On Friday, March 20, “All In with Chris Hayes” brought you an interview with Bart Bibler, a Florida Department of Environmental Protection employee who told Chris Hayes that he was suspended for expressing his views on the Keystone XL pipeline and climate change.
Lauren Engel, Communications Director for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, responded to Bibler’s allegations on Friday. Here is her statement to “All In with Chris Hayes”:
As stated in Mr. Bibler’s written reprimand, he was reprimanded for violating three DEP standards of conduct, including poor performance, insubordination and conduct unbecoming a public employee.
On March 2, Mr. Bibler was asked by his manager to attend the Coastal Managers Forum—an inter-agency meeting, as a representative of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. At that meeting, he engaged in personal political advocacy related to the Keystone XL pipeline — an issue that was not on the meeting agenda nor related to his job duties.
While we respect all our employees’ personal beliefs, we expect them to perform their duties in an impartial and appropriate manner and to stay focused and engaged on job-related activities during work hours.
We also expect all employees to perform their duties—as assigned by their supervisor—in a competent and adequate manner.
After the meeting, Mr. Bibler was reprimanded for failure to fulfill his duties as assigned in an appropriate and respectful way. After multiple requests by his supervisor, Mr. Bibler failed to provide an accurate summary of the meeting, and instead responded in a disrespectful and argumentative fashion by simply providing an attachment with the “Keystone XL Pipeline” with a red circle and a cross through it.
Due to HIPPA laws, we cannot discuss an employee’s health.
You can watch the clip from “All In with Chris Hayes” here: