Thursday, February 5, 2009

POIGNANT JAY NIXON STORY: Mobilizes Local Realtors

A poignant story about a Missouri State administrative law judge who got his walking papers from newly-sworn Democratic governor Jay Nixon last month made rounds on the Web recently, troubling members of one of Boone county's largest online listservs -- the 800-member Columbia Missouri Realtors.

Calling Judge Dale Hardy Roberts "a very good and trustworthy friend," Columbia realtor Rhonda Carlson circulated a letter detailing a tragic situation: Roberts volunteered to donate a kidney to someone in dire need, but his surgery was scheduled for the day he lost his job -- Monday, Jan. 12th -- also the day Nixon took his oath of office.

"I decided, long ago, to be a kidney donor for someone," Hardy, who lives in Ashland, wrote a group of friends. "Then, this morning at work, I was handed an envelope – and notified by Governor Elect Nixon that my services will not be needed after he is sworn in on Monday. I got 1½ day’s notice of my departure."

New administrations come and go, and previous administration appointees are frequently let go. But the irony of a soon-to-be-hospitalized employee losing his health care coverage in a new Democratic administration committed to healthcare reform was overwhelming to many readers. The added poignancy of Hardy's predicament -- that he is a so-called “living donor" for a person in desperate need of a life-saving organ -- boggles many a mind.

"I was already on the approved Family Medical Leave Act list, as I am scheduled to go into the University of Missouri Medical Center for the kidney transplant," Hardy continued. "My employer and co-workers have known for a while that I was going on sick leave to be a kidney donor."

So upset were the local realtors to whom Carlson forwarded her plea -- finding a good friend with one kidney a new job --they forwarded the letter to several local news outlets. "The story about [state] employees being let go has already been told," said Columbia realtor Alice Leeper. "I think this puts a particularly personal face on the issue."

Saying that he realizes “I’m not the man I used to be,” Hardy maintained an upbeat attitude despite his troubling situation. That last joke, he wrote, is "organ donor humor. Obviously, I’ll be passing out resumes like candy on Halloween. If you know of anything…although, I’m not sure who would hire me with only one kidney."



  1. I wish I could say I was surprised by this story. Nixon fired a few of my friends, and, while they weren't about to go on leave to donate a kidney, they have families and children and mortgage payments like Hardy.

    I listened to Nixon's state of the state and blanched when he thanked state workers and talked about getting Missourians back to work. These platitudes came right on the heels of him firing hundreds of state workers. What, does he not understand that those fired state workers just joined the ranks of the unemployed? That they now have to figure out how to pay bills and feed kids.

    It's disgusting and shameful that Nixon chose to start his term this way. What a disappointment.

  2. The longer-term issue no one is addressing is that Mr. Hardy may be unable to procure health insurance now that he has donated a kidney. Even though living donors, pre-surgery, are healthier than the average population, they are routinely denied health insurance for having a 'pre-existing condition', a move which is perfectly legal.

  3. WAIT a minute.

    State employee insurance goes through the end of the month of termination--so if the termination happened on inauguration day, Judge Hardy had three weeks of insurance left.

    Don't take my word for it--call Missouri Consolidated Health Plan and ask.

    Also, can anyone find a Judge Hardy or administrative law judge named Roberts on the state payroll in January 2009?

    What's going on with this story???

  4. There's certainly plenty of evidence online that Roberts worked for the State during this time period:

    It's also unlikely he'd lie in a letter to 800 people, all the realtors on the listserv it went to. It's possible that his pre-approved family medical leave may have altered his insurance coverage timeline.

  5. Lying is mentioned only in your post, Fact Check. The link you posted raises more questions.

    The link gives Roberts' title as a "Special Investigations Legal Counsel for the Division of Consumer Affairs," not "judge" or "administrative law judge," as the story did.

    The link gives the name as "Dale Hardy Roberts," not "Hardy" as the story names him four times and Anonymous does too.

    Also, Anonymous mentions "families and children and mortgage payments like Hardy" has. The story does not mention Roberts having a family and children and mortgage payments.

    Finally, can anyone tell me how taking Family Medical Leave Act time under federal law could cause a penalty in state insurance.

    I repeat the question: what's going on with this story?