Board Meeting 10/21/14

In this update I will rundown the decisions made at the recent Board meeting as well as discuss some controversies that have arisen between myself and AFSCME in the last month. This update is somewhat long, but there is much information you may find interesting. This is, by way of full disclosure, all my perspective and my opinion.

NEW OFFICERS

Michele Hanisee has honored the ADDA and its members by joining the Board as its Vice President, replacing the office formerly held by James Bozajian who recently resigned as both a DDA and a Board Member. Ms. Hanisee already has made a difference in helping the ADDA to secure recent legislation that protects the private information of all DDAs. She has agreed to be the Chairperson of the Bypass Security Screening Committee and will continue to work with John Colello and others to secure legislation to resolve this issue.  Finally, we are all happy to have a female DDA on the Board and can’t be happier than to see that it’s Michele. Thank you, Michele.

Director Stuart Lytton submitted papers indicating a desire to be Vice President, but when he saw that it was Michele he withdrew his nomination and requested the long vacant position of Secretary instead.  So thanks to Stewart’s nobility and graciousness we have a new Vice President and a new Secretary, Stuart Lytton.  Thank you, Stuart.

All offices are filled, and the Board is now complete:

OFFICERS: DIRECTORS:
Marc Debbaudt, President Anthony Colannino
Jeff McGrath, Executive Vice President Bobby Grace
Michele Hanisee, Vice President Graig Gold
Stuart Lytton, Secretary John Harrold
James Evans, Treasurer Loren Naimon
Eric Siddall

Richard Shinee, General Counsel

Tris Carpenter, AFSCME Business Representative

Juliana Konze, Recording Secretary

CONTROVERSY

I was contacted by Brian Moriguchi, the President of PPOA [Professional Police Officers Association]. PPOA is 8700 members strong and for over 60 years has represented LA County, including Sheriffs, DA Supervising Investigators, the Coroner’s Office, custody assistants, dispatchers and security officers. PPOA is involved only in public safety employees and only in Los Angeles County.

President Moriguchi caught me off guard when he asked me why I permitted our Business Representative, Tris Carpenter, to address his PPOA members in a secret meeting held at AFSCME in an effort by AFSCME to raid their union. He told me that Mr. Carpenter, the ADDA Business Representative, told PPOA’s members how to gather signatures to decertify, told them what they wanted to hear, and promised them things that AFSCME cannot deliver. President Moriguchi also said that AFSCME has a poor reputation locally.

I informed Moriguchi that I was not aware that our Business Representative was doing this and that the ADDA did not give him permission to do it. In the past, we have been asked by AFSCME if our Business Representative could be used for other functions and we have agreed. We were not told that AFSCME wanted to use him to raid a union comprised of our fellow law-enforcement colleagues. Our Business Representative is the primary service we obtain from AFSCME in exchange for our dues money to them which amounts to approximately $365,000 a year.

After our conversation I then emailed the Executive Director of AFSCME, Ms. Parisi, and asked if this was true. First, Parisi admitted that our Business Representative was utilized to address these PPOA members, and indicated that these members came to their headquarters and were not solicited.  President Moriguchi disputes Ms. Parisi’s claim that “Without any planning or encouragement by Council staff, nearly 100 Custody Assistance showed up.” Moriguchi is of the opinion that AFSCME did far more than they assert. He referred me to a website that reveals that other law-enforcement organizations have so far been successful in resisting attempts by AFSCME to raid their organizations.

Second, at our Board Meeting Ms. Parisi represented to the Board that Tris Carpenter did not identify himself to these PPOA members as the ADDA Business Representative. I then read from her email response to me in which she clearly stated that Tris told the PPOA members “that he (Tris) had a full-time position as the Business Representative assigned to assist the ADDA and could not do anything more to assist them beyond the meeting at hand.” Therefore, contrary to Ms. Parisi’s statement to the Board, Tris Carpenter did represent to these members of PPOA that he was the ADDA Business Representative.

Moriguchi referred me to CSLEA [California State Law Enforcement Association] and specifically to a video accessible in the lower right hand corner of that website from the President of that organization, Alan Barcelona, warning of corruption within AFSCME.

Please check out the homepage of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association [CSLEA] at: http://www.cslea.com/  and watch that video.

After our conversation PPOA President Moriguchi wrote a letter to me in which he states:

“AFSCME used tactics common in raiding attempts which is to tell the CAs [Custody Assistants] exactly what they want to hear and promise them things they cannot deliver (more money, parity with police officers, more respect). I will be publishing more info about the meeting at a later time. We believe that this “raid” is orchestrated by AFSCME Council 36 which has a very poor reputation locally. Many of their own locals have expressed to me their dissatisfaction with Council 36.”

I received two more letters after that, one from President Tom Dominguez of the Southern California Alliance of Law Enforcement [SCALE] and one from Stephen James the President of the California Coalition of Law Enforcement Associations [CCLEA]. Both of these letter were sent to the President of AFSCME, Ms. Goff. Tom Dominguez states in his letter that Tris Carpenter “maligned PPOA” and that AFSCME’s effort is “extremely offensive.” Stephen James states that the efforts of AFSCME “are deplorable at best.”

