Friday, July 12, 2013

Passel of Plumbers Plenty Piqued in Muscle Shoals

How to Tell If a Plumber Is from Muscle Shoals...

A Quick Quiz to start your Friday off: A fictitious city places an ad for a plumbing & gas inspector who must have A/B/C for qualifications. This totally fictitious city interviews four applicants. Which one does it choose?

A. Applicant who has A/B/C
B. Applicant who has A/B/C
C. Applicant who has A/B/C
D. Applicant who has only A/B, but knows the right person

Okay, you say it has to be a trick question. We agree, and apparently the original trick was on the three applicants who have A/B/C. Now the trick may be on the fictitious city in Colbert County. We're pleased to publish a letter from Mr. William J. Underwood to the City of Muscle Shoals:

Mayor David Bradford
City of Muscle Shoals
P. O. Box 2624
Muscle Shoals, AL 35662

RE: Alvin Butler Chard and Joseph Michael Moon

I'm sure you remember that on or about the 22nd day of January, 2013, you signed a City of Muscle Shoals job description for a Code Enforcement/Plumbing/Gas Inspector. It was the minimum requirements that a person had to have to receive an offer of the job from the City of Muscle Shoals. One of those requirements was that the individual must possess a master gas and plumbing card. The Civil Service Board of Muscle Shoals received the qualification requirements for the hire. Irregardless the Civil Service Board received four individuals to vote on for that job they canned the three that had all the proper requirements, and hired the only one that did not even have the minimum qualifications.

My clients have been discriminated against because they were qualified and one of those three people who were qualified should have received the job. The Civil Service Board violated my clients civil rights by disregarding the mandate made by you that the minimum requirements be followed. This is the same Civil Service Board that fired Greg Scoggins saying that they had to uphold all mandates that you gave them.

What makes this particularly disturbing Mayor, is that there was an article in the TimesDaily newspaper some days later, in which the newspaper openly exposed the corruption by the Civil Service Board. The newspaper article mentioned that the man hired had a brother that works for the City of Muscle Shoals. I have no doubt in my mind that you know about the whirlwind of fire concerning this matter, and you have done nothing. You have a constitutional obligation to see that the city is run properly and it was your mandate that there be certain minimum requirements. You failed to step in and do anything about this. Not only did you fail to do something about it, the five City Council Members, who incidentally, four of whom go to church with you, failed to do anything about it when they saw the article. That means that every city father in Muscle Shoals, knowing the man that was hired improperly, acquiesced to it.

Somebody inserted his name as qualified for this job for the Civil Service Board to consider him. I plan to sue the City of Muscle Shoals in either state or federal court. I am looking to see whether I can sue you personally for your constitutional disregard of the proper hiring techniques being violated at the city.

My clients have waited this long so that you cannot fire the individual who received the job. I would be the first person to sue the city if you do fire him. The City of Muscle Shoals allowed this inspector to be hired knowing he lacked the minimum requirements, and this man quit his job at the City of Sheffield. There is no way you can now fire him. I would ask that you have your insurance company get in touch with me so that this case is not vetted in the newspaper. I plan to give the newspaper everything I acquire when I file suit, and take the depositions of all the City Council people.

I will also point out one other thing, I have heard a city council member is going to retire because of sickness. I have also heard that it is the consensus of the city council to hire somebody from that same Civil Service Board who disregards the law. I just want to bring this to your attention as I am familiar with what I consider the back door politics that is taking place at the city.

I await your reply. I will file a lawsuit in the next forty-five days.


Note: Since both suits are identical save for the name of the plaintiff, we are publishing only one.




I, Alvin Butler Chard, being over the age of twenty-one years do hereby depose and say as follows:

That on or about the 22nd day of January, 2013, the Mayor of Muscle Shoals endorsed a job description for the employment of the Code Enforcement/Plumbing/Gas Inspector for the City of Muscle Shoals. It stated, in regards to the hiring of said Employee, the applicant must possess a master gas and plumbing card. These are extremely important in effectuating the job for the City of Muscle Shoals and is a prerequisite for most every other municipality in the Muscle Shoals area.

Sometime in April of 2013, this Petitioner and three others appeared before the Civil Service Board of Muscle Shoals. At that time the Civil Service Board, in complete disregard of the stated job description, agreed that an individual who did not have a master card or plumbing card would receive the job of Code Enforcement/Plumbing/Gas Inspector. The City of Muscle Shoals discriminated against me in that the city did not follow its own job description. The Civil Service Board was mandated by the job description to hire an individual that had a masters gas and plumbing card. It defined the job description. The City discriminated against me because I have a master gas and plumbing card and was fully qualified to do said job. It further discriminated against any individual who wanted to apply for this job who did not have a master gas and plumbing card. It made it so that individuals who had the qualifications of the applicant that was hired did not apply because, they felt they could not be hired due to the fact, that they lacked the master gas and plumbing card.

