Manipulation and Favoritism cost Glendale $550,000.
The Glendale Coalition for Better Government had previously exposed manipulation and favoritism in the administration of an exam for the position of a police captain. A complete investigation can be viewed here. At the time the Coalition had brought the matter to the attention of the Civil Service Commission and the Glendale City Council with specific recommendations to correct and avoid potential claims. The recommendations were:
- The GCBG recommends an immediate reinstatement of the community panel and internal panel to oral examinations. The diversification of the panel will ensure that no set of individuals will exert undue influence on the process. While any process may be susceptible to impropriety, the GCBG calls on the Civil Service Commission members to stay vigilant in ensuring a fair, objective and unbiased process. The Coalition is aware that this particular improper communication may not occur again with Chief Castro, at least by email. However, continuing with the current process without the involvement of an internal or community panel will create a precedence of legitimacy to a process that is susceptible to influence again long after the current Civil Service Board members service has concluded.
- The cancellation of any examination results that have been conducted under a flawed system but not yet awarded to the successful applicants. While this may result in frustration to the winning applicant. It is equally important to the winning applicant that the position he/she has earned is based on merit in a fair and objective process and not due to favoritism.
- Due diligence investigation by questionnaires to panel members drafted by the HR department. While the HR department is tasked in appointing panel members, it is understandable that HR may consult department heads on who would be appropriate person with experience to serve on a panel. However HR remains the department responsible and must insure panel members do not have a pattern of practice in providing paid or unpaid services to other panel members and/or Glendale personnel whose department may be affected. HR must insure the decision of panel members do not create any appearance of partiality and/or conflict of interest.
- Educational programs should be provided to managers and individuals charged with creating or fulfilling vacancies.
Our recommendations were ignored and all members of the Civil Service Commission and the City Council failed to respond to our email. (Except council member Laura Freedman who only acknowledged receipt of the email).
In May of 2016 the City of Glendale was sued for by one of the Lieutenants applying for the position (Lawsuit). Extended litigation ensued based on the review of the case docket. Finally in October 10, 2017, the City entered a settlement with the Lieutenant for $550,000.00 of which $220,000.00 was attorney fees (Settlement). Unfortunately this settlement was not reported to the public.
- Was City Council trying to sweep this mess under the rug thinking the Coalition will not know?
- Is this the end of the failed manipulation of the Captain exam by Chief Castro?
- Did the departing City Manager sign off on the other 2 Lieutenants in the Chief’s list by making them captains before leaving Glendale despite the fact that there was no openings for a police captain position?
- Should the taxpayer or the Police Department suffer for the failures of the police Chief consistent with Department Accountability Policy?
- Is the new Interim City Manager willing to make the tough choices consistent with Department Accountability Policy?
Oh what a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive! Stay tuned.