Worst Employees of 2008


Everyone always thinks they have it worse than the next guy. Your boss is always the nastiest; your co-workers are the most annoying; and there's no way anyone has a more awful cube mate. Until now. The sad truth is that there's nothing like learning about other people's troubles to make you feel better about your own. Just when you thought you had it bad, someone else comes along to make your problems seem irrelevant. The terrible employees from CareerBuilder.com's second annual list, "Worst Employees of the Year," are no exception. Last year's employees stole, cheated, scammed and assaulted; lied, got arrested, used illegal drugs and committed lewd acts. The qualifiers from 2008 showed more of the same. In no particular order, here are 10 of 2008's worst employees and the extreme things they did. (They will make your crazy co-workers seem like angels.)

Worst employee No. 1: Marie Cooley, architect

The story: After seeing an ad in the paper for job that sounded like hers, Cooley thought her company was planning to fire her. For revenge, she attempted to sabotage the business by destroying $2.5 million worth of computer files. Cooley told investigators she went into work over the weekend, got angry, disconnected internal power cables and deleted files from the server. She was arrested and charged with damaging computer equipment. (Source: News4Jax.com)

Worst employee No. 2: Charlena Graham, deputy coroner

The story: Graham pleaded guilty to stealing $325 in gift cards from a deceased woman. Graham obtained the woman's personal belongings after her death; her family alerted authorities that the gift cards might be missing. Graham was sentenced to seven years probation. She was also ordered to pay back the $325 within 90 days and pay $5,000 in fines. (Source: NBC Augusta.)

Worst employees No. 3: William Vinyard, Christopher Stephens, Stacy Vining and George C. Phelps, firefighters and EMTs

The story: Four employees of the Marion County Emergency Medical Services Alliance were arrested and accused of grand theft for collecting pay upwards of $20,000 per person for hours they didn't work. A police news release stated that several part-time EMS paramedics were clocking in for each other, exchanging badges and not actually working the hours for which they were paid. All employees have resigned or been suspended without pay from their full-time jobs. (Source: The Star-Banner, Ocala, Fla.)

Worst employee No. 4: Judge Robert Restaino

The story: Restaino was hearing domestic violence cases when a cell phone rang in court. After no one owned up to the phone, Restaino "snapped" and jailed all 46 people who were in the courtroom. New York's top court removed him as a city court judge, saying punishing innocent people is "inexcusable." (Source: Associated Press)

Worst employee No. 5: Karen Baer, teller supervisor

The story: In an FBI affidavit, Baer admitted to taking $10,000 at a time over several years from the bank where she worked as a teller. She told investigators that she used the money for vacations, bills and college tuition for her kids. She is facing federal embezzlement charges of more than $1 million. (Source: Baltimore News)

Worst employee No. 6: Jarrod Hankins, court bailiff

The story: Hankins forgot to remove a woman from a courthouse holding cell when he failed to contact the sheriff's office transport personnel to take the woman back to the county jail, according to officials. She spent four nights locked in a room without food, water or a toilet. Hankins was suspended for 30 days without pay. (Source: 4029TV.com)

Worst employee No. 7: Robert Irvine, chef and TV personality

The story: Irvine embellished and fabricated the more impressive parts of his résumé, including claiming to have cooked for the British royal family; catering to four U.S. presidents; and helping to make Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake. His contract with the Food Network was terminated. (Source: St Petersburg (Fla.) Times)

Worst employee No. 8: Jamie Day, bartender

The story: Day was arrested after a bar patron called police to complain that Day was bartending in her birthday suit. She was charged with misdemeanor lewd entertainment. The county suspended the tavern's liquor license for 30 days and fined the owner $500. (Source: Fox News)

Worst employee No. 9: Pythias Brown, transportation security agent

The story: Brown was allegedly stealing items from checked luggage in the back rooms of the airport in which he worked, making off with more than $200,000 worth of travelers' belongings. The stolen goods included a camera belonging to a CNN employee who found it for sale on eBay. Police discovered 66 cameras, 31 laptops, jewelry and more in Brown's home. (Source: Yahoo! Technology)

Worst employee No. 10: Patricia Villegas, beautician

The story: Villegas was convicted of giving two clients fake cosmetic injections, which resulted in facial disfigurement. The women paid $2,000 for what they were told were beauty enhancers using collagen and cortisone, but were actually similar to silicone. Villegas was found guilty of assault, reckless endangerment and scheme to defraud. She faces up to 14 years in prison.

Next: 10 Weirdest Work Stories of 2008 >>

Copyright 2008 CareerBuilder.com.

Read Full Story