In this rough economy, a job offer can be really exciting, even for the most seasoned attorney. A job offer is even more exciting when you find out that your future employer has also decided to make your husband an offer. And last week, that is exactly what happened to a husband-and-wife legal team from Rockford, Illinois.
Eileen and Brendan Caver, both graduates of Loyola University Chicago School of Law, quickly began to pack up to move half-way across the country for their new jobs in New York at the City of Syracuse corporation counsel’s office. With August start dates and two adorable children in tow, the Cavers quit their jobs in Illinois, put their house on the market, and canceled their daycare contract.
So, you’d think that even a city government would realize that offering attorneys jobs 780 miles away from home and then revoking those offers a week and a half later would be life-ruining. But apparently, that’s not how things work in upstate New York….
Thanks to some intra-office miscommunications, the Cavers were hired by Juanita Perez Williams, the City’s former corporation counsel, but without approval from Mayor Stephanie Miner. Miner called Mr. Caver on July 27 to relay the bad news, telling him that “it was all a mistake.” The Syracuse Post-Standard has more information:
Miner told him the “offers of employment were not valid because the corporation counsel had neither the authority nor the funding for either position,” he said.
The Cavers were stunned. Neither can return to the old job.
Brendan’s last day was Friday at the Winnebago County state’s attorney office, where he had been a prosecutor for four years.
Eileen will continue working as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Frederick Kapala until September, when her replacement will start work. Caver has worked for Kapala six years.
They’re not sure what they will do next.
“We’re still reeling,” Eileen Caver said.
“This ruined our life here as we know it,” her husband said.
Apparently, this situation started because of what we perceive as some “bad blood” between Perez Williams and Bill Ryan, Miner’s chief of staff.
Perez Williams claims that Ryan gave her the go-ahead to hire the couple, stating that it was “clear as a crystal” that Miner knew and approved. Ryan, on the other hand, said that it was not clear at all. Days later, Perez Williams quit her job, citing her changed relationship with City administration (after Ryan’s hiring, of course) as one of the reasons for her departure.
And so, regardless of what may have happened between Perez Williams and Ryan, the Cavers are now displaced and without jobs. Acting as the family sugar mama, Mrs. Caver left a job where she was making $93,000. Now, Mrs. Caver won’t have a salary at all — and neither will Mr. Caver, for that matter.
A former classmate of the Cavers wrote to us, asking that we give the couple a fair shake:
These two are classmates of mine from Loyola Chicago. Great people, talented attorneys getting a raw deal. I think a little publicity may help drum up some opportunities for them.
The Cavers will continue to look for work in central New York, but in the meantime, they hope that their daycare provider will agree to re-enroll their cute ginger offspring so they can apply to jobs on a full-time basis.
Can you think of ways to help the Cavers? Let us know in the comments, or little Emma and Tim will cry.
Syracuse City Hall foulup leaves young family’s life in disarray [Syracuse Post-Standard]