I shared all three letters with the Board.

In response, to the information I received from these Presidents I have written a letter to AFSCME President Alice Goff in which I indicate that the ADDA and DDAs in general have important ongoing relationships with law-enforcement and law-enforcement organizations in which we are more often than not completely aligned.  For our voice, for our face, for our Representative, Tris Carpenter, to be used without our permission in a manner which obviously would alienate our law-enforcement colleagues is unprofessional and may have caused irreparable damage to our relationship to these associations.

Tris Carpenter speaks for the ADDA. For him to attempt to persuade law-enforcement colleagues to leave their organization is intolerable because it carries with it the implicit inference that the ADDA approved this effort. With our representative speaking to others comes the implicit/tacit endorsement of the ADDA and the body of prosecutors we represent.

Frankly, I find this action on AFSCME’s part to be outrageous. As a result I have demanded that AFSCME write several law-enforcement organizations apologizing for their error in judgment and acknowledging that the ADDA had no advanced knowledge of this effort and that Tris Carpenter was utilized without the ADDA’s approval. We cannot permit AFSCME to alienate our colleagues in their goal to secure money for their liberal political agendas.

At the end of our Board meeting pursuant to our policy of approval of emails, I requested permission to disseminate PPOA President Moriguichi’s letter with you, our members. The Board chose not to permit me to send it, finding that just sending you these letters standing alone was confusing. However, they did agree to allow me to discuss it in this update. AFSCME was offered an opportunity to respond directly, but they declined.

For this, and for positions contrary to those of a law-enforcement oriented bargaining unit, it is my position that the upcoming decision to remain affiliated with AFSCME is the most important decision that you as members of the ADDA will be facing this year, that is, assuming the Board chooses to give you the opportunity and does not make it unilaterally on your behalf.  Please join the ADDA now to be poised to vote on this issue.

PROPOSITION 47: ADDA OPPOSES, AFSCME ENDORSES!

At a previous special meeting in which the nature of our relationship with AFSCME was discussed, the Executive Director of AFSCME, Cheryl Parisi, informed the Board that AFSCME only took political positions on “labor related issues.”

Recently your Board voted to oppose Proposition 47 which seeks to reduce criminal sentences from felonies to misdemeanors. We then recently learned that AFSCME has decided to support Proposition 47.

Ms. Parisi was asked to address the contradiction between her earlier statement that AFSCME does not endorse non-labor related issues and why Proposition 47 was endorsed since it is clearly a non-labor related issue. She provided no answer. Instead, an argument was made by some Board members that the alleged savings created by Prop. 47 would be given to schools. Therefore, Prop. 47 had “labor related” implications.

If you have followed the news on Prop. 47 then you are aware that the state’s non-partisan financial analyst has opined that there would be no immediate financial benefits upon the passage of Prop. 47. In fact, the costs of implementing it over the next several years as well as dealing with the retroactive appeals for reduction of sentencing would significantly exceed the current costs of the existing penal system. Furthermore, the Counties would not reap any financial savings from this Proposition because they would be dealing directly with all the new misdemeanors previously incarcerated in state prisons. The saving, if any, therefore, would inure only to the benefit of the state over the long run. Finally, no effort was made to assess the costs to the community in terms of reducing felonies to misdemeanors and releasing prisoners onto the streets in a system of jail overcrowding in which there is already little to no accountability for misdemeanors.

AFSCME’s response in a nutshell was that the ADDA was invited to attend their Convention and seek to influence their determination to endorse this Proposition. Please know we were given no advance warning that Prop. 47 was a topic at the Convention. It was merely an incidental issue lost in all of the other convention related topics in which few, if any, had anything to do with the ADDA or why we exist. No forewarning was provided by Ms. Parisi that this subject would be included on the Convention’s agenda. So, essentially, Parisi’s defense was to criticize the ADDA for not attending their Convention and spending DDA dues-payer-money for the time off of a few ADDA Directors, as well as accommodations and travel expenses, to sit around and listen to the vast majority of topics which have nothing to do with our organization while we wait to discover by surprise a law-enforcement issue we weren’t prepared to address. While we were given notice of the Convention and chose not to attend, we weren’t given notice that this non-labor related issue was on the table.

Ms. Parisi also suggested that had we been present at the Convention we could have influenced the debate on this topic and possibly prevented its endorsement. My response was simply: Why would we enter a debate we cannot win when the liberal orientation of AFSCME trumps our law-enforcement interests?

Some Directors felt it was unreasonable to complain about AFSCME’s endorsement of PROP. 47 when we were given the opportunity to attend the Convention but failed to do so. My position is simply why did the Executive Director tell the Board that AFSCME does not endorse non-labor related issues? Also, the likelihood of influencing their endorsement was minimal at best. Finally, AFSCME indicated that their organization supported all of our judicial endorsements as though the judicial endorsements justify the Prop. 47 endorsement. My response to that was that judicial offices are non-partisan offices and no one at AFSCME knew the candidates better than the ADDA or had any where the amount of interest in those offices than the ADDA did.  In other words, we helped AFSCME make intelligent decisions on who to endorse, and they helped us in response. I don’t think the two, Prop. 47 and Judicial endorsement are equivalent or that the one counterbalances the other.

