Karla Thomas blasts Steve Casey as a “Cancer” in Mayor Brown’s Cabinet

23 Oct
Byron Brown speaking at Medaille College
Image via Wikipedia

The Buffalo Challenger doesn’t have much of a web presence, so a lot of what gets published there flies under the radar, but a reader directs my attention to an “open letter” that Buffalo HR Commissioner Karla Thomas published in the Challenger this past week.  The theme of the letter is that Byron Brown isn’t the leader he could be thanks to a “cancer” in his cabinet: Mayoral underboss Steve Casey.

Thomas’ letter follows, verbatim as printed in the Buffalo Challenger:

The Karla Kronicles
An Open Letter to the Mayor:
There is a Cancer in Your Cabinet…

Dear Byron,
This letter is not intended for Mayor Brown.  It is addressed to the man whose leadership I have followed for over two decades.  Its’ intent is not to be mistaken as malicious, but to be accepted with the love it is being sent.  On behalf of myself and our community, I am appealing to the sensibilities of the man who this community entrusted their safety and caretaking through the electoral process.

Byron, there is a cancer in your cabinet.  Its name is Steve Casey.  His presence in your camp has derailed the direction of your purpose.  It has inflicted pain and confusion on innocent people and employees and brought organized chaos to your leadership.  His quest to become powerful through your anointing must be stopped.

If there was ever one thing our peers always believed about you, Byron, is that you were fair.  In evaluating the up and down side of a situation, you always opted for what was right.  That was your leadership style, pre-Casey.

Your decision however, to fire me without due process and refusal to pay out the remainder of my term is reflective of Deputy Mayor Casey’s influence on your decision making.  This decision serves no real purpose nor is it politically prudent.  It is, however, definitely politically motivated.  The timing of my termination (right before Golembek’s primary) speaks volumes about the real purpose behind your actions.  You simply gave in to some heavy political pressure from people who had nothing to do with getting you re-elected.  I am respectfully requesting you return to the leadership style hat got you elected Masten District Councilman, NYS Senator and Mayor of the City of Buffalo.

This Social Security Death Master has been given God status.  The $800,000 spent on health care premiums for dead retirees is not lost.  It was stolen by those families who knowingly used insurance they were not entitled to.  Our Comptroller should be trying to get that money back from those families–not trying to help fire me.

Relations with our labor unions are greatly improved.  The new Director of Compensation and Benefits is making phenomenal strides in finding and correcting decades old systemic problems with service delivery and overall division functioning.  The Civil Service Division is operating efficiently and the Personnel Division is gearing up to conduct collective bargaining agreement training.  All of these things have occurred under my watch.  I have no more business being fired than Casey does remaining your Deputy Mayor.

Our detractors are ecstatic watching us prepare to commit suicide on the spirit ofour beloved Grassroots legacy and do irreparable damage to any opportunity or dreams you may have for higher office.  I besiege you – look for an exit route for Steve Casey.  As long as he breathes in your cabinet, it will be on life support, leaving our city gasping for air as he continues to negatively impact your leadership with clandestine poison.

The final destination of this journey we have embarked on is a place called disaster.  Neither one of us will arrive safely if you opt to take this trip to the end of the road.  While the outcome for me may impact my employability, it will leave an indelible mark on your political career.

Byron, the best chemotherapy you can give your advisory cabinet is to change its composition.  Give it a make over.  Replenish it with diversity and some good old fashioned Buffalo born and bred loyal statisticians.  Then and only then will this community’s confidence be restored in your leadership of the City that loves you, embraced you and that God has strategically placed you at the head of.

Respectfully submitted,
Commissioner Karla Thomas

7 Responses to “Karla Thomas blasts Steve Casey as a “Cancer” in Mayor Brown’s Cabinet”

  1. Warrey at 9:43 am #

    Unfortunately Karla, you were unqualified for the job to begin with and never should have gotten this position. It was Brown’s loyalty to the Grassroots faction of the Democratic Party that got you hired. I wonder if you were recommended by Steve Casey for hire? You failed miserably and cost the taxpayers a ton of money. I commend Brown for firing you and criticize him for hiring you. Just go home.

  2. Tom Dolina at 11:20 am #

    Karla, why didn’t you buy the social security death index like you were told multiple times? It’s really that simple. Did this “cancer” put a hold on the HR credit card? Did the “cancer” cause your telephones not to work? Maybe the “cancer” put an amnesia spell over you? While you very well may be right about the other dysfunction in City Hall, it appears you couldn’t follow simple instructions, and tried to pass the blame for YOUR department’s failure. You were in charge and you failed. Sorry, but The Price is Right “loser horns” already played for you. Better luck on the Big Wheel…

  3. Marc Odien at 11:57 am #

    As a side note the Challenger website address is now http://www.mychallengernews.com/
    Unfortunately it hasn’t been updated since september 1st.  

  4. Colin at 3:25 pm #

    God, what a shitty writer. I liked this bit, though: “I besiege you . . .”

  5. Hapklein at 4:06 pm #

    Good lord this writer occupied a high position in the city government? is it not scary?

    More frightening must be the consternation within the Brown administration of what havoc this loose cannon can do by the time they pry her fingers off the door frame.

    Years ago I worked in a place that often had classic deadwood anchored to positions of little consequence but who appeared to be paid to do nothing. When I queried a supervisor about one of these zombies I was assured the person was safe since they knew where the bodies were buried.

    Brown or somebody should have realized that raising faithful though inept followers to high levels can a have dangerous consequences. She knows where the bodies are buried and she is stupidly obstinate enough to create some real wreckage.

  6. JSmith at 7:46 pm #

    I had no idea Buffalo was a breeding ground for loyal statisticians.

    Well, qualified for the job or not, I’m glad that Thomas has decided to turn state’s evidence on the way out. I just hope people are listening (whatever happened to the state AG and FBI investigations from last year?).

  7. RaChaCha at 8:01 am #

    I checked the links posted by both Alan and Marc — if you explore a bit, you can find the Challenger on a site/viewer called issuu. Link:

    I’m not sure how soon the current issues are added, but the one with Karla’s letter is there. Link:

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