A bizarre series of pranks most people would call harassment, leaves the prankster still employed, while one of his coworkers and a victim of the pranks, which compromised both the health and safety of a company's employees, loses his job.

In a story a story published by the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, Uncompahgre Valley Water User's Association employee Aaron English placed bags of his own feces in coworkers lunches, built and detonated explosive devices and placed flammable materials in milk jugs along ditch banks his fellow employees were burning.

As punishment - or rather reward - for his actions, Uncompahgre Valley Water User's Association General Manager, Steve Fletcher promoted English.

Meanwhile, a nine-year employee of the water user's association, Bill Bailey, who was injured on the job and was a victim of English's pranks, was terminated in May 2015. Bailey filed for disability benefits with the case ultimately ending up before a judge.

In her report, Administrative Law Judge Kimberly B. Turnbow detailed English's behavior, complaints made by Bailey and other employees and the apparent lack of action by Fletcher.

In a portion of the order, Judge Turnbow said,

Considering the totality of the evidence, the ALJ (administrative law judge) finds that Claimant did not precipitate the employment termination by a volitional act, which he would reasonably expect to result in the loss of employment. This finding is supported by Employer’s failure to warn or discipline Claimant for his conduct between September 2014 and May 4, 2015, and Employer’s tolerance of far more egregious behavior from other employees.”

The judge ruled the Uncompahgre Valley Water User's Association must pay disability benefits to Bailey.

The Daily Sentinel said it received a copy of the order, which is usually only available to parties in a case, earlier this week.

George Etchart, president of the water user's association board of directors, said the board is conducting its own investigation. Etchart also confirmed both English and Fletcher are still employed and the board would be discussing the matter further.

The annual meeting of the water user's association is scheduled for Tuesday (February 2) at the Montrose Pavilion.


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