San Luis Obispo city attorney’s brother-in-law gets a job without any competition

August 27, 2013
Christine Dietrick

Christine Dietrick

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.

 

 


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Word

“I think word-of-mouth and referring people we know to be good responsible people is a pretty common recruitment practice,” Irons said.


I grew up in Chicago, this is how it worked then/there, you had to know someone to get a city job. I thought a federal judge banned the practice.


BigRed

City must be on a break….somebody just thumbs downed every comment.


Scarlet

Ha! Ha! But seriously: the board of supes just returned from a fifteen minute break. Adam = 1 thumbs down.


HarryMalone

With reporting like this I wonder what is in store for Karen Velie next?


Running a bridge class without a license, defamation of character law suit by SLOPD cop Josh Walsh, giving aid to Cliff Anderson without authorization from CAPSLO, driving a red car on a blue street….


Whyaduck

“Giving aid to Cliff Anderson without authorization from CAPSLO”


Are you kidding me!? I personally supplied food, money and construction work to Cliff as a compassionate citizen. I wasn’t aware I needed authorization from a corrupt organization to bestow a bit of kindness.


HarryMalone

YDuck… I was being FACETIOUS.


Please continue to donate all you want but you will have to ‘tithe’ 70% of your income to Family Ties.


JordanJ

I just love that “f****d you over again” grin on Dietrick’s face.


How much money has it cost us citizens so far because of her incompetence at attempts to skirt the laws? Remember the homeless parking crap? What a piece of work.


SLOBIRD

I have friends at the City and they say the hiring process is so corrupt. It is not based on what you know but who you know, how well you play the game and almost all the department heads have been replaced under Katie as well as mid-management. The word in the halls is that Katie is a real piece of work as well as Mike Caldron (nice guy, totally incompetent as a manager and should have stayed in Community Development). Bottom line, people are not happy with management and the way things are wrong. Wonder why?


r0y

Yeah? So what can we do? I’m done pointing out how corrupt and incompetent these people are. The malfeasance is insane in SLO (city and county); time to call a spade a spade and get these people OUT. I mean, what has to happen for them to be FORCIBLY REMOVED? Catching them LIVE on video with their pants down? Literally, what is the straw that will break this camel’s back?


Kevin Rice

Elections have consequences. Katie is a consequence. If Brown or I had been elected there would be three votes to replace her.


msminiver

Kevin


That would be a good start, but the corruption runs deep. What about Dietrick, Irons, Johnson, Codron and others. For that matter everyone in HR, starting with the mini gail Wilcox who has slept with cops and fireman during negotiations. They are all complicit in this corruption?


Kevin Rice

All those (except Dietrick) are hired by Katie. See my prior post.


SloHeadInTheSand

Did anyone notice the relatively low amount of thumbs down dislikes on this article.


Could it be that the SLO County Board of Supervisors are in session now?


realitycheck22

And I suppose you all believe it would be a reasonable use of public resources to spend $200 per ad, plus staff time recruiting and interviewing candidates for the numerous temporary jobs that last anywhere from 1 week to a few months? There is ZERO corruption here. Use your head.


KatieEvans

There is no corruption here folks, nothing here to see, pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain.


Sure a permanent full time position that suddenly became temporarily temporary! RIGHT.


As for the cost of advertising, you have to be kidding me. Ever hear of Craig’s list, or how about posting the position in the city lunch room or with the union?


Ben Daho

Have you noticed it’s Always someone like “Reality this” Or ‘super ethical” That.. that is the most cluelss and unethical?


Word

TruthFariy and wiserguy being perfect examples of that.


IronHub

You are so right, Bend-A-Ho…and clever, too.


realitycheck22

clueless! Check the facts. everything reported on Cal Coast is like a soap opera. Giving you just enough mis-information to make you draw ridiculous conclusions


OnTheOtherHand

So supply some facts that contradict these then.


realitycheck22

How about this: There is no position in the Community Development Department called administrative executive assistant.


realitycheck22

yeah, craigslist is the place to find quality people


msminiver

Realitycheck22 How about this – Monica Irons, the HR Director at the City of SLO could have posted the position on the City’s own website under Jobs where the post many positions from full time permanent, part time, contract and yes even temporary full time positions are posted. There are also a dozen other free government based websites where government agencies can post positions free of charge. Simply put if you are going to piss on people, don’t expect them to believe you when you say it is raining!


r0y

This is not the reality that check22 is looking for, though. I get the impression many people close to government (progressives, especially) live in a False Reality of their own creation.


mbactivist1

What some people clearly don’t like is the fact that CCN staff and readers ARE using their heads.


“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.”


“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.”


That pretty much says it all. Somebody did a favor for somebody and got caught.


SLOthinker

Yep, pretty hard to say this is anything but nepotism.


realitycheck22

look up the definition of nepotism. Dietrick was not the decision maker and does not supervise the position


r0y

Does MALFEASANCE work for you, then?


Foot: meet mouth.


givemeabreak

Yeah…..and we here in Morro Bay are seeing just how “ethical” the Irons clan are.


kayaknut

So on one side of the face it’s “We have to spend this big sum of money on salaries and benefits so we get the best and brightest”, the other face says “We can’t waste $200 on ads so we can get the best and the brightest”, anyone see a problem with both faces?


BigRed

As an employer I have to constantly run decisons through the “How Does This Look” filter. This is why public officials have the reputation they do. Dummies.


realitycheck22

so a perfectly qualified person can’t have a jb because “it looks bad” to people who don’t care about the facts?


OnTheOtherHand

No, but with the legal scrutiny that private employers can face, they have to have some paperwork justifying their decision that a given person is indeed “the best qualified.” Unless you have some information to the contrary, in this case, there isn’t any paperwork to prove the person hired was qualified and no attempt to find others who might be equally or better qualified. In addition, public employees are paid from taxpayers pockets. In such case, the standards for hiring should be even more stringent than a private employer.


Quit being disingenuous and offer some evidence that this was ethical behavior rather than a blatant end-run around standard hiring practices.


BigRed

Your comment is classic “straw man” rhetoric best reserved for bumper stickers instead of conjecture.


I’ll simplify it for you: Yes “because it looks bad” is valid reason not to do something… at the very least it means the decision will have to pass through an extra level of scrutiny. Having a blank work history on an application is an example of not taking extra care.


In the real world (private sector) we do this all the time. In Candyland (the public sector) it should be even more important because it’s our f’ing money and not theirs.


RC22: You are either a bureaucrat, hiding in academia, or 12. Be honest and tell me what I win.


womanwhohasbeenthere

So if someone sues the cit,y will Christine say they need to hire outside counsel to handle this so there isn’t a conflict? Your tax dollars at work!