I’ve just been informed that the court ruled that Bitton can keep blogging but that on the merits if the case was to go forward he would probably lose. Let me just quickly add my two cents on what I think about the overall issue.
I’ve been reading the comments on his last post and there seems to be a general feeling that if OU/LeMarais hired this man then they have to trust his judgment. End of story. It doesn’t make sense to hire someone, believe in his abilities to the point of making sure a restaurant is kosher, and then when he says something is not kosher, call him crazy and disagree.
Even if he really is wrong, there is an inherent problem here that the OU or restaurants like Le Marais don’t do a better job checking into mashgichim (and maybe non jewish chefs too).
Lets say that the OU is 100 percent right and Bitton is exaggerating or making things up. Then this is still a “shame on you!” to both The OU and LeMarais for hiring someone who isn’t competent to do his job. A very important job might I add. Ensuring a restaurant, a popular one no less, is kosher is not some small thing.
To me, the issue is no longer if THIS case is true or not. It’s a much bigger problem. How does someone like this get hired in the first place. What steps are kosher certification companies like the OU taking to make sure someone like Bitton isn’t hired again. Of course, that’s assuming they are right. I’m still not sure this is a black and white case. I still think we may have a situatuon where there is a little truth to what all parties are saying.