San Luis Obispo city attorney’s brother-in-law gets a job without any competition
August 27, 2013
CLARIFICATION: Ted Green is Christine Dietrick’s brother-in-law.
By KAREN VELIE and JOSH FRIEDMAN
San Luis Obispo city officials provided a job to a key employee’s brother-in-law without making the position available to current city employees or the general public.
City Attorney Christine Dietrick’s brother-in-law Ted R. Green needed a job. On July 25, Community Development Director Derek Johnson provided Green a temporary department position of administrative executive assistant at $22.95 an hour or $47,736 a year.
It is unclear if he is qualified for the job as the spaces to provide education levels completed or his last employment position were left blank on his personnel form.
Under California Law, all government positions must be advertised either internally or externally for the general population to apply to eliminate improprieties, such as nepotism. The position was never advertised.
Human Resources Director Monica Irons said that because they converted the position temporarily to a non-permanent post the city is not required to inform city employees or the general public about the job opening.
“I think word-of-mouth and referring people we know to be good responsible people is a pretty common recruitment practice,” Irons said.
The city’s employment opportunity program was negotiated with the employee union SLOCEA. According to the program’s agreement, all employee positions that become available must be advertised internally to allow existing staff to apply. If less than three qualified employees apply and /or if administration feels that there may be more qualified candidates externally the position is then advertised to the general public to ensure that the most qualified candidate is hired.
But, by appointing someone to a position temporarily the city can skirt the requirement that the job be announced internally.
The temporary appointment also lets the city attorney’s brother build up work experience in the position. That experience then can become a factor when a position is advertised as a permanent post. And, because the temporary job is classified as an internal employee position, Green would be among the people notified of the position when it is opened up for applications from city workers.
Would Green’s temporary appointment give him an advantage over other applicants?
“I guess,” Kathy Hamilton, human resources specialist said.
Green’s current position became available when Ryan Betz, who held the position for about six years, applied for and received the public works analyst position. A position several city staffers contend is permanent.
However, Irons contends Betz moved over to finance to fill another temporary position and will at some time in the future return to his old job.
“Ted was hired on a temporary basis for a temporary need, because the person who filled the position in the community development department was loaned to work in finance,” Irons said.
Currently, the position of administrative executive assistant pays $53,560 to $65,780 a year.
Sources within San Luis Obispo city hall said Dietrick is working to have the position reclassified as an administrative analyst. That job carries a salary range of from $60,996 to $76,206 a year, according to the city’s website.
Irons denied the allegation that the job title is being changed.
A few years ago, internal emails revealed that Irons requested that the community development department director hire Dan Doris to fill a vacant code enforcement position.
In the email, Iron says that she ran into Doris at a party she attended with her husband Jamie Irons, mayor of Morro Bay. Irons also said that her husband had work inspected by Doris, a former inspector for Morro Bay.
“I know that Dan has inspected remodels that Jamie (my husband) has done and Jamie has always respected and enjoyed his interactions with Dan,” Irons writes in her email to Tim Girvin, the city’s former chief building official.
Tim Girvin then appointed Doris to the position, again through a word of mouth job notification process, Irons said.