One of the many demands Anonymous made in exchange for ending the weekly BART protests was that the transit agency fire its chief spokesman, Linton Johnson. And while the group might have succeeded in making him a target, it's had no luck in ousting him.
BART board members admit they aren't keen with the way Johnson, who has been out on leave for a month, has handled the ongoing BART protests -- including scripting passengers to offset the negative criticisms of the transit agency --- but they aren't planning to fire him.
His boss, BART external affairs chief Jennifer Barton, told the Bay Citizen that despite his mounting errors, Johnson will still be employed by BART come Monday when he returns.
Although she didn't say what job he might have.
"He has a job here when he comes back," she said. "We'll be working on where we're going with that."
Hmmm. Does that mean he could be disciplined? BART board members aren't saying one way or another, but they are rather forthcoming with their disappointment in Johnson's recent PR faux pas.
For starters, Johnson put BART in a bind when he told protesters that their freedom of speech would stop at the fare gates. He then reportedly arranged for pro-BART riders to attend BART protests, going as far as to
write them a script and pick up the tab for private
cars to shuttle them around.
"I think it's inappropriate and unnecessary," Bob Franklin, BART's board president told the Bay Citizen. "I've spoken to our general manager and we're not going to do this again, we're not going to transport people or script responses."
Because that might fly in the face of freedom of speech.