Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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June 6th, 2013

Investigate David Sager’s Firing

David Sager has always fought for ethics and transparency in government and that is why so many Sullivan County residents were elated when he was hired as Deputy Commissioner of Family Services.

To everyone in and out of Sullivan County government it appeared that Sager was doing a great job, and was responsible in instituting a great deal of positive productive change at Family and Social Services.

He was publicly praised for the job he was by Sullivan County Commissioner of Family Services Randy Parker, employees, and elected officials.

Suddenly without any notification Sager was handed a letter by Parker telling him he was fired and that he should collect his belongings and leave the building. No explanation was given to Sager for the reason of his termination.

In fact, just like Schultz in the famed TV series “Hogan’s Heroes” – Nobody knows “Nothing!” Nobody – none of our legislators knew that Sager was being fired, let alone why.

Cindy Gieger who is head of the Health and Family Services Committee of the Legislature was not even informed of Sager’s firing in advance. That’s right, Cindy Gieger who has worked around the clock to bring change to family services, and has worked tirelessly to stop fraud and abuse, was not informed about Sager.

No one had an ounce human decency to bring Sager into the office and discuss any problems there might have been with his employment, and work out a solution.

Instead, certain people decided to slap and humiliate our former respected member of the legislature with termination. The response from County Officials has been that Sager was an “at will employee” and the legislature does not get involved with personnel matters.

Community activists will not accept that answer to Sager’s firing, nor will David Sager.

Thanks to the grassroots efforts of people like Liz Bucar, Elaine Williams, Sandra Oxford, Tom Rue, Ellen Neumann, Denise Sarett Connolly, and many other people including myself, a petition campaign is being circulated online and throughout Sullivan County demanding an investigation into Sager’s firing.

The petition can be viewed and signed at

Supporters of Sager’s appeared Thursday and the Health and Family Services Committee meeting, and the most emotional speech came from Sager’s mother Terry who asked for an explanation to her son’s firing.

The NAACP made a bold statement supporting Sager and demanded answers under the Freedom of Information Act.
Liz Bucar asked the legislature to answer six simple questions.

1. Were any of you (Legislators) asked by the Sullivan County Attorney to not speak to or elaborate on issues or concerns surrounding Dr. David Sager’s termination?

2. If so, what were you asked not to mention?

3. Will each of the legislators present today say, TODAY, whether or not you knew of Commission Parker’s plan to terminate Sager before it occurred?

4. If so, for what reason did you keep that knowledge from other legislators?

5. Will you address the current lack of structures & procedures by which conscientious employees can report department-related concerns to the Legislature?

6. Will you commit to an immediate investigation of the circumstances surrounding Dr. Sager’s termination?

Denise Sarett Connolly received an email from Legislature Chairman Scott Samuelson stating, “I saw you in the meeting. I appreciate your comments. The matter will be scrutinized further. We will be reviewing the county’s employment policies and determining what the laws and guidelines are and what is within our purview to change or enhance if deemed necessary.”

Sager himself issued the following statement:

“I performed my duties as Deputy Commissioner of the Sullivan County Department of Family Services competently and professionally. Because Commissioner Parker has offered no reason to me or anyone else for my abrupt termination, I can only conclude I was let go as an act of retaliation for expressing to Mr. Parker my serious concerns about both past and present failures on the part of DFS relating to individual cases and the inability of certain employees to conduct their work competently and in accordance with the law.”

Sager Continued, “DFS employees in my office have come forward to say I was a caring, productive, and hard-working colleague. Though Commissioner Parker and I occasionally disagreed on a course of action privately, I was always a supportive and deferential deputy. Recently Mr. Parker praised my work at a departmental meeting in front of the entire staff. In fact, leading up to the day of my firing, he and I were seriously discussing adding additional responsibilities to my portfolio.”

“I am aware of the informative and spirited discussion that took place at the recent Legislature’s labor sub-committee meeting. I am heartened by the willingness on the part of some legislators to dig in and begin the process of publicly asking the necessary hard questions about my abrupt and unexplained termination.”

“Words cannot begin to express the gratitude I feel for your outpouring of support with regard to my sudden and unexplained termination. Thank you so much to the hundreds who have already signed the petition on my behalf. It is especially gratifying to see how many rank and file DFS employees have already signed the petition. I think that it speaks volumes as to the work I did and the relationships I fostered during my short tenure.”

Sager concluded, “I have given much of my adult life to serving Sullivan County, first as an elected public servant and more recently as Deputy Commissioner of Family Services. My termination was unjust and unwarranted. It is past the time to demand transparency, accountability and fairness from our county leaders and those who work for them. I, along with many of you, feel it is necessary to have a thorough public discussion of the circumstances surrounding my termination and job performance.”

Informed sources have told me privately that Sager’s firing was pure political back stabbing coming from certain people who had an axe to grind against Sager. Once all the truth comes out, there will be a shake up at the Sullivan County government center, and we can expect some key people gone.

The Sullivan County Legislature must conduct a complete investigation into the firing of David Sager!

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the “MOUTH THAT ROARS” Column in the Sullivan County Post

2 comments to Investigate David Sager’s Firing

  • Dan

    And while their investgating that they need to investigate why woody wood has a job with the sheriffs department.they gave a badge,gun and athority to a man who was found guilty of violating one of his tenates civil rights and then was almost held in contempt because he didn’t want a pay her but its funny how you never write articles about the sheriff

  • Jeff Shook

    Unless your a “YES” man, this will repeat itself over and over when dealing with Randy Parker. He will surround himself with lynch men that will run out anyone that disagrees with him. he deals in fear and threats towards employees that truly need the job they are performing. HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF as this was his methodology in running an agency in Ohio, one that he was released from.