I have been damaged in the amount of the annual salary of said Code Enforcement Officer. The City has blatantly discriminated against me by hiring somebody who did not qualify under their job description and they are required to follow their job description in hiring employees. I ask for one year of salary and my attorney fees.


Other than there being no mention of slaying innocent turtles, we thought the above documents told 'em a thing or two...or three.



  1. Wow. Did you print that word for word, or could something have gone horribly wrong in the copy/paste process that makes this attorney sound like a guest on the Jerry Springer Show?

    Based on this, it seems the hiring choice needs to be reviewed and 3 qualified candidates may have been passed over for someone less "qualified" (although we do not know the whole story). The suit assumes that he was less qualified b/c he met 1 fewer minimum requirement, when he may have been much more qualified on items of greater importance. Of course, if the job description or relevant laws mandate that anyone who does not meet the minimum requirement in full at the time of the interview is immediately and unquestionably disqualified from consideration, then this candidate would appear to have been hired illegally and the position should be reopened.

    I will be stunned if that letter was written by an actual attorney (or anyone with a basic education). The poor communication skills and twisted reasoning are bad enough, but throw in the transparent ransom demand ("have your insurance company get in touch with me so that this case is not vetted in the newspaper") and the ad hominem attacks, and it's hard to take seriously.

    His reasoning for supposedly deserving a year’s salary is comical and absurd. He was not damaged in the amount of a year’s salary. He MAY have been damaged in the amount of the difference between his current salary/benefits/etc and those of the new position for whatever time period he kept the job, but that assumes he would have beaten out the other two candidates for the position. There is no reason at this point to automatically assume that he would, so either he wasn’t damaged as he claims or all three were equally damaged (which would leave the taxpayer ponying up 4yrs salary for one year and exposed to numerous similar suits every time a job is posted).

    There are people who take on the government for the good of the people, on principle, to right a wrong where those in leadership have abused their position. In my opinion, these people are honorable. But someone who takes on the government in a blatant cash grab that is not based on principle of the common good or justice is not honorable. And it appears this case is the latter.

    It would be interesting to know if the law specifically dictates:

    1) If the hiring boards are required by law to consider all qualifications of equal weight, or do they have the discretion to place more or less value on certain ones?

    2) Is the board limited to only considering the minimum specified requirements or are they allowed the freedom to consider other important factors like communication skills, a giant face tattoo of a naked man, criminal record, references, employment history, etc.? These would all be common sense considerations when making a hire but they wouldn't be things you would list as a minimum requirement. There may have been other factors of greater weight than the specified minimum requirements that ruled certain candidates in or out. For example, maybe the guy wore an oversized ball cap and a wifebeater shirt that says "I'm a Beleiber" to the interview?

    Kidding but we know that there is no precedent for every candidate who meets the minimum requirements for a job being able to sue if they don't get it, much less for a whole year's salary. Each. Wow.

    Hope you (whoever you are) will stay on top of this as it develops.

    1. The suit was copied word for word. There are, as we mentioned, two such suits. I would assume the ad hominem attacks are deserved due to previous incidents in Muscle Shoals gov't.

      As for the merit of the suits, we'll leave that up to the courts. Mr. Underwood is a very erudite individual, but we assume he does write in the vernacular of those whom he's addressing.

      You can bet we'll update this as we have new info.

  2. I see MSC hasn't changed any since I moved from there 16 yrs ago.

  3. No it hasn't RG. It does surprise me that the attorney mentioned continues to smoke whatever it is he is smoking. Personally I think all attorneys need to be drug tested, don't you Billy?

  4. OB -- If your insidious little wretched mind believes I'm smoking something or doing anything else, you're welcome to get your little piss cup and come to my office and let me fill it up. I can guarantee you one thing about myself. I don't have to do drugs to realize there is scumbag government going on in Muscle Shoals. So get your little cup and come over and drug test me. Then post on your blog the results.

    Randall Fox -- the Civil Service Law in Muscle Shoals requires that the minimum requirements be met to hire someone. The request for one year salary was a beginning point; not the ending point. Attorneys always, as a matter of course, request to see if an insurance carrier would be willing to settle, whether it is a car wreck or a government cheating all of its citizens, not just the citizens who didn't get the job. Therefore, I was being polite by seeing if the case could be handled without paying a defense lawyer for the City of Muscle Shoals $40K - $60K to defend their bad name. I always try to be right to the point. Thanks for your comment.

  5. Oh yes, let's drug test all the lawyers! That makes PERFECT SENSE! I know I, personally, lie awake at night fearful of all those doped up attorneys coming to MEDIATE ME TO DEATH!!!

    OB -- why don't you save your asinine comments for your own lame blog?