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Protest and Rally:Stop Stalling & Obstruction of Justice Contra Costa DA Mark A Peterson
by Labor Video Project
Sunday Jun 9th, 2013 10:03 PM
Community and labor members from SEIU 1021 Richmond Chapter and IFTE Local 21 Richmond chapter called for the investigation an prosecution of Richmond Human Resources Director Leslie Knight. The District Attorney of Contra Costa County Mark A. Peterson has been stalling on any prosecution of Knight despite the massive financial malfeasance.

Protes and Rally Stop Stalling and Obstruction of Justice Contra Costa DA Mark A Peterson

City workers of Richmond, Caliifornia from SEIU 1021 and IFPTE Local 21 and community members joined to together at the Contra Costa District Attorney's office Mark A. Peterson on June 6, 2013 in Martinez to demand the investigation and prosecution of Richmond Human Resources Director Leslie Knight. Knight had illegally run a private business at the city hall and had ordered city workers including Librarian finance manager Stacie Plumber. Stacie refused and was retaliated against by Knight. Despite this financial malfeasance and also the theft of city moneys the city manager Bill Lindsay refused to fire her and the Contra Costa District Attorney refuses to investigate and prosecute Leslie Knight.
The city public workers pointed out that if they had done the same deeds that they would have been fired and probably jailed yet there was special treatment for HR manager Knight.
For more information go to http://www.upwa.info
Production of Labor Video Project http://www.laborvideo.org
§Stacy Plummer IFPE Local 21 member and whistleblower
by Labor Video Project Sunday Jun 9th, 2013 10:03 PM

Stacie Plummer, IFTE Local 21 Richmond Library worker spoke out about financial mismanagement. She gave interview at rally at Contra Costa District Attorney's office
§Crime Should Not Pay
by Labor Video Project Sunday Jun 9th, 2013 10:03 PM

Protesters discussed the double standard for prosecution that Contra Costa District Attorney Mark A. Peterson applies. They pointed out if this was a rank and file public worker they would have been removed from the job and arrested for theft unlike the treatment that Richmond Human Resources Director Leslie Knight is getting
§Rally/Speakout at Contra Costa District Attorney's Office Mark A. Peterson
by Labor Video Project Sunday Jun 9th, 2013 10:03 PM

Community members and SEIU 1021 and IFPTE Local 21 spoke out for justice at the offices of District Attorney Mark A. Peterson

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by repost
Sunday Jun 9th, 2013 10:29 PM
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Mark A. Peterson, District Attorney Of Contra Costa County apparently is missing in action when it comes to prosecuting managers who are stealing money from the public. He has prosecuted rank and file public workers but won't move against top officials.

Richmond personnel manager should have been fired-Systemic Corruption In The City Of Richmond and the Cover-up Continues
Contra Costa Times editorial: Richmond personnel manager should have been fired
http://www.contracostatimes.com/editorial/ci_23403670/contra-costa-times-editorial-richmond-personnel-manager-should?source=rss
Contra Costa Times editorial © 2013 Bay Area News Group
Posted: 06/06/2013 10:48:53 AM PDT
Updated: 06/06/2013 06:04:18 PM PDT

While everyone makes minor mistakes, public officials must be above reproach. That's why Leslie Knight, Richmond's assistant city manager and human resources manager, had to go.
Her offenses were serious:
• Violating the city's policy against retaliation by requesting someone be given access to the email account of a worker who had complained about her.
• Using a city vehicle while collecting a monthly car allowance to compensate her for use of her own auto.
• Using staff time and equipment for purposes related to her personal jewelry and gift business.
• Using her executive secretary for personal purposes.
For many workers, such transgressions might warrant reprimand and a warning that repetition would lead to firing. But for the city HR director, there were no good excuses.
Knight finally announced her retirement last month, eight months after allegations first surfaced and three months after a city-hired investigator substantiated wrongdoing. But questions remain about why she wasn't fired and the secrecy surrounding the process.
We recognize this was a delicate investigation. As HR director since 2005 in a city that made staff cuts to weather the Great Recession, Knight made difficult decisions sure to earn her enemies.
Hence, city leaders had to determine whether accusations against her were substantive. The decision to call
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in an outside investigator was smart. But when the findings came back in February, she should have been swiftly fired.
Instead, City Manager Bill Lindsay effectively put her on probation with a warning that she would be dismissed for any recurrence. Lindsay wrote to her that he opted not to fire her because of her positive contributions to the city and hard work.
While we have great respect for Lindsay's leadership, we strongly disagree with his decision in this case. Some have called for his firing. That would be a serious overreaction.
Lindsay has brought stability and professionalism to a city previously plagued by inept management. We accept his apologies that he might have dropped the ball along the way and we note that, in the end, whether or not by Lindsay's design, Knight is gone.
We're more troubled by behavior of City Attorney Bruce Reed Goodmiller, who stonewalled, trying to block public access to documents about the case. He claimed that this was a personnel matter and that it was also protected by attorney-client privilege.
He's wrong on both counts. Documents are not protected from disclosure when public employee wrongdoing is found. And hiring an attorney, rather than an investigator, to conduct the inquiry does not dismiss the agency from responsibility to disclose.
It's only after we brought in our attorney that documents were released. No member of the public should have to hire a lawyer to gain access to records to which they are entitled. We expect better transparency in the future.

