Broomfield municipal employee faces termination for calling FOX31 Problem Solvers

BROOMFIELD, Colo. -- Melissa Maur says she may soon be the walking definition of the phrase, "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished." The 26-year-old will face a termination hearing from the city and county of Broomfield Monday for calling the FOX31 Problem Solvers.

Masur has worked at the Paul Derda Recreation Center in Broomfield for nearly eight years. In early February, she called FOX31 to see if the Problem Solvers would be interested in sharing a story about a necklace discovered at the gym's lost and found. Tied to the necklace was a vial of ashes and a picture of a man later identified as Frank Sears. Sears was a U.S. military veteran who passed away three years ago.

"I can’t even imagine how the person who lost it would feel. Obviously, it was super sentimental and I just wanted that story to be finished. I wanted this (necklace) to get reunited," said Masur, explaining her decision to call the Problem Solvers. "If I thought this would even be an issue, I wouldn’t have done it."

The necklace belongs to Frank's widow, Yolanda Sears, who -- thanks to media coverage -- was soon reunited with the memento she lost at the gym.

"I cried," said Sears, describing her reaction when she was reunited with her necklace. "She (Masur) is such a wonderful person in her heart. She knew that she was doing the right thing to give it to the right person and that’s all she did."

But Masur's boss Clay Shuck saw it differently. Shuck is the director of recreation, wellness and senior services at the Paul Derda Recreation Center and on Feb. 22, he sent Masur a disciplinary notice recommending she be terminated. His letter states she violated the Broomfield Municipal Code for employees partly because, "City employees are prohibited from engaging in any conduct which could reflect unfavorably upon the city."

Masur was confused.

"Emotionally, I’ve been all over the place because I thought I was doing the right thing. Everything I was taught growing up I had to actually question," she said.

Shuck's disciplinary letter states, "Without first contacting  your supervisor ... and without any plan in place, you contacted the FOX31 Problem Solvers."

Masur told FOX31, "In the city and county of Broomfield, if you get hired there at some point, you get brought up the notion of the Broomfield Way. And what the Broomfield Way is, is the employee needs to go above and beyond in servicing the public. So with that mentality, I was like, I knew FOX31 Problem Solvers, I know they do stories like this."

The city and county of Broomfield would soon seek media help itself, posting a picture of the lost necklace on Twitter, writing,  "Help Broomfield find the rightful owner of this sentimental necklace." Broomfield even asked followers to contact Clay Shuck at his email address.

But in his disciplinary letter, Shuck wrote, "I spent approximately four hours of time researching the situation, notifying appropriate staff within the City and County of Broomfield including Communications and other Recreation staff who may be contacted by the media."

When the Problem Solvers informed Yolanda Sears that Shuck has recommended firing Masur, she was incredulous.

"She should be praised at work for what she [has] done," Yolanda said. The 74-year-old widow is adamant that terminating a city employee for good intentions would be unkind and mean-spirited.

"It’s very, very hard to believe that this person wants to fire such a wonderful worker," Yolanda said.

A spokeswoman for Broomfield told the Problem Solvers that the city doesn't comment on personnel matters.

Masur's disciplinary hearing is Monday morning.  When asked if there's anything she can say Monday to save her job, Masur responded, "The only thing I have on my side is the truth and telling my side of the story."

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