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City fires 3 'highly effective' Atlanta airport PR employees | News

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City fires 3 'highly effective' Atlanta airport PR employees

ATLANTA -- The personnel files of three Atlanta airport employees, who airport administrators just fired, describe the workers and their work in glowing terms. But the mayor's office will not say why they were suddenly fired, citing a policy of never commenting on personnel matters. 

The three veteran professionals handled public relations for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

11Alive News filed an open records request with the city to obtain copies of their personnel files, and received the files Monday afternoon.

And the only hint in the files of why the city fired them is that maybe it had to do with some bad publicity that the city and the new International Terminal received in the news media when the terminal opened in May.

Fired, effective September 28: the Airport's Senior PR Manager John Kennedy, along with two other Airport PR employees, Al Snedeker and Katena Carvajales.

Their personnel files simply state, in four words, the reason they were terminated, with no further explanation: "services no longer needed."

Yet over the years their job performances were all rated, consistently, as "highly effective," the second highest rating of all.

John Kennedy's scores on his assessments were always at the top -- nines and 10s.

But the files also show that in May, Kennedy and Snedeker were each suspended by the city for one day, accused of not notifying their supervisors promptly when news reporters called about the International Terminal's construction budget and about other problems that led to some negative news coverage. Carvajales was never disciplined for any reason, according to her file.

Kennedy is not commenting, and neither is anyone from the mayor's office, other than to say that the mayor's office does not comment on personnel issues. 

And now, all requests from reporters for information about anything involving the airport are going straight to the mayor's own PR people at City Hall.

11Alive News will continue to try to learn the reasons for the dismissals.

[Ed. Note: An earlier version of this story stated that the mayor fired the three employees.  Sonji Jacobs Dade of the mayor's office said Tuesday that the mayor was not involved in the city's decision to fire the three employees.]