Friday, August 27, 2010

"Let's go to the videotape": Christie dumps Schundler

In the patent biz, evidence of who did what when can be quite important.

A Newark Star-Ledger piece illustrates that videotape will beat human memory/spin in the evidence game:

On Wednesday [August 25], Christie publicly said Schundler had tried to give the correct information to a bungled question during the presentation, but video from the U.S. Department of Education released Thursday [August 26] proved that did not happen.

The bottom line:

Gov. Chris Christie fired state education commissioner Bret Schundler this morning [August 27] after Schundler refused to resign in the wake of the controversy over the state's loss of up to $400 million in federal school funding.

As they said on Mad Men: "The faintest ink is better than the best memory." That applies to record keeping in the patent biz.

***UPDATE. From the Newark Star-Ledger-->

Schundler admitted he might have made a slight blunder by telling the governor the conversation with the reviewer happened during the interview, on camera — when, in reality, he said it happened after the camera was turned off.
If New Jersey did produce the numbers on Aug. 11, according to Race to the Top rules, it would not have mattered. While the state could not have introduced new facts, the presentations are held so states can explain what they have written or point to data misplaced in other sections.

Schundler insisted he be fired rather than simply offer his resignation because, he said, he needed to file for unemployment benefits.
"I do have a mortgage to pay, and I do have a daughter who’s just started college," Schundler said.
Schundler and his wife have less than $5,000 in the bank, according to financial disclosures released Thursday by the State Ethics Commission. Over the last 12 months, Schundler reported making between $50,000 and $100,000 on each of his previous jobs as education commissioner and chief operating office of The King’s College, a Christian liberal arts school in New York City. He is not yet eligible for a pension.

However, even the unemployment question is in dispute.
The state Department of Labor late Friday said cabinet officials are "generally not eligible for unemployment benefits." Federal and state law say that positions are ineligible.


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