Shaw plans to sue KHQ over firing
Former news anchor says he was harassed
By Jim Kershner
“Mr. Shaw wants the public to know these vicious claims of harassment against him are totally and completely false,” said Shaw’s statement. “However, Mr. Shaw believes the only way he can clearly end this ordeal is through the public court system. It is a battle both he and his family are ready, willing and able to fight and they eagerly await the opportunity.”
When the station announced his firing Nov. 8, it said that Shaw recently had been placed on administrative leave during the “investigation of a claim of harassment by a co-worker.” However, Shaw’s statement said that he was the one who was being harassed.
“For nearly two years, Mr. Randy Shaw has been subjected to harassment, intimidation, threats and, in short, some of the worst workplace retaliation he could ever imagine from the top management of KHQ-TV,” said Shaw’s statement.
“As a result of his termination from employment and the attempted character assassination of his long-established name and reputation, Mr. Shaw will be filing a lawsuit against KHQ-TV and others and fully intends on pursuing the matter to the fullest extent allowed by law.”
Most of the statement is a detailed account of incidents beginning in 1998 that Shaw said led to the termination. He said that he approached management in October 1998 to express concerns about the job performance of his co-anchor, Penny Daniels. He said that other employees had asked Shaw to speak to management about it.
However, word got around that he had raised these issues, said the statement. The situation involving Shaw, Daniels and management soon deteriorated and Shaw said he began to be “subjected to threats and harassment by management.” He believed he was “being retaliated against.”
At one point, management threatened to “monitor his every move” and that “he would be disciplined over any alleged complaint,” said the statement.
Shaw said he had to “endure months of being judged by how he might have looked at Penny Daniels.”
Reached Tuesday night, Daniels said she had no comment because she hadn’t read Shaw’s statement.
Eventually, a formal complaint was filed against him by Daniels, said Shaw’s statement. Lawyers were brought in by the station to interview Shaw and other employees. However, Shaw’s statement said that employees favorable to him were not interviewed.
“It was clear the attorney was not conducting a fair and impartial investigation of the matter and Mr. Shaw did not participate further,” said the release.
On Tuesday, after Shaw issued his statement, KHQ general manager Lon Lee issued the following statement: “Randy Shaw was terminated because of his long-term unacceptable behavior in the station, which he was unwilling to address in any meaningful way. It is unfortunate that his press release reverted to a personal attack on his managers, and that he continues not to recognize that his own behavior resulted in his termination.”
Shaw’s statement said that he signed an eight-year contract in June 1998, and that six years remained at the time of his termination.
“Mr. Shaw is legally restricted from working elsewhere in the Spokane television market and therefore anticipates and even expects further attacks on his credibility and character to try and narrow or even halt some employment opportunities,” said his statement. “But Mr. Shaw will not be intimidated or deterred.”
Wednesday, November 15, 2000