Documents detail misconduct, bullying and financial malfeasane by Richmond's second highest-ranking administrator and cover-up by city manager Lindsay
UPWA Protest Planned Thursday June 6 at Contra Costa DA's Office

http://m.thewestcountytimes.com/westcountytime/db_299858/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=CX9YL52O
Documents detail misconduct and financial malfeasane by Richmond's second highest-ranking administrator and cover-up by city manager Lindsay
http://m.thewestcountytimes.com/westcountytime/db_299858/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=CX9YL52O
Posted: 06/03/2013 2:00 PM

RICHMOND -- Investigators determined that the city's second highest-ranking administrator spent as much as 30 percent of each work day on "personal purposes," including Internet shopping, as part of their probe into allegations of misconduct lodged by a city employee.

The report's findings prompted City Manager Bill Lindsay to issue a warning demanding that she stop the misconduct or be fired, according to records obtained through a public records request.

Human Resources Director Leslie Knight opted to retire last month under mounting public pressure for Lindsay to fire her.

The new details of Knight's misdeeds were revealed after attorneys for this newspaper challenged City Attorney Bruce Goodmiller's refusal to release documents related to the investigation, citing attorney-client privilege. The city last week released a four-page summary of the report -- produced by a Sacramento-based law firm that the city paid $65,000 -- and several emails and memos produced by top city officials.

The summary, dated Feb. 25, said investigators conducted 37 interviews with city employees and reviewed thousands of documents. Investigators concluded that Knight, 58, engaged in several acts of misconduct over a sustained period. These included:

• Using a city fleet vehicle for seven years while also collecting a $450-per-month car allowance.
• Spending between less than 10 percent and 30 percent of each work day for "personal purposes."
• Directing a subordinate to access the email of the whistle-blower who exposed her wrongdoing.
Knight also, according to the documents, "used city-compensated staff time, city equipment, city storage space and the City Hall address for purposes indirectly involving her personal jewelry and gift business." Knight's base salary in 2011 was more than $220,000, according to this newspaper's public salary database.

Knight, who has held the top personnel post in Richmond since 2005, could not be reached for comment. Her resignation is effective July 1.

The saga involving Knight emerged last year, when Stacie Plummer, 43, the finance manager for the Library and Cultural Services Department, lodged a detailed complaint alleging that Knight was stealing from the city and using public resources to enhance her jewelry business, called "Little Luxuries." The city hired Sacramento-based Van Dermyden Allison Law firm to investigate.

When the investigation concluded, Lindsay released a two-page news release announcing that Knight had been exonerated of most allegations but found guilty of others. He said she would reimburse the city for improperly collecting the car allowance but did not specify any further disciplinary action.

Public outcry built for months, culminating in news that Knight would retire.

In a March 8 confidential memo from Lindsay to Knight -- released to this newspaper -- the city manager recaps the findings of misconduct and warns Knight to cease misusing public resources "in lieu of termination."

"The misconduct found by the investigator shows a failure to meet the high standard of performance required by your position," Lindsay wrote. "It is also a great disappointment to me professionally and personally."

Still, the refusal to fire Knight has earned Lindsay mounting scorn as well, and the outcry has not been tamped down by news of Knight's retirement.

"This story is not over yet," wrote labor activist Charles Smith, in an email to supporters last week. "The fight will continue until Knight is prosecuted and Lindsay fired."

The city's Human Rights and Human Relations Commission was set to discuss "workplace bullying" on Monday night, and a rally is scheduled in front of the Contra Costa District Attorney's Office, 900 Ward St. in Martinez, at noon Thursday demanding a criminal investigation into Knight's actions.

