On Friday Afternoon, Orange County officials released a redacted version of the complaint letter filed by the attorney representing Deputy CEO Alisa Drakodaidis. The letter is the subject of a public records lawsuit filed on behalf of the Voice of OC by attorneys from Californian’s Aware earlier this month demanding the release of the letter.
Voice of OC reports:
The claim states that Drakodaidis felt threatened by the Orange County district attorney’s investigation of sex crime allegations against former county Public Works executive Carlos Bustamante and that she was unfairly targeted because she looked into efforts by county supervisors Pat Bates and Janet Nguyen to help place their political aides into county jobs.
Drakodaidis also accused Bates of attempting to “change” a sex offender ordinance to help the son of a friend.
Along with the release of Drakodaidis’ claim, the county issued a response by recently departed CEO Tom Mauk, which stated that “there is very little substance” to her accusations and accused Drakodaidis of “attacking” members of the Board of Supervisors.
Drakodaidis is currently on a medical leave until at least the end of August. In her Deputy CEO role, Drakodaidis was in the direct line of supervision over Carlos Bustamante’s supervisor, OC Public Works Directory Jess Carbajal who was terminated for cause by CEO Tom Mauk earlier, apparently due to his alleged mishandling of the investigation of the Bustamante allegations.
Voice of OC reports that Drakodaidis alleged improper conduct by Supervisors Bates and Nguyen over transfers of aids to other county positions.
The most notable instance is the transfer of Brian Probolsky, an elected director of the Moulton Niguel Water District, from being a political aide to Bates to the OC Community Resources Department.
Probolsky got an 80 percent raise in the transition, moving from the rate of $31 an hour to an Administrative Manager II position at the rate of $56 an hour.
Drakodaidis stated in her letter that she strongly objected to the move, saying it “violated the public trust and appropriate OC recruitment processes.”
CalAware General Counsel Terry Francke told the Voice of OC that the release of only a the redacted version of the Drakodidis complaint is a violation of the California Public Records Act.
Voice of OC reports:
According to sources that have seen the letter, county officials have redacted allegations made by Drakodaidis about fraudulent billing of staff salaries to state and federal funds by Bates’ office.
Calling the redacted document a “piece of Swiss cheese,” Francke said, “this is not a complete or compliant response to a public records act request.”
He also said county officials have not explained their redactions, which is required by the public records act.
“We won’t even be able to judge the lawfulness of this response until we see that kind of response from county counsel,” Francke said.
“I don’t think there’s any basis at all for any redactions. … It’s clearer to me than ever this is a virtual claim,” Francke said.
Click Here for the complete Voice of OC story and to find a copy of the redacted letter.