Essentially, we are a law-enforcement oriented certified bargaining unit whose dues, in a substantial amount, go to a union, AFSCME, that spends your dues money on anti-law-enforcement positions.

SATURDAY SEMINAR ATTENDANCE

Recently, the Head of the Training Division sent emails to Head Deputies informing our supervisors of those DDAs who attended Saturday Seminars. The email read:

“I am writing to report that the following DDAs in your Division attended the Saturday Seminar on September 20, 2014.  Since the regular attendance of seminars to further legal knowledge is a basis for Performance Evaluation under the category of “Professional Knowledge & Skill,” I will keep you informed when DDAs from your Division attend the Saturday Seminars.  Thanks. The September attendees are as follows: …”

A significant number of DDAs complained to me for multiple reasons. They felt that the Saturday Seminars are not mandatory, that many do not attend due to family obligations and other constraints, for many reasons DDAs acquire their MCLE through other means and that this attendance is not reflected in the data provided to the Supervisors by the Head of the Training Division, the attendance data is not always accurate, and that these emails seemed like an effort to coerce attendance.  Further, as one complainant indicated, why were these emails to supervisors even necessary when supervisors must approve compensatory time off which means that they are already aware of who attends.

I informed Assistant D.A. Pam Booth of these complaints. Ms. Booth quickly responded indicating that these emails will stop because Supervisors are already aware of which deputy district attorneys attend Saturday Seminars because the Supervisors are required to approve each DDA’s submission for compensatory time and, therefore, the information is duplicative.

We thanked Pam for responding promptly.

If you don’t know, the Administration has asked me to keep them informed of complaints and rumors and morale issues. Pam, while not always agreeing, is always receptive and responsive.

 

JOINT LABOR MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE [JLMC]

Executive Vice President Jeff McGrath believed that the above Saturday Seminar Attendance issue would be appropriate for what is called the JLMC [Joint Labor Management Committee]. The JLMC is an agreement outlined in our MOU that our Administration, as well as representatives of the County, and representatives of the ADDA all meet to work out problems. It is not obligatory, but available if needed.

I disagreed that a JLMC was needed. Instead, I sent this one-item-issue to Pam Booth directly for her response.  A JLMC would require several of us and several members of management, as well as a representative of the County, to take time from our work day to sit around and powwow. This meeting would possibly require dues-payer money to be spent to reimburse the County for the time taken by ADDA Board Members.

I also think that the history of the JLMC to date has not proved fruitful because I believe the prior ADDA Board and the representatives of that prior Board who were sent to the JLMC were never fully prepared to address the issues. As a result, for example, at one JLMC we ended up with a much worse Transfer Policy partly because representatives of the ADDA were not even aware of the pre-existing Transfer Policy, spent over a full year of multiple JLMC meeting essentially doing little more than recreating the pre-existing policy that they did not know about, and then added additional language making it worse.  It took them nearly a year to re-invent the wheel and make it worse than the original.

So, until I or the Board majority is convinced that we are ready for a meaningful sit down on big ticket items, until we know what we want, why we want it, why we should be given it, what our strategy for success will be, I refuse to appoint Directors to the JLMC. This is over McGrath’s objection.

So far, we have had several on item issues, like the new Laptop/Electronic Devices Liability Policy, which instead of convening a JLMC a we have addressed one-by-one with Pam. That method has, in my opinion, been all we needed to do to date and it has worked out splendidly so far.

Furthermore, I believe working with Pam Booth on these small-item issues has been far more efficient and effective than sending some unprepared Board members to schmooze with Management.

THE ADDA IS PREPARED TO BE AN INDEPENDENT BARGAINING UNIT

            When I ran for President my sole platform was to ensure that our members got to vote on whether to merge permanently with AFSCME or to disaffiliate. I also promised that if our members voted to disaffiliate, the ADDA would be prepared to transition to independence. Please be assured, the ADDA is fully prepared to DISAFFILIATE. Everything is lined up. IF there is a membership vote on Disaffiliation, it will occur in December, two months away.

However, please know it is possible that the members will not get to decide this important issue. The Board has the power to make this decision to permanently merge with AFSCME without sending the decision to the members. I believe it would be an unconscionable denial of Democracy on such an important decision if the Board, by fiat, does not vote to disaffiliate and does not leave the final decision up to ratification by the membership.

In any event, we are fully prepared to function as an effective certified bargaining unit after Disaffiliation if that is what our members decide assuming our members are given that vote.

We have hired General Counsel, Richard Shinee.  Shinee is also General Counsel to ALADS and is considered amongst the very top if not THE foremost administrative union labor lawyer in this state. After DISAFFILIATION is approved, and during the transition to full independence, Shinee’s firm will provide us with a conference room for our meetings and a secretary to answer phones.  Shinee will also serve as our Business Representative dealing with all management grievances until we hire someone full time, possibly retaining his firm who will provide one of his associates. Further, Mr. Shinee, with his wealth of knowledge and experience, will advise and assist us in any way we need as we quickly transition to an independent certified bargaining unit.