Reached by phone Monday, Lindsay said he has learned from his mistakes.

"My biggest regret is that I didn't deal more assertively with the small transgressions that came to my attention," Lindsay said. "I saw some (trinkets) in her office, and I should have said at that point, 'Leslie, this is not really appropriate.'"

Lindsay noted that the trinkets were given away by Knight for free to employees to "boost morale."

Lindsay said he was not aware of any other misconduct until he received the report.


Request For Independent Investigation--Retaliation, Harassment, Misconduct Against City Of Richmond IFPTE Local 21 Member Stacie Plummer


City Council Members, Personnel Board Members, Human Rights & Human Relations Commission Members:
When I consider as whole all of the unprecedented occurrences at the City of Richmond impacting just me since I made sustained complaints to the City Council, federal, state, and local authorities and have pending complaints under review by the Personnel Board and the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), harassment and retaliation against me has clearly reached a level of such pervasiveness it permeates the highest levels of Richmond city administration and is now trickling down to its lowest levels. This conduct is a clear violation of the City’s general order 33, the federal whistleblower protection act, the state whistleblower protection act and the Myers Milias Brown Act (MMBA) and it now requires an objective, extensive and thorough investigation. The City does not really have a NO TOLERANCE policy against this misconduct (when it comes to Stacie Plummer) as the policy falsely states. Among this obvious and heinous abuse, the additional trouble for me is that there is now no office in the City that has not engaged in retaliatory and harassing conduct against me including the City Attorney’s Office. Here are the facts:

1. In an unprecedented, extrajudicial action, Bruce Goodmiller and Bruce Soublet (City Attorneys) shared confidential information with the Personnel Board that caused the Personnel Board to deny my grievance hearing of situations bearing upon my employment conditions and status. Their acts are violations of the City Charter, Personnel Rules, MMBA and my union MOU. Their acts are retaliatory.
2. Bruce Soublet and Lisa Stephenson (attorneys) are aware that they participated in and that I reported their roles in covering up Sherry Drobner’s LEAP contract scandal with state money given to a current city employee who is Ms. Drobner’s teacher while the employee worked under a contract doing the same job Ms. Drobner helped him get paid to do as a city employee. The same job and tasks Ms. Drobner is reported to leave her LEAP job to go do, in lieu of her personal teacher/contractor/employee, when he is out. Mr. Soublet’s actions and participation are included in my federal, state, and local authorities’ complaint. Ms. Drobner has a documented pattern of granting employees contracts using state and federal pass through funds. Ms. Curl directed me to investigate Ms. Drobner’s contract issues after Ms. Curl received a tip from one of Ms. Drobner’s retiring employees. Yet Ms. Curl said nothing about her directions to me regarding her request that I investigate Ms. Drobner’s contracts to the current investigator the City Attorney’s office has hired to investigate me regarding “unprofessional emails” exchanged between me and Sherry Drobner. I also shared Ms. Drobner’s contract misconduct and the pattern with Lisa Stephenson and Bruce Soublet (both attorneys) and they took no action on behalf of the people of Richmond. This is unlawful and retaliatory.
3. In an unprecedented action, The City Manager committed to provide a response to me on the reneging of the promotion that was been confirmed by Lisa Stephenson, to my union representative, that Ms. Knight has been denying for years due to her arbitrary, discriminatory, and retaliatory reasons against me . Yet The City Manager remained silent after his commitment to provide a decision response and then he got Bruce Soublet (acting as Personnel Board Council) to advocate on the City Manager’s behalf before the Personnel Board regarding the City Manager’s lack of response. All of this is bad faith bargaining, retaliation and a clear violation of my rights to due process according to local, state rules and laws.
4. Katy Curl has been aware of the criminal conduct taking place in the library since she arrived. She was also aware of the retaliatory actions being imposed upon me for years by Ms. Knight as we have had hours and hours of conversations about these facts yet she did not report the abusive acts according to city policy and then proceeded to engage in omitting the facts when questioned. Ms. Curl is the one that reported to me that Ms. Knight had “thrown me under the bus” by blaming me for the malfeasance in the library department. Then Ms. Curl began to engage, participate and condone retaliatory and harassment efforts against me by conspiring against me with the very employees she is aware have committed criminal acts. She has obstructed justice and has become an accessory to public crimes through her actions. She has been granted an unprecedented raise of 7% in one year for her collusive participation in this public corruption. These acts are among other things retaliatory.
5. My union representative (Pam Covington), Lisa Stephenson, Katy Curl, and Leslie Knight all made an agreement on March 28, 2012 to upgrade my position according to the Personnel Rules (after Ms. Knight’s 2009 extrajudicial denial of the very same position upgrade). Then through dilatory and evasive tactics they all reneged on the agreement and blamed their decision on the City Manager who during his meeting with me, to discuss the position upgrade, had absolutely no understanding of the position or the personnel rules governing the position upgrade. This is retaliatory.
6. Bill Lindsay wrote that I was insubordinate for my stating I was unable to clear up Ms. Drobner’s false federal grant reports after he was provided with 212 pages of documentation proving beyond a doubt that Ms. Drobner had over billed the federal government for a federal stimulus grant and then she knowingly sent false/fraudulent cost share reports (with Ms. Curl’s permission) to the same federal grantor. This is retaliatory.
7. Mr. Goodmiller has failed to contact legal authorities and/or prosecute employees for misappropriation of funds, resources and benefits ( he called it embezzlement in his warnings) after I provided conclusive evidence, the city charter language and even his own written warnings of civil and criminal penalties for misuse of city resources for personal purposes. Yet Mr. Goodmiller has hired, using taxpayer dollars, an attorney/investigator (expert in harassment and retaliation) to investigate me for “possible unprofessional emails” I sent to two people I reported for gross waste and misconduct (with the emails included in the investigator’s questioning that indicate my clear intent to report these employees’ inappropriate actions to authorities). This is retaliatory.
8. In September 2012, Mr. Goodmiller committed to investigating all of my allegations including the misconduct/malfeasance by library employees and instead had a library audit conducted by a CPA costing $25,000 that says nothing about the actual crimes committed and covered up in the library. This is unlawful and retaliatory.

