"Big Brother 3" HouseGuest Eric Ouellette will still have a career when he exits the CBS reality show though a disciplinary hearing awaits him.
Four misconduct charges have been leveled against the 27 year-old firefighter from Clinton, Connecticut, who swapped 22 shifts with his workmates so he could be on the reality show. The Day of New London newspaper reports today that the disciplinary hearing held yesterday afternoon was postponed as Ouellette could not be in attendance as he is sequestered in the "Big Brother" house until he is evicted by the other players or the show ends in September.
Fire Department officials accuse Ouellette of "willful misconduct involving several violations of the (department's) rules and regulations and the labor agreement" due to his extended absence. According to The Day, the charges included in the complaint are "insubordination for disregarding the chief's directive to limit his absence to no more than 30 days; willful use of position for personal gain; disrupting fire department daily activities; and failure to inform the chief of the firefighter's whereabouts and availability".
"Eric is in California as part of the show. It's impossible for him to know what's going on here. Because Eric is not here, the chief has elected not to hold the hearing. No disciplinary action will be taken against Eric while he's in California," Daniel P. Hunsberger Sr., vice president of the Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association of Connecticut told Day reporter Gladys Alcedo. The firefighters' union is facing off against management on the issue. They are solidly behind Ouellette's participation in "Big Brother 3" saying that he did nothing wrong and hasn't violated his contract in any way.
Poquonnock Bridge Fire Chief Todd M. Paige has said previously that he is worried what affect Ouellette's absence will have on his team.
"My main concern is the wear and tear on the employees. I want rested employees," Paige said.