hyde park utah
courtesy twitter.com
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If you’ve ever worked in a public or government job, you know how difficult it can be to discipline, let alone fire an employee. Public employee unions and contracts make a normal employer/employee relationship nearly impossible. In New York, for instance, teachers who commit a variety of infractions, but can’t be fired due to the crushing bureaucracy, are held in “rubber rooms” all day, every day. Sometimes for years.

In Utah, they handle things a little differently.

Hyde Park Public Works Director Mike Grunig called a meeting one day last November and then pulled a gun on some of his employees.

From hjnews.com:

Grunig reportedly called the meeting at about 3 p.m., which was not out of the ordinary, according to (Kolby) Christiansen and (Justin) Bodrero. They reportedly discussed city business, briefly, but when Grunig suggested Bodrero would look good with a green dot on him, the tone of the meeting changed quickly.

“Mike pulled a 9 mm SW Shied out of concealment and opened the slide and turned on the laser and pointed at Justin and it got super quiet,” Christiansen wrote in a statement to Chief Steve Milne, interim chief of the North Park Police Department.

It isn’t clear what concept Grunig was trying to drive home with the improvised laser pointer.

Mark Johnson was in the room as well, although he chose not to speak publicly about what took place.

“As we were sitting there, I heard Mike say ‘wouldn’t Justin look good with a green dot on him’ then I heard the a slide of a gun,” he wrote in his statement to Milne. He “looked up to see Mike holding a gun that had its slide back, Mike then pointed the gun at Justin’s chest then at his private body parts, then pointed the gun at Kolby’s chest then he pointed it at my chest making me feel very uncomfortable. Mike then put the gun back together and left the shop and we looked at each other and couldn’t believe what just happened.”

The employees keep the incident to themselves until January, apparently out of fear for their jobs. But when Mayor Sharidean Flint heard what happened, she didn’t fire Grunig and didn’t call the police. Instead, she reprimanded Grunig (a 30-year employee), demoted him, cut his salary and put him on administrative leave.

It didn’t end there.

When the matter was ultimately heard by the city council they came to a different determination.

…according to the notice, the council determined instead that “there is sufficient evidence of offensive conduct towards other city officers or employees while on the job and that such conduct merits discipline, albeit different from the discipline imposed by the mayor.”

With that determination, the City Council restored Grunig to his position as the public works director, his wages were restored to $33.38 per hour, with back pay to cover the loss of wages resulting from the mayor’s disciplinary action. The council also suspended Grunig for six consecutive work days, without pay, between the dates of March 1 to 8. These actions also came with a formal reprimand which is supposed to be included in his personnel file.

Police Chief Steve Milne decided, somehow, that Grunig’s actions weren’t sufficient to file criminal charges. We’re not familiar with Hyde Park city ordinances, but you’d think there’d be one that covers, maybe, brandishing a firearm. Just a thought.

Anyway, Christiansen and Bodrero decided that they’d rather not work for someone who would point a firearm at them and they’ve quit their jobs.

“We’re taking that as constructive termination,” Kolby Christiansen said last week by way of explaining his decision to resign.

He and Justin Bodrero, two of the men who found a handgun pointed directly at them during the November staff meeting, say their personal safety means more to them than a job.

That’s about the only reasonable reaction anyone in this story seems to have had to what Grunig reportedly did.

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      • Ain’t white privilege a grand thing?

        If he was black he would’ve lost his job, probably had the police called and be dead now.

        But hey it’s an old white guy so no problem.

        • So this subject takes a firearm into a prohibited place, city property, carrying concealed and then reveals his weapon and pointes it at multiple individuals. And for all of this he receives six days off without pay but he does get paid for the time he was off previously as ordered by the mayor, so that’s a paid vacation. And then we consider the legally licensed black armed citizens who are shot down by police officers.
          And the 14-year-old black kid who gets shot in less than two seconds of the units arrival, because he had a BB gun.

          Really? Equal justice under the law?

        • Dont matter what the issue is any more, that race card comes flying out! Usually by some stupid white SJW.

        • Ollie, you say I am wrong about his ethnicity, what evidence do you have to attack my statement? May I suggest you check the local reporting, which includes both pictures and videos of this subject?

          Is it just that you don’t want him to be white or have you actually researched the story?

          Why hasn’t a criminal complaint been filed on this individual for brandishing, possession of a weapon in a municipal building and intentionally pointing a deadly weapon at employees? This is what some would call selective prosecution, now why would this old white guy not be prosecuted when a black person similarly situated would be prosecuted and/or shot.

