place while Mr. Jordan was on vacation, hundreds of miles away from work. It has no bearing on his performance as a Verizon employee. You should not be altering a man's work-status on the basis of off-duty activities.
I hope that you haven't terminated or suspended Mr. Jordan for an alleged act which has not yet been questioned in court, much less proved. But why else wouldn't he be going to work?
Which brings me to another question: Even though I accompanied Mr. Jordan from Ohio to New Hampshire, I never saw him return to work at all. This suggests to me that he was suspended/terminated by Verizon before he even got back home. How did Verizon learn details of his legal situation even before he came to work to inform the company? If public news reports were your only source of information, then proceeding directly to suspension/termination without a hearing is highly improper. Maybe Verizon had a more direct channel for information to which the rest of us are not privy. Which begs still more questions: A channel to whom? Is someone giving Verizon insider information (or misinformation) on Mr. Jordan's case on the sly; and if so, why? What information? Who? Is that legal?
This reeks. Does Verizon conduct "star chamber" personnel actions?
Would you do this to an employee accused of failing to register his vehicle, not mowing his lawn, or forgetting to renew his driver's license (all comparable to the offense of which Mr. Jordan is accused). Are you singling out Mr. Jordan because his is a firearms-related case? If so, do you remember what happened to CitiBank and Smith & Wesson, when they angered a few million gun owners?
Verizon is a huge company, offering a wide variety of landline, long distance, and wireless access services. Which means that you very likely have a large number of America's estimated 100 million gun owners as customers. Which, in turn, means that a total boycott by pro-defense gun owners would hurt.
Mr. Jordan is not permitted to speak about this, so I invite you to do so. Please confirm or deny my suspicions. If you have not suspended/fired Mr. Jordan, just say so publicly, and I will publicly apologize. If you have preemptively acted against Mr. Jordan, admit that, and explain why. In the latter case, you can also tell us with whom the suspension/termination idea originated, and its purpose.
I first asked these questions publicly on February 8, 2004, and forwarded them directly to Verizon at that time (some of my readers tell me that they also forwarded the questions to you). To date, your company has failed to respond in any fashion. I offer you this opportunity to rectify that error. In the absence of any answers, I believe an immediate boycott will be in order.
Editor, North American Samizdat
D. Singer, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, Verizon
Reporter, Nashua Telegraph
Reporter, Mansfield News-Journal
L. Knapp, Editor, Rational Review
Editor, The Libertarian Enterprise
Managing Editor, The Price of Liberty
the Preservation of Firearms Ownership
Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
of New Hampshire
Liberty Round Table
Seymour, Editor, Liberty Action of the Week
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers:
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