Ever since I found out about Carlos “Busty” Bustmante’s sexist comment regarding the appointment of Sandra Hutchns as Orange County Sheriff I’ve been waiting for “Busty” to be taken to the woodshed for his conduct. I have been calling for the County of Orange Executive Office to do something other than slap “Busty” with an atta-boy and high-five. That responsibility falls ultimately to the CEO Tom Mauk.
Just to clarify the CEO refuses to acknowledge whether “Busty’s” comment, printed in the LATimes, violates County policy. CEO Mauk also stubbornly refused to comment as to whether “Busty’s” comment is reflective of the CEO or the board regarding the appointment of Sheriff Hutchens.
On June 10, 2008 in the lobby of the Hall of Admnistration “Busty” stated to two members of the media: “I kept telling the Chief (Walters) maybe we should get you some implants, or a water bra.” At a salary of more than $133,000 a year, managing administration for a large county department, you would think Busty would know better.
For the record, the failure to take action to correct such an obvious and public violation of policy by a senior manager who oversees managers making personnel decisions demonstrates a lack of commitment on the part of the county to adhere to their own policy.
“They have built a small little woodshed to create the illusion of consequences for policy violations, where none exist. The woodshed in this case is nothing more than a hide-out where violators of the policy get congratulated upon their creativity. I’m beginning to see that the woodshed is really an outhouse, where Uncle Tom and his sexist band of managers take a dump on the integrity of the County EEO policy.” – Chris Prevatt
Here are the relevent sections of the County’s Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Policy:
A. Agencies, Departments, and their managers, supervisors and employees are responsible for full support and commitment to a policy of non-discrimination and equal employment opportunity.
C. Equal employment opportunity will be achieved through leadership and aggressive implementation of a program of equal employment opportunity. The program will include the periodic and systematic review of recruitment, selection and promotional practices, attention to upward mobility, periodic training and educational opportunities and audits of progress through a review of statistics, and annual Certificates of Compliance and/or Equal Employment Opportunity Plans.
F. Unlawful discrimination based on a person’s protected status or classification will not be tolerated. Discrimination includes any employment related policy, practice, procedure or decision based upon a person’s status, such as sex, race, color, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, religion, pregnancy, age, sexual-orientation, sexual identity, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, veteran status, citizenship status, or other protected group status rather than merit.
Agencies and Departments are expected to investigate and remedy promptly any seemingly minor acts of harassment to avoid the development of a hostile work environment.
Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to the following, when such acts or behavior come within the above:
Off-duty conduct which falls within any of the above and affects the work environment;
A. …When the County of Orange receives a complaint of discrimination, harassment or retaliation or otherwise has reason to believe that discrimination, harassment or retaliation is occurring, it will take all necessary steps to ensure that the matter is promptly investigated and that prompt, appropriate remedial action is taken. The County of Orange is committed to take action if it learns of discrimination, harassment or retaliation in violation of this Policy whether or not the aggrieved employee files a complaint.
So, CEO Tom Mauk refuses to even admit that the comment was inappropriate and insists that Mr. Bustamante was on his own time when he made it. Fortunately, Uncle Tom Mauk cannot avoid the reality that failure to acknowledge that “Busty’s” comments were inappropriate and that they were not or have not been tolerated is in reality another violation of the policy.
For the record, the failure to take action to correct such an obvious and public violation of policy by a senior manager who oversees managers making personnel decisions demonstrates a lack of commitment on the part of the county to adhere to their own policy. They have built a small little woodshed to create the illusion of consequences for policy violations, where none exist.
The woodshed in this case is nothing more than a hide-out where violators of the policy get congratulated upon their creativity. I’m beginning to see that the woodshed is really an outhouse, where Uncle Tom and his sexist band of managers take a dump on the integrity of the County EEO policy. Tommy, you’re doing a heck of a job!