We have hired an independent Communications firm, Cerrell and Associates, who will assist us in creating and maintaining a relationship with the Board of Supervisors, improving our website, communicating our message and advancing the interests of all DDAs.

We have an independent auditor and an independent PAC CPA.

We have hired a recording secretary, Juliana Konze, to assist us with any and all clerical work.

We have at our access and available to us professional contract negotiators and lobbyists.

Please know that we are not legally permitted to affiliate with any law enforcement organization like, for example, ALADS. There are apparently laws that prohibit such affiliation, and we are looking into them to confirm what we have been told.  However, since many of our law-enforcement colleagues have pre-existing organizations and machinery to service the decisions of their Board, a “service agreement” with one of them is possible. In other words, we do not affiliate or merge, we just hire their machinery. That “service agreement” will provide access to most of what we need to support our bargaining unit. It is quite possible, therefore, to enter into a “service agreement” with another law-enforcement union to provide staff or services without the need to affiliate and without the cost of affiliation.

Furthermore, please understand that we cannot in advance of approval of DISAFFILIATION discuss arrangements with ALADS or Probation for a “service agreement.” To do so would constitute union “raiding” in violation of the provisions set forth by the County Coalition of Unions/AFL-CIO and we won’t do it. Since many of the law-enforcement agencies do not purchase membership in the AFL-CIO, AFSCME apparently feels it is ok to raid them despite the idea that raiding is considered abhorrent to most unions.

Immediately following the decision of the members, that is, should it be to DISAFFILIATE, the Board will make contact with several local law enforcement organizations to potentially secure a “service agreement” to handle the needs of the ADDA.  ALADS, Probation, PPOA, just to name a few, will be organizations we approach at the appropriate time. If we elect to go in that directions, we are optimistic that this alternative will be significantly cheaper than AFSCME. Certainly it will be much better than throwing your money into the black hole of AFSCME where much more than half of your monthly dues are spent on their pet political projects as well as a large UNION Administration that does absolutely nothing of significance for the ADDA.  That is my opinion as your President.

FIRST ADDA MEMBERSHIP MEETING

This meeting occurred at Taix French Restaurant on Sunset Blvd. in Echo Park on 10/22/14. Besides myself, there were 6 Board members present, our Business Representative, our recording secretary, and 6 members, for a total of 15 people.  The parking was easy and the chicken wasn’t bad. Our By-Laws require that these meetings be held quarterly, so the next one will probably be in February. The goal for that next meeting is to get 16 people to show up.

AWARDS  DINNER

Please attend the upcoming Awards Dinner 10/30/14. Tentatively I believe and am hopeful that the current Governor of California will attend. DA Jackey Lacey told me she will be attending and present an ADDA award to the next Sheriff of Los Angeles County, James McDonnell. The ADDA, and I personally, am delighted that these dignitaries will attend and honor the current award recipients recognized by the ADDA. In this regard, I want to again thank Director Bobby Grace for his hard work making this happen!

BAKER TO VEGAS!

DDA Miji Vellallkatec addressed the ADDA Board about their outstanding financial needs in funding the annual BAKER to VEGAS event. The Board agreed to assist in the sponsorship of the DA team as well as support our DDA Captains Miji and Casey Higgins. Miji refused to tattoo ADDA on his forehead.

PREPARATIONS FOR NEGOTIATION

Executive Vice President Jeff McGrath has begun a salary comparison in preparation for the upcoming MOU/Contract Negotiations that commence next year. If you are interested in assisting him in any way in this project as well as ultimately assisting your colleagues in the ADDA’s effort to improve wages, we could use your help.  Please contact McGrath.  The sooner we begin our preparations, the stronger we will be when the time comes to explain the disingenuousness of the County’s salary position.

We are informed that our Business Representative Tris Carpenter has also asked AFSCME International to assist in researching and analyzing these financial concerns by doing a salary survey on behalf of the ADDA. We have not yet heard or received a response from AFSCME on the results of this request.

MEMBERSHIP

FOR A FEW DOLLARS more you can join the ADDA as a full voting member and vote on the possible upcoming decision to permanently affiliate with AFSCME or to disaffiliate. This is extremely important to the future of your Certified Bargaining Unit which represents YOU! Please join now.

If you are anti-large labor unions and because of that refuse to be a full dues paying member of the ADDA, but would accept the ADDA as an independent bargaining unit, then you need to become a full dues paying member now so your voice can be heard in this decision. If you want us to stay with AFSCME because you support large unions, but were just too cheap to join, then you need to join today so you can vote to remain with AFSCME. We need to know what all DDAs want to happen.

The decision of whether or not the ADDA will permanently merge with AFSCME or disaffiliate will be made commencing December 15, 2014. On that date the Board will either vote to approve disaffiliation and send the decision to the members for their ratification, or vote not to disaffiliate in which case the decision will not be submitted to the members for their Democratic determination. It is my sincere desire and my sole platform at the time I ran for President of the ADDA to do all I can to ensure that you, the members, are permitted to vote on this issue, and that it not be determined by a fiat vote of the Board alone.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

The ADDA was asked to contribute in response to the recent rounds of fundraising concerning Domestic Violence that were occurring in several offices. This issue was tabled for further discussion in order to consider what policy the ADDA should have when responding to these requests by victim organizations.  The Board did not want to set any precedent without giving it more thought.

