Sunday, November 1, 2009
City of Burbank Family or Dangerous Nepotism?
Burbank City Hall
Nepotism is favouritism granted to relatives or friends without regard to their merit. This can also be called cronyism which is when friends are appointed to positions of authority regardless of their qualifications.
Government organizations have or should have anti-nepotism policies because friends or relatives who work together may collaborate to advance their own interests above the good of the people.
Again, because this is where I grew up, I have interest in the affairs of Burbank, California.
And while researching more about the tragic death of Sgt Neil Gunn, I've come across other interesting and pertinent information and comments.
For example, on June 12, 2009, A Writer's Groove posted Former Burbank Official Marsha Ramos speaks out on hot city issues and below are a couple of the comments by Carma:
June 14th, 2009 at 2:47 pm
Somone said they are worried about the advice given by the City Attorney. They should be. Juli Scott, Assistant DA, is council to Chief Stehr on all issues of the police department and outside litigation.
The problem is they are friends outside of work and vacation together. Juli Scott’s assistant Linda Rosoff is the wife of Lieutenant Rosoff, who is the subject of several internal investigations, one being the FBI. Juli Scott is the Godmother of Rossof’s daughter. Serious nepotism going on here.
It gets worse! As a result of the media coverage, a women has come forward with proof that years ago multiple members of the police department (a captain, a lieutenant and the chief) had a house (brothel) in Burbank where they used to take women other than thier wives.
One of the officers, now a capatain, is said to have beat one of the girls and the police responded. The girl went to the hosipital. Officers responded to the scene and made a “ghost” report to satisfy the girl. The sergeant, now Chief Stehr, covered up the investigation and the girl was told not to make any further inquires.
The guy renting the house was named? You guessed it Rosoff. The guy accused of beating the girl, Pat Lynch, now captain promoted under Stehr.
Oddly, all three of these guys are also named in the current lawsuit? Go figure.
Then Carma wrote:
Assistant City Attorney Juli Scott is quoted as saying “The City of Burbank has a long history of nepotism….we encourage nepotism around here” This was in 2006, to while in a training session to over 150 police officers.
People just laughed
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At the same website, another post Burbank City Council speaks out on those lawsuits and investigations brought this comment by Stretch:
September 30th, 2009 at 9:07 pm
I only have one thing to say to Mr Bric. Get real!
How can the very same people who are charged with allegations still be in charge of their own investigations? Getting to investigate yourself must be nice.
Chief Stehr, Juli Scott, and now Mike Flad are all named in complaints, yet they are hiring lawyers, vetting witnesses, and briefing the city council. Please get a grip folks.
All the other officers are on admistrative leave after being accused…why is Chief Stehr still sitting in the council meetings?
For instance, Juli Scott was recently giving “sexual harrasment” training at the police department. In front of 75 or so officers she starts to talk about the lawsuits and how they are all BS. It is reported that Scott continues her rant and says the city will fight these suits and if they lose they will appeal them at all cost. Then they will seek damages against the complaining officers. Cost to who…not you Juli..just the taxpayers.
Great Scott! Problem is one of the officers in the room is the female that is suing the department for this very same behavior Scott is training about. Isn’t that harrassment? Humuliation, intimidation, and legal threats at your work place mean anything?
And here's a comment by Jim C.:
September 30th, 2009 at 10:16 pm
Julie Scott’s a fool if she thinks the city can collect “damages” from a plaintiff when they don’t prevail. The most they could get– the most– is legal fees paid.
She is also clearly harassing the female officer in front of her peers in a “sexual harassment” workshop by threatening and subjecting her to humiliation and embarrassment about the PROTECTED ACTIVITY of filing a discrimination lawsuit to address wrongs. The woman should contact her attorneys immediately and amend her complaint to include this recent reprisal incident, if true.
What Scott is doing is trying to unlawfully intimidate the Plaintiff at this BPD employee meeting, which is– I believe– the root claim in many of these officer suits in the first place, right?
Don’t you love how these incompetents prove their own charges against them, by act, word and deed? They’re fools. Even if there’s nothing to the original lawsuits, the city is clearly engaging in ‘retaliation for engaging in protected activities’ by going after the employees for bringing up the concerns.
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Here is the City of Burbank's Nepotism Policy for us all to review:
Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Burbank and the Burbank Police Officers’ Association July 2007 through June 2009
D. NEPOTISM POLICY
The City of Burbank, for business reasons of supervision, safety, security, or morale may refuse to place a new hire or promotional candidate under the direct supervision of a relative.
D.1.a. The City may refuse to place a new hire or promotional candidate in the same department, division or facility if the situation may result in potential conflicts of interest or other hazards greater for relatives than for other persons.
D.1.b. If co-employees marry or fellow employees become relatives by marriage as a result of the marriage of others, either inside or outside the organization, the City shall make reasonable efforts to assign job duties so as to minimize problems of supervision, safety, security, or morale.
D.2.a. Relatives For the purpose of this policy, the term “relative” includes wife, husband, son, daughter, mother, father, brother, half-brother, brother-in-law, sister, half-sister, sister-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, mother-in-law, father-in-law, aunt, uncle niece, nephew, grandchild, stepparent, stepchild, or any other relative living in the same household.
D.2.b. Direct Supervisor This is the person that assigns, prioritizes and evaluates the employee’s work.
D.3. Procedures In order to carry out this policy, the following procedures are established:
D.3.a. Management Services Department will ascertain if new hires or promotional candidates are related to current employees in the City.
D.3.b. Failure to disclose such relationship will result in disqualification from consideration for employment or promotion.
D.3.c. Management Services Department will notify the appointing department of such relationships and ask the department manager to:
D.3.c.(1) Make a determination that no supervision, safety, security or morale issues will arise out of the hiring.
D.3.c.(2) Identify and agree to workable accommodations to allow the hire, while avoiding or mitigating the potential negative impacts on supervision, safety, security, or morale.
D.3.c.(3) Management Services Department, with the oversight of the City Attorney’s Office, will review the response of the department manager and make a recommendation to the City Manager.
D.3.c.(4) In the event the department and Management Services Department disagree, the City Manager’s Office will make the final decision.
D.4. Promotional Candidate Appeal Process
D.4.a. If a promotional candidate is rejected on the basis of this policy, they shall have the right to appeal the decision through an Administrative Appeal Procedure. The Administrative Appeal Procedure is as follows:
D.4.a.(1)The candidate, upon notification of rejection, may, within three (3) working days, file a written appeal of the decision with the Management Services Director. The written submission must include the specific basis for the appeal under the policy.
D.4.a.(2)The Management Services Director will review the matter and respond to the appellant within five (5) working days of receipt of the appeal.
D.4.a.(3)If the Management Services Director denies the appeal, the candidate may, within three (3) working days, appeal the decision to the City Manager or his/her designee.
D.4.a.(4)The City Manager or his/her designee will review the matter and respond to the appellant within five (5) working days. The decision of the City Manager or his/her designee is final.
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More interesting reading from A Writer's Groove:
UPDATED 10/29/09:New developments about the Burbank Police Commission
And to catch up with previous posts on Neil Gunn, please go here:
Burbank Police Sergeant in FBI Probe Killed