Denny Smith 0

Please Let Denny Stay

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Denny doesn't deserve to be fired.

He has shared with us as much about the incidents in question as he feels is proper. Human Resources has characterized this incident as harassment. Anyone who knows him would know that the text was an attempt at humor, even if it used crass suggestive language. The hug was a typical interaction that he and the other person had engaged in every time they saw each other. He hugs many of us, and we often instigate these and hug him back, and it is a welcome sign of friendship and affection. The accuser would have known him well enough to fully understand these things. They had a work-based friendship that had included many other similar conversations and Denny states that he never felt discomfort or resistance to their interactions, and we believe him.

We believe him because we know him. His personality and speech are unusual, but they always comes from a place of love and selflessness. HR has also characterized these charges as a "second and third strike." The scenario that they are counting as a first strike was presented to Denny as an unofficial suggestion to be careful about his social media posts. He was informed that nothing was "going in his file." He perceived no pushback from the other party that his text had made her feel harassed. He did not notice her discomfort during the subsequent hug. Therefore, when he was called to meet with administration and HR last week, he was not aware that he had any strikes.

Please give him another chance. He has expressed to us that he is willing to do anything that is asked of him to stay at Egleston. His love of this workplace, and his work, and all of us, shines out of him. He is an integral part of our group. He is valuable in obvious ways and in ways that cannot be measured. Many of us are having difficulty imagining this place without him, because he is so much a part of it. Harassment and hostility are intolerable, and Denny hates that he has been associated with these severe infractions against our basic humanity, and that he has caused a person he thought of as a friend to feel pain and fear. We humbly ask that the end result of this process be reconsidered.

The undersigned members of Egleston Surgical Services and Anesthesia Department and Associated Departments

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