SCROLLS

Bobby Grace has also sought to improve our scrolls which we have finally rolled out after a long hiatus. Overdue scrolls have begun to be delivered to those who have been waiting patiently for them.  Already we are striving to upgrade their quality. Thanks, Bobby.

TREASURER’S REPORT

We want to thank James Evans our Treasurer for finalizing our urgent audits and making arrangements to take care of our next audit, including hiring a new CPA and commencing the process of updating our Hudson Notice Letter. James has consolidated our bank accounts and is on top of our financial affairs.

PAC

Our PAC has been finalized and has been funded. Authorization to contribute to the various candidates the ADDA endorsed is now done. This is somewhat historic and we have Director Eric Siddall to thank for wrangling this complicated project to completion. The voice of the ADDA in our community and local government has just gotten stronger and we are optimistic that this will make a huge difference to our members.

TRUSTEES

The ADDA has openings for 3 Trustees whose duties will be to audit the financial activities of the Board.  If you are interested, please let any Board member know, or contact Tris Carpenter our Business Representative.  There will be an election held on this, or possibly appointments, depending on the number of those who are interested.  This is an important position that ensures your Board is above reproach.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS: Policy 910 and DFR

Tris Carpenter is still working on an email that will inform our members about Policy 910 which basically entitles you to representation in potential disciplinary contacts with the Administration. The ADDA has been informed that DDAs have frequently been told by representatives of the Administration that they do not have such a right.  County Policy 910 contradicts that.

Along the same lines, the ADDA will be discussing in greater depth what is called the Duty of Fair Representation. The Board’s effort to outline what our obligations will be to our members in terms of providing counsel or other representation is being assisted by Richard Shinee, our General Counsel, who will be helping us generate the ADDA Policy on this important topic.

 

WEBSITE ENHANCEMENT

In our consultation with Cerrell Associates, our communication and outreach consultants, we have received recommendations for improving our website. The Board agreed to fund an upgrade and modernize our website. This will help the Board advance and strengthen the voice of the ADDA throughout this County. The new site will also modernize our ability to use current social media to improve timely contact with our members. Please go to our website at laadda.com now so you will be able to compare how it has been improved and how it will look and function in a few months when the improvements are implemented.

 

PREDESIGNATE A DOCTOR

You should have received an email with an attached form that briefly discusses what happens if you are injured at work. If you have not previously selected the physician of your choice to treat you, you will be directed to a physician or medical group selected by the County and your personal physician or medical group of choice will not be accepted.  If you prefer to have your medical decisions made by your personal physical you must designate that physician in advance.  All you need to do is read, fill out, and follow the instructions on the form and give it to your head secretary and/or Human Resources. Contact Tris Carpenter if you need another copy of that form.

COMMITTEES

Please consider volunteering on any of multiple committees all of which have but one goal, to assist your colleagues, improve wages and working conditions.

Sincerely,

 

Marc Debbaudt

ADDA President

August 2014

First, please attend tonight’s Board of Supervisors Candidates Forum (Tuesday 8/26/14). We will be serving free beer AND making a decision about one of the Supervisor’s candidates that could very well make a huge difference to wages and working conditions of all DDAs.

Second, start planning to attend the Awards Dinner in October! Tentatively I believe and am hopeful that the current Governor of California will attend. I also believe DA Jackie Lacey will attend and present an ADDA award to the next Sheriff of Los Angeles County, James McDonnell. The ADDA, and I personally, am delighted that these dignitaries will attend and honor the current award recipients recognized by the ADDA, the ADDA, itself, and the ADDA’s efforts on behalf of all DDAs. I think the Dinner is tentatively scheduled for Thursday 10/30, but more information and fliers will soon be forthcoming. In this regard, I want to thank Director Bobby Grace for his hard work making this event happen!

Third, FOR A FEW DOLLARS more you can join the ADDA as a full voting member and vote on the upcoming decision to permanently affiliate with AFSCME or to disaffiliate. This is extremely important to the future of your Certified Bargaining Unit which represents YOU!  You need to become a full voting member by October to ensure your right to vote on disaffiliation!

Fourth, I am informed and believe and thereupon reservedly allege that at the next Saturday Seminar we will actually present a “framed” scroll to the DDA of the Month! Shocking! The Board discussed delivering the overdue scrolls to the DDAs at our upcoming Awards Dinner.  Hopefully, this problem has been solved for the foreseeable future. Thank you Director Bobby Grace and former Director Karen Tandler!

Since we cannot obtain the results we need through local channels, we are pursuing LEGISLATION to overcome the logger jam concerning DDAs bypassing security screening. Further, we may soon be meeting generally with Lobbyists and Legislators in meetings in which we begin to address our security concerns.

Assistant DA Pam Booth confirmed that the Grade IV promotional list has been extended 6 months, or until February, 2015.

You will be receiving the next 2% COLA in October.

