Renea McMasters on Missouri Department of Conservation Termination

Dear friends in liberty,

• On 4-28-2009 my employment with the Missouri Department of Conservation was terminated.
• The reason given was "work place violence."
• I disagree with this reason.
• On 4-26-09 I yelled at a volunteer who was taunting and teasing me.

This person was making fun of my name, calling me, "Rene-Ahh." I raised my voice. I did NOT threaten, swear at, or call her names. I simply told her that I was sick of her taunting me and using tax-payer money to promote big business and lobbying groups.

The full details of my separation are lengthy and warrant further investigation by the Missouri Department of Conservation, the State Treasurer, as well as the tax payers of Missouri. I will provide you with the highlights that led up to my termination.

• My supervisor at the Shepherd of the Hills Visitor Center, John Miller, recruited me as a volunteer after I was hired to fill a position of Public Service Clerk.
• John's wife, Kathy, is in charge of running special events at the visitor center.
• At some special events John and Kathy sometimes appear to quarrel. I have been put in the middle by Kathy requesting that I walk across the property and retrieve John, and John sending me back to Kathy with a message. I was in no position to say no to the boss or the boss's wife. I was working and getting paid by the state at these events.
• In the early part of February, John placed Kathy and another volunteer, Carrie-Ann in charge of coordinating an Earth Day event for 4-25-09. Kathy requested that I organize a local food workshop. I agreed to volunteer for this task, and spent my days off driving to or calling people in my area, asking them to set-up a booth at the event. I told people this was a celebration of all things local and a demonstration of how small businesses are better for the environment.
• In the early part of March, Kathy and Carrie-Ann announced that they were inviting Lowe's and Home Depot to the event. I told John, Kathy, and Carrie-Ann that the people I had invited would feel insulted by this. I resigned as a volunteer for the state and turned over all contacts I had made to Kathy and Carrie-Ann. I was content to continue my job as a public service clerk. I just did not want to volunteer anymore.
• In early April the small, local businesses I had contacted in February began calling me. They wanted to know why I had made no further contact. I tried to talk to John about this. John cut me offand told me to talk to Kathy.
• I did talk to Kathy, who lectured me about my communication skills and frequent misunderstandings. I was very hurt and angry about this lecture, but could not go to my boss because it was his wife givingthe lecture.
• In late April, I opened a package that arrived at the visitor's center. This package was from the Missouri Corn Growers Association, a lobbying group that seeks government funding. The package was full of brochures promoting the use and more funding for ethanol. I asked John
what this was for and he said they were to be given out at the Earth Day event.
• On 4-28-09 Carrie-Ann came to the visitor's center to work on Earth Day projects. Every time I saw her she made fun of my name. She knows how to pronounce my name. I have heard her say it correctly. I asked her why she was using tax payer time and facilities to promote a
lobbying group. She said she used to work for Monsanto. I yelled at
her. I yelled that my name is Renea and I disapprove of a former Monsanto employee using tax dollars to promote a practice that seeks government funding to burn food and drive up the price of groceries. I yelled that I can barely afford to feed my family as it is. Then I left.
• I also spent a week working with an employee, Bryon, who came to work late and left early everyday. Furthermore, when Bryon is at work he spends his day in my boss's office surfing the internet and sending email. Bryon makes more than $15 an hour.
• I had complained to John about this several times. When I resigned as a volunteer John became more critical of my work. I feed the turtles too much (I used my own money to buy food for the turtles). I was late one morning and John told me to "not make a habit of it." In
the two plus years that I have worked for him I had been late maybefive times.
• I did Bryon's job and my job on the days I worked with Bryon. Other employees voiced the same complaints to John.

I never received any warning or criticism about my work until I resigned as a volunteer. Everyday I strived to do better than the last. I did every task assigned to me, as well as compensated for Bryon's absence. I spent two years volunteering so I could learn more
about the job I was getting paid to do.

• John is a member of the National Association of Interpreter's. John and Kathy used tax payer money to fly around the United States to hand out awards. I helped John with his credit card statements every month. The State of Missouri has paid thousands of dollars for plane tickets
alone. John took his wife, Kathy, and the state paid for private hotel rooms and food. John and Kathy have taken at least three trips in the
past year. Each trip was 5 - 10 days long. The people of Missouri has footed the bill.

Any ideas on how to stop the Missouri Department of Conservation from abusing our money and neglecting our citizens and wildlife?

Your friend in Liberty,
Renea McMasters