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Council on Aging Worker Fired for Tipping Press to Feature Story

July 26, 1990

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) _ A food server who urged a newspaper to profile a 115-year-old man was fired from her job at the Council on Aging because she was not authorized to contact the media, officials said.

Betty Scanlan, 60, earned $3.80 an hour serving lunch to about 10 senior citizens. She also set aside lunches for sailors who delivered food to elderly patrons of the council’s Meals on Wheels program.

Scanlan called the Pensacola News Journal after a sailor said he delivered meals to a man who claimed to be 115.

A reporter said she’d investigate the claim and also wanted to write about Navy volunteers from Corry Station Technical Training Center.

″I thought it would be great for the sailors to get a little recognition ... I didn’t think it’d be such a disaster,″ Scanlan said Wednesday.

On July 18, Scanlan accompanied the reporter to a church where sailors were picking up meals.

Later that day, Scanlan was fired because personnel policy stipulates that only the council’s chairman, executive director and project directors ″may officially represent the agency in making public announcements, speeches and comments about agency business,″ council officials said.

The newspaper has yet to run the stories.

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