There has been some optimism expressed by ADDA Executive Vice President Jeff McGrath and Business Representative Tris Carpenter who have attended legislative and lobbying efforts in Sacramento, along with the efforts of DDA Michelle Hanisee, that there may be some movement to secure what otherwise should be the confidential addresses and information regarding DDAs that appear on County real estate records. While we may not get everything we are asking for, we hope to succeed in obtaining some improvements. It’s a start at protecting all DDAs.

Executive Vice President Jeff McGrath has begun a salary comparison study in preparation for the upcoming MOU/Contract Negotiations that commence next year. If you are interested in assisting him in any way in this project as well as ultimately assisting your colleagues in the ADDA’s effort to improve wages, we could use your help.  Please contact McGrath.  The sooner we begin our preparations, the stronger we will be when the time comes to explain the disingenuousness of the County’s salary position.  Tris Carpenter has also asked AFSCME International to assist in researching and analyzing these financial concerns on behalf of the ADDA.

We voted to oppose Proposition 47 which seeks to reduce criminal sentences. You will be hearing more about this in an upcoming email solely on this topic.

We voted to endorse Elan Carr, a DDA, for U.S. Congress (33rd District).

On 8/21/14, ADDA Vice President James Bozajian retired from the DA’s office. As such, his position will be open.  James has been a DDA for 24 years and has served on the ADDA Board for 22 of those years. He has been a past President of the ADDA. The New By-Laws permit retired DDAs to be non-voting Associate Members and James will be the first one and will help organize retired DDAs who are interested in assisting or participating as non-voting Associate Members. We thank James for his many years of service and wish him well in his new career.

If you are interested in joining the Board as a Director or Officer, [Secretary or Vice President] please let us know.

Also, we have openings for 3 Trustees whose duties will be to audit the financial activities of the Board.  If you are interested, please let any Board member know. There will be an election held on this, or possibly appointments, depending on the number of those who are interested in the position.

We will be informing our members of Policy 910 in an upcoming email, which basically entitles you to representation in potential disciplinary contacts with the Administration. DDAs have frequently been told by representatives of the Office that they do not have such a right.  County Policy 910 contradicts that.

Along the same lines, the ADDA will be discussing in greater depth what is called the Duty of Fair Representation. This will be the new Board’s effort to outline what the ADDA’s obligations will be to our members in terms of providing counsel or other representation.  When we determine what our general obligations should be, at that point, Richard Shinee, our General Counsel, will generate the ADDA Policy on this important topic which we will then disseminate.

In our consultation with Cerrell we have received recommendations for improving our website, and will be updating its look in the near future. They also have made several suggestions on how to begin advancing and strengthening the voice of the ADDA throughout this County.

There is a Legislative effort by this County, Assembly Bill 1881, as well as the City of L.A. to significant undermine the neutrality of ERCOM [the Employee Relations Committee] by tilting the selection of hearing officers in a way that creates a bias in favor of their ruling for the County, thus compromising any reason to seek out ERCOM as a forum to resolve disputes. This Legislation is vigorously being opposed by those who want to ensure a fair hearing.  The three ERCOM Commissioners resigned from ERCOM in a public protest of what they consider the County’s outrageous effort to take over a forum that has historically been impartial, detached, objective and not aligned with the County. ERCOM is, essentially, the County Forum that addresses issue which arise between the Departments or Administration, on one side, and the Certified Bargaining Units and employees, on the other side. ERCOM replaced PERB [which is the state wide forum] and functions much the same as the NLRB [which is the federal forum].

We are closer to approving a booklet which contains our current MOU/Contract for distribution to DDAs.

The new By-Laws passed.

The PAC [Political Action Committee] can now be formed. We are hiring a treasurer for that. We should have more to tell on the initial and monthly allocation structure by the next Board Meeting, which is Tuesday, 9/16/14. All DDAs are invited.

The new By-Laws require a quarterly Membership Meeting. We will be disseminating information on the first meeting soon! Tentatively, it may be 9/16/14 at a meeting hall/restaurant downtown.

The new dues structure, 0.6%, will soon be implemented.

Please consider volunteering on any of the ADDA’s multiple committees all of which have but one overall goal, to assist DDAs and improve wages and working conditions.

 

Marc Debbaudt

ADDA President

 

ADDA Leadership

OFFICERS:

Marc Debbaudt, President

Jeff McGrath, Executive Vice President

Vice President                 — OPENING

Secretary                          — OPENING

James Evans, Treasurer Stuart Lytton

DIRECTORS:

Anthony Colannino

Craig Gold

Bobby Grace

John Harrold

Loren Naiman

Eric Siddall

 

COUNSEL AND STAFF:

Richard Shinee, General Counsel

Tris Carpenter, AFSCME Business Representative [tris@afscme36.org]

Juliana Konze, Recording Secretary

Website: laadda.com

July 2014

On 7/15/14 the ADDA Board of Directors convened at a regularly scheduled meeting.

Please note that at the end of this update I will provide in detail the resolutions which the Board passed concerning the issue of “Withdrawal” or “Disaffiliation” from AFSCME.

The following update concerns general matters discussed at the regularly scheduled Board meeting.

CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS: Your Board has begun to discuss and address preparations for the negotiation of our next MOU/Contract with the County. Besides hiring consultants, we are beginning extensive research so that we are as informed as humanly possible and ready to present our positions in the best possible light in order ensure our success. Soon, some of that research will be presented to you in our membership emails which tentatively will be entitled “DID YOU KNOW?”  These emails will consist of short statements of fact from the Board, with perhaps a little more explication beneath, which will serve to compare and contrast the circumstances of the DDAs in this office with other Departments and other Counties, etcetera. We want our members to be fully informed of our situation in order to increase their support of our efforts. If any of you are interested in assisting us with this effort, please contact me. This, above all else, is what the ADDA Bargaining Unit is all about!

The Board voted to purchase and disseminate a booklet containing our current MOU so all members will know its terms and their rights.  The MOU can be found on our website at laadda.com.

COMMUNICATION: The Board, thanks to the efforts of Director Eric Siddall, Chairperson of the Communications Committee, and Directors Bobby Grace and John Harrold, have selected Cerrell Associates Inc., initially at AFSCME expense, to serve as our communications consultant. Cerrell is a successful public affairs and public relations firms that will help your Board develop strategies both to shape public opinion and influence the decision-making process of the Board of Supervisors in our effort to advance the interest of DDAs.

BY-LAWS RATIFICATION: All full dues paying members should have received ballots by now on the ratification of new By-Laws which was required by our affiliation agreement with AFSCME. There’s are some interesting changes reflected in them which we have explained in emails and the materials we included with the ballots. One of those terms is the right of the Board to reduce dues, not raise them, without the need for a membership vote.

SCROLLS: I am told that at the next Saturday Seminar the ADDA’s new scroll will make its first appearance, and that we will possibly even deliver scrolls to those honorees who have long been awaiting them.

BONUS PAY: A committee is still researching the “bonus pay” for service in Lancaster issue. Our intention when we fully understand it, is to send an email out explaining how it works and to determine whether it has been applied fairly to DDAs. Hopefully we will have that done soon.

PENSIONABLE CAP: You may not be aware, because the issue applied solely to those hired before 1996, but the DA Administration and the ADDA recently sent a collaborative email to all DDAs affected by the recurring “Pensionable Cap” waiver conundrum.  I want to thank both Assistant DA Pam Booth and ADDA Executive Vice President Jeff McGrath who worked hard and quickly under a relatively short deadline to figure out the issue and communicate information gathered from the CEO’s office to the DDAs directly affected by this matter.  Thank you both!

GENERAL COUNSEL The Board agreed to hire the law firm of Green & Shinee to be our General Counsel.  Richard Shinee, Senior Partner, represents ALADS. ALADS funded Green & Shinee when the County battled our right to be an independent Bargaining Unit.  We prevailed. Subsequently, Shinee represented us at ERCOM and prevailed on the PERSA performance evaluation complaint. That is now in the process of an appeal. Shinee also represented us on the unfair labor practice complaint against the former DA and prevailed. That decision was overturned due to emails exchanged between the hearing officer and the executive director. It was then remanded to ERCOM for a new hearing which is pending and the subject of ongoing negotiations

Richard Shinee will be advising us on all matters of labor related law as well as will prepare the long overdue ADDA DFR [Duty of Fair Representation] policy.

ENDORSEMENT: We endorsed Deputy Los Angeles City Attorney Thomas J. Griego for judge in the upcoming general election. Griego is running against criminal defense attorney Andy Stein {Andrew M. Stein} who, in the primary, utilized the ballot designation “Gang/Homicide Attorney.”  The Board previously endorsed Deputy District Attorney Steven Schreiner who, unfortunately, did not make it to the run off.

AWARDS DINNER: Our DDA Awards Dinner, organized by the indefatigable Director Bobby Grace, is scheduled for this October. More information and the exact date will be forthcoming. Leave October open. This should be the best yet!

BOARD OF SUPERVISOR’S FORUM: More information from ADDA Vice President James Bozajian on the 3rd District Board of Supervisor Forum we are planning concerning the runoff between Sheila Kuehl and Bobby Shriver will be posted soon. The Board has not yet decided whether to endorse in this election or who to endorse, but it is too important to all of you not to learn as much as we can. Stay tuned.

OUTREACH: The Membership Outreach Committee has finished the Town Hall Forums and will soon begin follow-ups as requested by various members. Director Craig Gold and Business Representative Tris Carpenter and other Directors have worked hard to commence direct communications with all members in order to directly answer concerns and address problems.  This effort is just beginning, and there will be more to come.

LIABILTY FOR DEVICES: The ADDA is in ongoing discussion with the ADDA Administration on what we term the Laptop Liability issue, what has now expanded into the Electronic Devices Liability issue, in terms of DDA responsibilities. More on that to come.

DISAFFILIATION ELECTION

On 7/15/14 the Board began to prepare for the decision whether or not to withdraw from our affiliation with AFSCME or to permanently merge into AFSCME.

As you know, when I ran for President I expressly declared that my immediate goal was to ensure that full dues paying members of the ADDA will get to vote on whether to be permanently merged into AFSCME or to disaffiliate. If you’ve read the President’s Page on our laadda.com website, I began to outline the process.

