Rarely has someone been less happy to get a raise than Linda Payne, a public defender in Kootenai County, Idaho. PDs there were told by county commissioners on June 5 that their pay would be going up from $45,500 to about $56,000, or about 25 percent. But before the party could really get started, they got another letter saying that a clerical error had been made, and that the raise was really about half that, or to $51,300.
Still fairly significant, relatively speaking, but Payne was not happy. She sent commissioners a greeting card along with a jar of Vaseline and a tube of red lipstick. The card read, “The next time you choose to give us something please lubricate and/or kiss first.”
It continued that the mistakenly-less-than-expected raise was “yet another example of your disrespect for loyal county employees,” and charged that commissioners had said that “monkeys could do [the] jobs” that the public defenders in Kootenai County are called on to do.
Commissioners denied making any such statements and said that Payne’s letter was an “unprofessional response to a simple mistake.” Payne was given a one-week suspension.