May 2007: Anthony “Tony” Moreno joins UT as a Safety and Security officer. He was a former New York corrections officer and New York Yankees security guard who followed his daughter to UT.
May 11, 2008: Moreno and two other officers remove a baseball bat and glove from an empty Vaughn dorm. Moreno assumed they were abandoned, he said, but never took them off campus.
June 5: Moreno and two other officers are disciplined by Assistant Director of Security Kevin Howell, who suspends them for taking the equipment.
June 10: Moreno questions the “phantom schedule” after his return from a five-day suspension, worried that the policy will get him fired, he says. Jay Henderson reportedly told him not to worry.
June 30: Moreno is told to go home during his midnight shift. Days later, he meets with Howell and Director of Security Charles Mascenik, who explain to him that he has been terminated.
July 2: Mildred Moreno sends a letter to Dr. Vaughn and Human Resources regarding the “phantom schedule,” and forwarding him the related documents. Sometime after, UT begins an audit. Tony Moreno contacts The Minaret. Also, Moreno gets an angry message reportedly from fellow nightshift officer Edwin Torres.
July 9: Moreno receives a letter from Human Resources Director Donna Popovich saying that the internal audit was complete and showed no wrongdoing.
News Editor Ellery McCardle interviews Howell. Though an audit is already complete, Howell says he has never heard of a phantom schedule and has no idea what the documents provided by Moreno are. He says the claims are “100 percent false.”
July 10: Editor-in-chief Peter Arrabal contacts Howell and asks for video, card swipes and daily logs. Howell says to come in and he will show it all to a Minaret staff member, but only after he clears it with Popovich to make sure the audit is done. Howell never calls back.
July 10: McCardle calls Popovich about the alleged schedule. She says, “That is not a time record…It is a rotation of assignments”
July 14: Assistant editor-in-chief Charlie Hambos calls Howell. Howell says audit is still pending (one audit was complete, but this could have been a separate audit).
July 15: Howell calls Hambos and says he can come in the next day.
July 16: Howell schedules for 1 p.m., then cancels because of a meeting.
July 17: Hambos and Howell meet. Howell says he can’t show anything because of FERPA. Hambos talks to Popovich and asks for specific dates and times.
July 17: Security Supervisor Jackie Smith also says the schedule was a tool for rotation. He says it wasn’t an official schedule, but no one knew what it was rotating between.
Officials show Hambos the July 5 schedule, well after Moreno’s letter had arrived. The schedule shows the three people on that day’s phantom schedule were either out sick that day or on vacation. This confirms Moreno’s claim that after he blew the whistle, officers were told to convert their phantom schedule days to sick days or vacation time.
July 17: Popovich said auditors looked at time sheets, roll call, and inventory at the end of the shift to determine that the officers were not absent, it all checked out
July 21: Mascenik says he cannot show video because of ACLU rulings and Howell cites possible pending legal action with Moreno. Howell also states that hard drives might have been erased already.
The “Phantom Schedule”: Fired Officer Alleges Security Scheme
Timeline of The Minaret’s Investigation of Moreno’s Claims and UT’s Responses
EDITORIAL: Balancing on a delicate line