NEW RULES: Supes to Vote on Campaign Contributions From Employees & Baca Reconfigures LASD Disciplinary BoardFebruary 21st, 2012 by Celeste Fremon
MOLINA PROPOSES A NEW RULE THAT WOULD PROHIBIT LA COUNTY MANAGERS AND HIGHER-UPS FROM ASKING FOR CAMPAIGN DONATIONS FROM EMPLOYEES
The LA County Supervisors will vote on a motion at Tuesday’s meeting that, if passed, would forbid LA County managers from soliciting or accepting campaign donations from their employees.
Here is a clip from the motion, which was proposed by Supervisor Gloria Molina:
Decisions concerning promotions, wage increases, work assignments, and many others, can become tainted when real, or even perceived conflicts of interests are present.
When managers or supervisors solicit or accept campaign contributions from employees who they supervise, evaluate, and approve for promotions and advancement, there will be, at a minimum, a perception of a conflict of interest. This perception can taint the workplace and create a cynicism that career success is about “who one supports”, not how well one performs employment duties….
There is no indication in the language of the motion as to whether a particular county manager or candidate prompted Molina’s concern.
However, in the past few months, there has been growing controversy in an around the Los Angeles Sheriff’s department about the possible role that campaign contributions to the political campaigns of Undersheriff Paul Tanaka may or may not have had in the promotions process inside the LASD. This is a controversy of which the supervisors reportedly are aware.
The fact that significant numbers of the undersheriff’s subordinates have donated to each of his mayoral campaigns (Paul Tanaka is also the mayor of the city of Gardena) was first reported in Part 3 of WitnessLA’s Dangerous Jails series by Matthew Fleischer.
PS: Likely the whole probe into the alleged shenanigans of LA County Assessor John Noguez, hasn’t helped the supes collective state of mind on these matters, although the heart of the investigation into Noguez activities doesn’t have anything to do with employee campaign contributions, but with the allegation of special favors granted to some property owners over others, when those selfsame property owners—clients of, as the LA Times describes him, “a Ferrari-driving ‘tax agent’” with whom Noguez is reportedly pals—contributed to Noguez’s campaign. Anyway, it’s complicated. The LA Weekly has lots of the details.
AND IN RELATED NEWS…..SHERIFF BACA MAKES CHANGES IN INTERNAL AFFAIRS AND LASD’S DISCIPLINARY BOARD
In a department memo that went out Friday, Sheriff Lee Baca made good on his promise to disband and reconfigure the sheriff’s department’s top disciplinary board—a three person body known as the Case Review Board—that decides on what disciplinary actions should be taken when a sheriff’s deputy or department supervisor has done something wrong.
In the most recent past, that Case Review Board has been made up of three people—the undersheriff, Paul Tanaka, and the two assistant sheriffs, Cecil Rhambo and Marvin Cavanaugh.
Now, with this new arrangement, the sheriff makes it clear that the Board will be under his control, not that of the undersheriff.
It was the Case Review Board that reduced the sanction against the LASD sergeant—Timothy Cooper— who pointed a gun at the head of another department sergeant, Mark Moffett. According to the LA Times, it was recommended that Cooper be demoted, but then 3-person board opted for the much lighter punishment of a 15-day suspension, a change that the sheriff questioned, the Times reported.
The Board acts as a direct representative of the Sheriff and is comprised of three Sheriff’s Department Commanders. One Board member is a Leadership and Training Division Commander who serves as the Board’s Chairperson. The other two Board members and an alternate Board member are selected by the Leadership and Training Division Chief and approved by the Sheriff. …
The full text of the memo is after the jump.
IN A SECOND CHANGE, ALSO ANNOUNCED BY THE SHERIFF ON FRIDAY, Baca removed the existing head of the Internal Affairs Bureau, a captain who had been put into place by Undersheriff Tanaka last spring when he effectively took ever
In his position, Baca installed Captain John Clark, the former head of Men’s Central Jail, whom the undersheriff had transferred out of custody and sidelined after Clark attempted reforms in the troubled jail, which Tanaka very publicly reversed. (The undersheriff went so far as to call a meeting of all the jails’ deputies, a meeting from which the facility’s supervisors—Clark and others—were specifically excluded, according to one for of those who attended the meeting. It was a meeting that many believed had a disastrous effect on the authority of the jails’ managers.)
SHERIFF’S BULLETIN #586 February 17, 2012
CASE REVIEW BOARD
Effective February 17, 2012,
I formed the Case Review Board, which is authorized to review and concur with recommended discipline on founded administrative investigations for which the recommendation is suspension without pay from 16 to 30 days, reduction in rank, or discharge. The Board acts as a direct representative of the Sheriff and is comprised of three Sheriff’s Department Commanders. One Board member is a Leadership and Training Division Commander who serves as the Board’s Chairperson. The other two Board members and an alternate Board member are selected by the Leadership and Training Division Chief and approved by the Sheriff. Each Board member is responsible for reading the complete investigative file in order to become thoroughly familiar with all of the evidence. The Leadership and Training Division Chief will attend Case Review Board meetings and act as the liaison between the Board and the Sheriff.
The subject employee’s Region/Division Chief or Division Director is responsible for determining whether the facts support the level of discipline that requires Case Review Board concurrence. If so determined, the assigned investigator, or his or her supervisor, is responsible for orally presenting the case facts to the Case Review Board for the Board’s concurrence, which requires a unanimous consensus. If the Board is unable to reach a unanimous consensus after consultation with the Leadership and Training Division Chief, then the Leadership and Training Division Chief is responsible for presenting the case facts to
the Sheriff for final disposition.
It is also important to note that any employee involved in the investigative or disciplinary process who has a personal relationship with the subject employee should excuse themselves from the process. Any doubt as to whether there is a personal relationship shall be resolved by the immediate supervisor of the employee who is involved in the investigative or disciplinary process.