Spitzer’s Ego Trumps His Incompetence as a Manager

Supervisor Todd Spitzer speaks at a county Board of Supervisors meeting. (Photo by: Nick Gerda/Voice of OC)

Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer, a possible District Attorney-In-Waiting, has finally proven he should be in movies — an antagonist in “Horribe Bosses 3.”

This blog had no plans to weigh in on the lawsuit filed by former Spitzer aide Christine Richters until Spitzer’s office issued a press release basically calling her a terrible employee who refused to update her skills.  Issuing that press release made this story a political one.  And the announcement itself is a testament to ego over good government.

Richters worked as a paid staffer on Spitzer’s 2012 campaign — where she was paid a bonus —  and then worked in Spitzer’s office for three and a half years in a staff position before — quoting the Voice of OC here — Spitzer said he fired Richters because she refused to learn basic computer skills that were necessary for her job.

“Ms. Richters filed a lawsuit against the County simply to gouge the taxpayers for her unwillingness to adapt and gain even the most fundamental computer skills that would have resulted in either remaining with Supervisor Spitzer or testing favorably for another County job,” Spitzer wrote.

Lawsuits over employment termination rarely warrant a news release, especially with a staffer making a paltry hourly wage.  But the coverage in other political blogs and in OC media were damaging to Spitzer who put his ego ahead of the interests of taxpayers.  Ms. Richters now has a possible defamation case on her hands and she ought to sue for that too.  Because if she was as bad as Spitzer claims — why was she on the county payroll for three-and-a-half years?!

In the private sector, new staff employees are usually on probation for 90 days to make sure, they show up on time, work a full day, do their jobs and interact well with those they work with.  If you’re chronically late, leave early, drink on the job, demonstrate incompetence or create a hostile work environment, you’re gone.

Spitzer kept Richters on his team for three and a half years.  Not months.  Not weeks. Years.  The incompetent here is Spitzer not Richters.

And her departure from his team which has had more turnovers than Tony Romo on Thanksgiving Day games is further proof Spitzer is a lousy boss and an incompetent manager far more concerned with self-promotion and getting on TV than doing the people’s work.

Imagine this train wreck running the DA’s office?

Need proof?  Here’s what Norberto Santana had to say about the high turnover in Spitzer’s office six months ago:

When County Supervisor Todd Spitzer’s top legislative staffer – Chris Nguyen – left his office abruptly last month to go work for Auditor Controller Eric Woolery, I heard the County CEO’s office had prepared a contingency plan in case Spitzer’s office went into full meltdown.

They might want to start unrolling the fire hoses.

So besides Chris Nguyen, who writes for OC Political, and Richters, Jeff Lalloway left as chief of staff after four months on the job, staffers Carrie O’Malley and former Chief of Staff Martha Ochoa left in 2016.  If you’re running a company, and one of your VPs has a record of high profile departures, it’s time for the CEO or the Board of Directors to find out why.  Nine times out of ten, its because the boss is a pendejo.

Spitzer’s July 16, 2016 memo to staff that all text messages must be responded to in 15 minutes or they’ll be docked an hour pay “unless there is an overriding excuse” is inexcusable.  “I was sleeping.”  “I was cooking dinner for my kids.”  “I was driving.” “I was in the restroom.”  I was helping kids with their homework.”  “I was in church.”  “I was at the movies.”  Just what exactly is an overriding excuse?

Hey Todd, why don’t you answer the Voice of OC’s questions on the Wahoo Restaurant incident where you had handcuffs and a weapon to perform a citizen’s arrest?  Your footdragging on Public Records Requests is not an overriding excuse.  Can taxpayers dock *your* pay?

And while this detail did appear in Santana’s story, please go to the Facebook page: Todd Spitzer: Armed & Unhinged.    It’s hysterical. And it has to get under Spitzer’s skin, so click there and give them some likes.

Hiring a staffer for a county job has some measure of standards.  Ms. Richter obviously went through an interview process with several people before being hired.  She has at least two to three performance reviews, and if she was smart, copies of emails of praise from Spitzer or members of his team for her work.

Or was she hired simply because she was a former Playboy playmate from May 1986?  Could it be Spitzer liked to watch her walk across the office?  Or maybe she was starting to show her age.  Again, if she was as bad as Spitzer said she was, why was she there for three-and-a-half years?  The lawsuit simply demonstrates what people have whispered for years — Spitzer’s a horrible manager of people who thinks the word “TEAM” is spelled with an “I.”

If anyone’s every heard Spitzer comment about having a former Playboy model working for him, please chime in about it in the comments section below.  I’m lawyered up.  And hiring someone because they were Miss May 1986 with horrible computer skills is a lame way to fleece taxpayers.

Richters is from Fullerton and in her Playboy Q&A, which lists her measurements and her likes and dislikes, there was this question: WHAT KIND OF MAN TURNS YOU OFF?  Her answer: “A man who is loud, obnoxious and tries too hard to be funny.”

Spitzer, anyone?

Note to Todd: settle this case.  Claiming incompetence after three-and-a-half years ain’t going to work before a jury.  Also, do yourself a favor and take a management class or two.  You need it.  Badly.