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Former employee still awaits grievance results

A former USF parking enforcement specialist who issued 30 to 40 citations per day for the Division of Public Safety may have gotten fired earlier this year because the department wanted him to give out more.

Constantine Mellon said he filed a grievance against the University shortly after he was terminated in June for non-productivity.

Last week, Mellon filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

He said he was terminated for not issuing enough parking citations even though there is no existing quota that specialists have to reach.

“There’s no quota system. Nobody said I have to make a lot of tickets as long as I make correct citations,” he said. “The system they have here is to make money off the students. If you don’t make a lot of tickets, they frown upon that and that’s what happened to me.”

University spokeswoman Lara Wade said she could not comment on Mellon’s claims because it is part of an ongoing investigation, but she said Human Resources is investigating his complaint.

“We are not able to discuss Mr. Mellon’s case,” she said in an e-mail. “USF is looking into his complaint, and it is part of his grievance.”

Mellon’s grievance states, “This termination is being grieved because through my employment with Parking Enforcement, there were no quotas … Among other things, my supervisor said that I did not write enough tickets. In other words, I failed to meet his quota.”

Mellon said the current supervisor for Parking Enforcement, Manuel Bermudez, was “out to get (him).”

“On multiple occasions, he told me that I moved too slow,” Mellon said. “(He) asserted that I failed to achieve the standards in another category, yet my previous supervisor indicated that I achieved the standards in most categories … I was not the problem. Mr. Bermudez and his false quotas were the problem.”

His previous supervisor, Frank Wassenberg, who is now a University Police law enforcement sergeant, declined to comment due to the pending grievance.

“Wassenberg was more concerned of the quality of citations rather than the quantity of citations,” Mellon said.

In a past interview with The Oracle, Manuel Lopez, director of Parking and Transportation Services, said about 34,000 citations have been issued every year for the past three school years.

Mellon, who had worked for Public Safety since January 2009, hired Richard Bradford, a lawyer of Bradford and Bradford law firms, to argue his case.

“From the very beginning, his supervisor had singled him out and made life difficult for him,” Bradford said. “For one reason or another, (Bermudez) didn’t like (Mellon).”

He said the charge of discrimination filed with EEOC could take up to six month to a year to be processed before the case could go to court.

“The discrimination claim is pending,” Bradford said. “The EEOC doesn’t move very fast. Things can get resolved before that. The EEOC may ask the party to go to mediation, and I would encourage Mr. Mellon to pursue that option if USF agrees.”