Patch: Palm Desert to Introduce New Harassment Policy Before City Council

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PALM DESERT, CA – The Palm Desert City Council is expected to adopt a new harassment, discrimination and retaliation policy for city employees Thursday, in the wake of the departure of former City Manager John Wohlmuth, who was asked to resign for circulating a nude photo of a city employee.

A city staff report for Thursday’s council meeting makes no mention of Wohlmuth, citing legislative changes and a city harassment policy that has not been revised since November 2004, as reasons for the new policy.

But in a statement issued after Wohlmuth’s resignation in April, City Attorney Robert Hargreaves pledged the city would take measures to ensure that harassment and discrimination in the workplace stops.

The proposed zero-tolerance ordinance outlines policies for confidential reporting of harassment and procedures for internal investigation of any complaints.

Under the proposal, complainants may also be referred to outside agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and discipline for violations can include termination.

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5 Responses to Patch: Palm Desert to Introduce New Harassment Policy Before City Council

  1. Avatar
    lulukazoo2012 September 25, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    Palm Desert has also agreed to contract for a “hotline” so employees can call and report anonymously if they have an issue in the workplace. Now that City Manager Frank Spevacek (you remember him?) has “restructured” (read, fired the people he did not like) the City of La Quinta organization and now everybody reports directly to him, I suggested we institute a hotline program for our employees as these people have nowhere to turn if there is a problem. Frank is joined at the hip to the City Attorney/Rutan & Tucker (you remember them?). We have gone through 4 Financial Directors and we now have a lower leveled employee doing that work(?) and the employee turnover/retirement rate is astounding…and we are in financial trouble for the first time in the nearly 30 years I have lived here…and the natives are restless over the proposed sales tax increase. We hope a change is a-comin’, starting with this election and then put those new eyes on the CM.

  2. Branson Hunter
    Branson Hunter September 26, 2016 at 5:52 am

    Yes lulukazoo, we certainly know Rutan & Tucker. Patrick Munoz, a big shot partner in the firm pushed for and benefited handsomely from a massive bond debt in 29 Palms that left homeowners with 30 years of principal and interest. All told, struggling families have been yoked to a $33,000,000 debt. Munoz coned a gullible council to “rubberstamped” a spike in Rutan & Tucker hourly fees — and they cherry picked a percentage of the entire bond principal.

    Councilman Dan Mintz signed the Attorney/Client retainer agreement.

    To date, nothing has been build with the bond debt but for remolding a fire station that the county leases. Further, the DoF usurped a huge portion of the bond debt to dispense among other entities in S.B. County.

    Now there is not enough of the bond debt to finish the downtown PP (Project Phoenix) renewal plans.

    R & T ought to be fired posthaste! Voters should elect new blood come November.

    • Avatar
      lulukazoo2012 September 26, 2016 at 7:49 am

      La Quinta debt is tens times that, $350,000,000, and we have a money-pit golf course with surrounding land that we paid $81,000 an acre that our City Manager (Frank Spevacek, remember RSG Consultants?/boss/partner of Matt McCleary?) now tells us is worthless…when we argue with him about it he pushes back, working hard to convince us of what a bad deal he/RSG made for us. We’re convinced.

  3. Branson Hunter
    Branson Hunter September 26, 2016 at 8:34 am

    McCleary is constantly re-hired here in 29. The DoF tainted his credibility for alleged dirty hands involving the $33M bond debt. The city council follows McCleary and Partick Munoz like a dog follows a foul scent.

    dog sniffing

    • Avatar
      lulukazoo2012 September 26, 2016 at 8:56 am

      I could swear that picture was taken at La Quinta City Hall!


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