Having a government union job pretty much means you can get away with anything. Here at the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) there’s an employee that is still employed after several run-ins with the law. And they aren’t DUIs or traffic tickets…
WSDOT Engineer Pleads Not Guilty to Stabbing, Robbing Women
A WSDOT engineer accused in a series of violent crimes is out on bail following a court hearing on Thursday. Corey G. Wight pleaded not guilty to assault charges during the hearing. He’s accused of picking up prostitutes earlier this year then stabbing and robbing the women.
According to the statement of probable cause, Wight, 55, picked up a woman and paid her to perform a sex act and as she was getting out of his car, he told her to hand over all her money, detectives said. Wight then pulled out a knife and stabbed the woman twice, in the arm and in the hip, according to investigators. He tried to stab her a third time, but she managed to jump out of the truck. Wight took all of the woman’s cash out of her wallet before throwing it out of his truck and driving off, detectives said.
The woman told investigators as he drove off, “I saw on his face this look of satisfaction like it was sadistic, like he got off on what he had done to me. Like it satisfied him, like he just looked like a serpent that had just swallowed a rodent.” The woman described her attacker to a detective who recognized the description as that of someone he’d recently investigated. The detective showed the woman a photo montage, and she “immediately picked Wight out of the montage, saying she was positive he was the man that stabbed her,” the document said.
Investigators later learned another woman had been stabbed in a similar robbery incident in March. That woman was picked up by a man who paid her to perform a sex act. While the woman was getting out of the man’s truck, he said to her, “You forgot something,” then stabbed her in the leg with a large flat-tipped screwdriver, the statement said. The woman tried to fight back, using her purse to shield herself. But when the man yelled, “Give me that purse (expletive)!” she dropped the bag and ran, she told detectives. When shown a photo montage, she identified Wight as her attacker and “confirmed ‘100 percent’ he was the man that attacked her,” investigators said.
According to the WSDOT, Wight was placed on leave on April when the investigation began. He was allowed to return to work on Aug. 1; however, he was demoted to an engineer of a lower tier and was not compensated for the time he was on leave. His current annual salary is $61,296. Wight has been employed by WSDOT for 27 years.
Wight again was placed on administrative leave from his WSDOT job last week, but the WSDOT says it can’t fire him if the offense wasn’t directly related to his job. “There is no provision in state law or the collective bargaining agreement that allows WSDOT to terminate a represented employee’s employment based merely on the existence of a criminal conviction not directly related to the scope of his or her employment,” the WSDOT said in a statement.
Wight has a prior conviction for third-degree assault. And guess what that was for? In January of this year he was arrested for allegedly raping a 16-year-old prostitute at his apartment. That charge was later reduced and he pleaded guilty to 3rd degree assault — a felony. He served just 2 days in jail. Wight’s supervisors at WSDOT found out about the incident with the 16-year-old, and placed him on paid reassignment from Jan. 14 to April 4. They later suspended him without pay for nearly three months. Transportation supervisors ended up demoting Wight and gave him a pay cut of approximately 10%.
I recently obtained employment at a private firm and had to go through a criminal and driving record background check. Our personnel manual has a section on “personal conduct”. It states: “The conduct of the company’s business and how it is viewed by its clients is very important to FIRM NAME and to its employees. The business actions the company takes puts it reputation on the line. Employees are expected to conduct themselves in a truthful, ethical and professional manner at all times in contact with colleagues, clients, competitors, and the public.” Furthermore, our firm does a lot of work with the federal government. Our business ethics and conduct plan states, “When the company accepts government contracts or subcontracts, it has an added obligation to the public trust.”
WSDOT has this statement about “Excellence and Integrity” on their website: “Our employees will work in a culture of workplace excellence and diversity that encourages creativity and personal responsibility, values teamwork, and always respects the contributions of one another and of those with whom we do business. We will adhere to the highest standards of courtesy, integrity, and ethical conduct.”
If Wight held a private sector job, there is no doubt in my mind he would have been fired by now. I asked HR today if they would hire a recent felon. Her answer, “no way”. Instead of recognizing their obligation to the taxpayers (their employers) and their own excellence and integrity standards, the union once again shows their true purpose is to protect their due payers, instead of the taxpayers.
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