    • I’m normally not one to jump on the race card bandwagon but I’m afraid Miner49er has a point. This could have gone differently if this guy was black. I don’t like it that it’s true, but I think it unfortunately is true.

      • I doubt it. This sounds like a good’ole boys club scenario where the one who brandished the firearm was in the club and the others weren’t. The funny thing is that race does not factor in these pseudo clubs that much anymore. Charisma and connections are probably what really saved this guy from being fired.

        • My perception is you are correct…not that we have that many other than white folks here. If Grundig was black or hispanic (and a prominent member of the LDS faith) he still would have gotten a pass.

  1. You got to understand that city police are under the thumb of the mayors & governors,,, which gets a huge amount of money from unions,,, I know that for a fact because I spent 40yrs in a union,,, almost all unions today are democrat,,, republican leaders don’t have such a cozy relationship with the unions… just to let you know…

    • If the police fail you in such a scenario, go to the county leo or even prosecutor’s office.

      Failing that, go to a shrink and document all the nightmares you’re having and sue the everloving shit out of the city which will then have to explain why they haven’t fired the guy who did it and therefore are apparently okay with it.

    • I feel like the two employees who were (in my opinion, clearly) threatened could easily file a police report and press charges. I’m not quite sure why that hasn’t happened. I’d be surprised if they didn’t have a civil case against the various powers that be in the city government as well for not dealing with this situation properly. Is there more to this story?

  2. This is one “bastion” of the Mormon/LDS/whatever their deciding to call themselves today, in Utah. It appears he’s been abusing his authority for a LLLOOOONNNNGGGGG time.

    The Herald Journal seems to be using its influence to attempt to get the word out. So far, not one other Utah news outlet has picked it up. It ran a couple of days ago.

  3. Was this guy allowed to carry a gun while at work for the city? If so, then the other employees should be allowed to as well. If not, he should’ve been fired. If there’s no policy, whoever is in charge of HR should be fired.

    One way or another, I’d say this guy will eventually get himself shot for pointing a firearm at somebody

    • Um, this is Utah. It’s legal to carry guns pretty much everywhere and city buildings are no exception. We can even carry (concealed with permit) onto public school grounds and even into the buildings, classrooms, etc. About the only “sacred cow” where you have to have explicit permission to carry is Mormon churches, buildings, etc.

  4. Headline would be clearer if it said subordinates.

    These dudes should claim unemployment as their place of work is manifestly unsafe.

    • Up near Ogden it’s probably a 50/50 chance. Whole hell of a lot of commiefornians moving into Utah also. No matter this guy should get treated like someone who isn’t part of the government higher class.

    • What exactly does this incident have to do with the predominant religion in the area? Looks like a moron did a moronic thing, embarrassing responsible gun owners everywhere. If it happened in rural Massachusetts, would y’all complain about Catholicism’s shortcomings? Looks like misplaced blame to me; the city apparently doesn’t have policies and rules in place to deal with moronic behavior and therefore are stuck employing a moron.

      • In the context of the article, it brings up “Multiple people also mentioned their belief that Grunig would also use his position in church leadership to “save his job.”

        Unfortunately, it casts both firearms owners AND the Mormon church in a bad light.

        • Shoot! (Wait, actually, don’t shoot!)
          I read that article first at KSL and then at Deseret later; I never saw the reference to folks’ fear about his misuse of church leadership. Turns out it was only mentioned at HJ, the local paper, and not on either of the other statewide links.
          Weird coincidence? I think not. Maybe y’all are onto something after all.
          Aren’t whistleblower laws applicable in local government too? Or is that too much common sense to expect?
          There’s absolutely no excuse for pointing firearms at people in a business meeting and absolutely no excuse for any organization letting an employee off the hook for constructively threatening lives. Insanely shameful.

    • Um, seriously, we are going down that road? Can I use the “B” word – bigotry – to describe this? I think I can. I mean, this is almost like blaming atheists for gangsters in LA or Catholics for drug cartels in Mexico. I live near a Mormon community, and it is probably the safest, well-mannered community in the city I live. I would be happy to call any Mormon a friend.

  5. One law for the Masters and their people and one law for the servant class. Remember that you pay their salaries. Or at least the residents of Hyde Park and possibly other areas of Utah pay their salaries. Pretty good salary for what is probably the guy driving around waiting for the power company to show up and fix a line issue or whatever.

  6. I’ve followed this story since it first broke. This guy is a psychopath, pure and simple.

    No impulse control, gets a thrill out of making other people afraid. Everyone who knows him has said that he’s always been a little bit “off,” hard to get along with, and manages to talk his way out of all sorts of crap that no normal person could ever get away with.

