Thass what I'm talkin' about! I have seen things like this, and then other things where the employees were unbelievably bad. Of course, when the economy is flush, you're going to get more skim milk in lower level positions as the cream is out busily rising into the better jobs. Sometimes you have to take what you can get in terms of employees. But to allow a "poor hiring decision" to linger in your ranks for years, taking up space and destroying the morale of the entire office without taking some action is a very bad idea. I have seen it so many times, and then the employer who terminates is always upset with the U.I. people who approve the claim, when they come at us with two or three (or ten or twelve) years worth of general "didn't do this" and "did that when he wasn't supposed to" on which they've not taken any prior action.
The concept of an " untouchable " is not limited to public sector ...some private sector employers come darn close ....and I have seen workers with negative work output clog up the system until some manager really got creative about an exit .and some of the negative value staff was on the professional side of house as well.