It looks like the saga of the 13 “Gangnam Style” lifeguards is coming to a close.
While some reports indicated that all the municipal workers, fired after making a spoof of the popular “Gangnam Style” video at the city run El Monte City Aquatic Center, resigned en masse after being rehired this week, City Manager Dayle Keller told us that's “that's not accurate.”
Well, sort of. Turns out that at least some of the lifeguards were being offered their jobs back — on paper:
Keller admits that “the rehiring, if it occurred, was simply for the purpose of resigning.”
But … she says not all the lifeguards have agreed to make a deal. In fact, she said city managers were meeting with the former employees as we spoke and that the process wasn't completed.
I am meeting with each one. I want to hear from them if they wish to come back or not or want to resign.
By being reinstated and then quitting, the idea is to keep the lifeguards' employment records and resumes — many are college kids — intact.
The 13 and one pool manager were fired in summer after the spoof went viral on YouTube. (It now has more than 2.2 million views). It was filmed at the aquatic center, and the lifeguards were in their city bathing suits.
There was an outcry, with some calling the city a Grinch, but we were told the same group of lifeguards had been warned about past behavior and were on thin ice.
The lifeguards disputed that contention, however.
Responding to the furor, the City Council voted to recommend reinstating the workers. The ultimate decision was left up to Keller, though.
Keller says the matter should be wrapped up by the end of the month, with a final “summary report” with more details about what happened to the 13 headed to the City Council.