    I’ve personally seen more than one of these people get amazing mileage out of milking Mormons’ trust & affinity for all it’s worth. One sociopathic guy bilked my parents out of thousands of dollars and had the entire local congregation on his side — never mind that he was new and my parents (who are literally the nicest people on earth) had been upstanding members for 20 years. He played the religious heartstrings like a maestro.

    I can only think that the city council is totally unaware of what they’re dealing with or is afraid of what he’d do.

  7. That term “constructive termination” means that they’re going to file a lawsuit. In law, “constructive” has a meaning along the lines of “basically”, “essentially”, or “effectively.”

    In this case, they’re claiming that even though they resigned, there were effectively, essentially, basically terminated–and unlawfully, at that–because the employer made continued employment intolerable and the employee had no reasonable alternative but to quit. If that employer’s original conduct was unlawful, then the employees may very well win for being forced to flee their jobs for their own safety.

    • Probably a wise move, if this dbag brandisher has so much local pull with the faithful, he’d be wrongfully acquitted of criminal charges. The lower burden of proof in a civil suit & against the city, will have a harder time being diffused.

  8. Yeah I’d say pointing a gun at someone so they would quit counts as constructive termination. Spread ’em, taxpayers of Hyde Park.

    I work public sector, there are definitely people who will never be fired despite their obvious lack of even basic competence, but I’m pretty damn sure I’d be out the door if I was even caught with a gun.

  9. “Public employee unions and contracts make a normal employer/employee relationship nearly impossible.” Pretty bold statement Dan Zimmerman, pretty bold statement. You must be on the other side of the tracks as union contracts are negotiated and agreed upon at the table by both parties. If the city side doesn’t follow through with the contact they are knowingly violating it. Union & employer relationships exist to create a better working environment, to give the employees bargaining capabilities, and so on. I’m sorry you’d rather be at the will of your employer and what they decide, that’s all you bud. Let alone your other statement claiming it is difficult to fire or even discipline an employee. You are the problem with the attacks on pensions and unions.

    You don’t apparently realize that given any infraction or violation, even in the most guilty degree where defense isn’t even an option, union “representation” is present to ensure the proper due process is being followed. That the employer doesn’t fire an employee for a minor issue such as improper hygiene….but instead follows the gradual process of discipline. Additionally, representation is present so that the person being accused doesn’t say more than what is necessary causing undue incrimination. Need I go on?

    Before you babble your mouth off next time, maybe take a step back and do a little research….for that very weekend you and everyone else take for granted….is because of labor unions establishing 40 hour work weeks.

    …..or you could work in a sweat shop…..

  10. Nothing against unions in most places – never been entirely happy with government employee unions. I’d say he definitely created a hostile work envirinment !

  11. The guy with the gun is serious if he’s using a green laser. He isn’t your typical new Colo liberal, he’s ready for combat at night. I had a clown once point an “empty’ model 36 at my testicles one night at an indoor range. My legs were crossed so I was exposed and hampered. Someone else said they’d shoot him if he didn’t lay the gun on the floor without touching the cocked hammer. He complied. He advertised he owned guns and a few years later somebody burglarized his house and took them all.

  12. Reading the Utah Brandishing statutes and commentary on the same by a Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer, I would guess the cops used the requirement that the weapon be used in “an angry or threatening manner.” to take a pass on this.
    Maybe they considered a fellow civilian aiming a firearm at others to be the natural state of things. (Civilian-a government employee not in the military.)

    Of course cops consider a citizen holding a weapon a threat 99% of the time.

    This guy says he is “pro gun”.

  13. Is this going to be another one of those scenarios where everybody had every fricken clue that a potentially murderous psychopath was right before their eyes then yet did nothing? Then if this person does decide to act on some evil impulse, the powers that be will start screaming that it’s time to do away with the 2nd Amendment. Maybe there IS a conspiracy.

    • when (and if) you ever experience something like this…and, yes…it once happened to me….your first reaction is to be stunned because it’s so unexpected…and then to stay very still hoping nothing further happens…saying something would probably not work as it would be my word against his…and he was an established police professional who had already had one suspect die “accidentally” in his office…needless to say, I gave him a very wide berth after that!…

  14. I am sorry but what I do not understand
    is why one of those fellows did not stand
    up and knock his lights out.

    I would have been in a complete rage if this
    would have happened to me. A firearm is not
    a play toy, under any circumstances.


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