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Oct 1, 2010 9:46 PM by Alison Haynes

E-mail urges GOHSEP workers to support amendment

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - An employee at the Governor's Office of
Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness e-mailed her fellow
employees Friday, urging them to support a constitutional amendment
on Saturday's ballot that affects their employment.
State law prohibits using public funds to urge anyone to vote
for or against candidates or propositions in any election, leading
to questions about whether the use of a state e-mail account to
push for the constitutional amendment could be a violation.
Maryann Tumino, legislative liaison for GOHSEP, asked workers in
her e-mail to vote for the proposal to make GOHSEP employees not
subject to civil service rules and protections.
"We urge you to support GOHSEP's position by voting 'for' the
amendment on the ballot tomorrow," she wrote in the e-mail
obtained by The Associated Press.
Tumino also included background on the amendment, which would
address an ongoing lawsuit with the Civil Service Commission over
the status of the workers.
When an AP reporter asked questions about the e-mail, another
was sent asking workers to disregard the first message.
GOHSEP Director Mark Cooper refused an interview, but his
spokeswoman said Cooper didn't know about the e-mail before Tumino
sent it.
"He did not authorize it. The employee sent it out because they
were getting so many questions about it," said Veronica Mosgrove,
a GOHSEP spokeswoman. "Out of an abundance of caution, we sent out
a note this afternoon to disregard the previous e-mail."
Asked for comment, Tumino referred the call to another GOHSEP
official. Mosgrove confirmed that Tumino sent the e-mail.
The constitutional amendment would make all the jobs in GOHSEP
"unclassified," political appointments not governed by the pay
scales, job protections and qualification guidelines of the Civil
Service Commission.

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