The City’s costs for this retaliation and harassment scandal against me are mounting:
· $600,000 (estimate closer to $800,000) for Ms. Knight’s embezzlement, abuse of authority, grand theft, and misappropriation of public resources.

· $30,000 + the actual payments exceeding that for the investigation of Ms. Knight (awaiting California Public Records Act (CPRA) to confirm payments).

· $25,000 for CPA, Kevin Harper’s, audit of the library.

· Attorney/investigator Ruth Graf-Urasaki’s fees to determine “unprofessional email exchanges” to criminals (awaiting CPRA to confirm payments).

· Attorney Cepideh Roufougar’s fees for her assistance in covering up malfeasance perpetrated by HR staff (awaiting CPRA to confirm payments).

· Ms. Curl’s payoff raise of 7% for her cover up of and collusion in public corruption.

Is the disbarment of attorneys hired on the taxpayer’s dollar to protect and maintain public trust, but instead engage in the promulgation of public crime warranted?

Of all these people acting against me, I am the only actual employee born and raised in Richmond with generations of family and friends still living in Richmond with a career spanning 26 years serving the community of Richmond. How can any taxpayer or resident believe this is justice when all I have ever done was my job with never a bad evaluation, reprimand, counseling memo, threat of disciplinary action over 26 years (until of course I let the city administration's dirty secrets out with pictures and other conclusive documentation).

All criminals have a choice not be reported, exposed and prosecuted . . .the choice is very simple. . .don’t do the crime!

My request now is simple: Investigate the crimes, collusion and corruption hidden among the city administrators and prosecute those perpetrators. Investigate this harassment and retaliation against me - a federal and state protected whistleblower.

I do not succumb to retaliation or harassment as I have endured this torment under Ms. Knight for 8 years so I have grown conditioned to stand again whenever she or one of her minions at the City attempts to knock me down.

Please investigate, prosecute and enforce the "No Tolerance policy" of harassment and retaliation efforts against me in accordance with general order 33. I now am requesting an independent investigation commissioned by the City Council and the Personnel Board excluding any consultation by the City Manager’s Office, Human Resources Department and City Attorney’s Office as they are perpetrators of these acts and are required to provide testimony as part of the investigation.

I am now awaiting acknowledgement from someone on the City Council and the Personnel Board that my request for investigations into these matters has been received.

Thanks,
Stacie Plummer

"I noticed the stuff in her office, but that was all I noticed," Lindsay said
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upwa_june_6_protest_deman...

Richmond community residents and Richmond city workers are demanding equal justice and accountability for Richmond Human Resources Director Leslie Knight.