The terms of the ADDA Affiliation Agreement with AFSCME provide a very limited window, which occurs this December, only months away, to exercise the provisions that have been called the “Escape Clause.”

In order for that to occur smoothly and with full compliance with our Affiliation Agreement, I believe preparations must begin immediately.

Pursuant to the ADDA-AFSCME AFFILIATION AGREEMENT Side Letter on Implementation dated May 5, 2011, paragraph 2, Withdrawal from Affiliation:

“ADDA will have an opportunity to reconsider the permanency of affiliation three (3) years after successful implementation of agency shop for the ADDA bargaining unit (for the purpose of the provision “successful implementation” shall mean the date the ADDA begins to receive agency fee payments)…”

Ms. Cheryl Parisi, Executive Director, AFSCME District Council 36, previously confirmed to the Board that “the first agency fee was received in the pay period commencing Dec 15, 2011.” Therefore, the three year date for reconsideration of our affiliation begins December 15, 2014.

“Any such reconsideration shall be valid only if it occurs during the first sixty (60) day period after the relevant third year.”

By the terms of the Agreement, the decision whether to disaffiliate or permanently merge must be made by Friday the 13th of February, 2015. However, in reality, pursuant to the terms of the Agreement, once the decision to reconsider is formally made, the timing is much, much shorter than 60 days. When the resolution for withdrawal commences, there is only a 30 day window to complete the process.

“The vote to withdraw from the affiliation shall be held … during the sixty (60) day period … [When] the ADDA Board of Directors approves a withdrawal resolution that shall be subject to a membership vote to affirm or reject the withdrawal no more than 30 days thereafter…”

Therefore, when we commence the “withdrawal resolution” process, the time period in which everything must be completed is within 30 days, not 60 days. As it turns out that 30 day window occurs in the heart of the holidays, Christmas, when the Board itself, as well as our members, are distracted, busy, vacationing, etcetera. This, of course, provides all the more reason for advance preparation.

“AFSCME will be afforded the right to address the Board and the membership prior to any such votes being taken.”

It appears clear from the terms of the Agreement that the Board of Directors of the ADDA could, unilaterally, decide not to approve a “withdrawal resolution” and deny the membership the right to vote. Pursuant to the Side Letter on Implementation and within this 30 day period, AFSCME will have the right to communicate directly with the Board to persuade the Board to unilaterally make this decision and not provide dues paying membership with their right to vote on this issue. Furthermore, AFSCME will have the right to communicate directly with you, the membership, obviously to persuade you to vote against the resolution to withdraw from affiliation. Of course, this will only happen should the Board pass the resolution and submit it to the membership for their vote.

Given my platform, I, obviously, believe that would be a huge mistake and an unacceptable denial of democracy to the dues paying members of the ADDA and I hope that the Board, at the appropriate time, will choose to affirm the right of the membership to make this important decision. In my opinion the membership should have the ultimate right to decide whether to permanently affiliate or to withdraw/disaffiliate. While I am hopeful that the Board will unanimously agree to provide the members with their right to vote whether to disaffiliate or to merge permanently into AFSCME, clearly AFSCME has a contractual right to dissuade the Board.

Because we have legal and contractual obligations to AFSCME, and acknowledging the interest that AFSCME has to ensure permanent affiliation, I believe it is important that the Board proceeds cautiously and with legal advice to ensure that we completely fulfill all of our obligations to AFSCME. Also, should our membership vote to permanently affiliate or to disaffiliate, and in recognition that there may be divided factions in our office on this issue, I want to ensure that we have no breach that will impair in any way the final outcome.

Given these realities, on 7/15/14 at our regularly scheduled meeting the ADDA Board voted to adopt the following resolutions

THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE ADDA HEREBY RESOLVES:

1.  In compliance with the terms of ADDA-AFSCME AFFILIATION AGREEMENT Side Letter on Implementation dated May 5, 2011, paragraph 2, Withdrawal from Affiliation, the “withdrawal resolution” will be Agendized for a vote to occur on the regularly scheduled Tuesday, December 16, 2014, Board Meeting. All members are entitled to and will be invited to attend that meeting. Reminders and notice will be disseminated several times far in advance of this date.

2.  The Board further resolves that at that Board meeting, and prior to the vote of the Board, in full compliance with the terms of the agreement, AFSCME will be invited to address the Board.

3.  The Board further resolves that on that date, 12/16/14, a vote will be held after AFSCME addresses the Board to submit to the voting membership the decision to remain permanently affiliated with AFSCME or to disaffiliate from AFSCME.

4.  The Board further resolves that on 12/16/14, assuming the Board passes the “Withdrawal resolution” to submit the matter of withdrawal to the voting membership, the Board will vote to immediately distribute to the membership appropriate ballots concerning adoption of the “withdrawal resolution.”

5.  The Board further resolves that the ballots and ballot materials, including pro and con statements, shall be ready for distribution on that day, so that they are mailed out Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 along with the ballots and without delay.

6.  Furthermore, this will serve as notice of a Special Meeting on January 6, 2015 to address any and all problems and last minute issues that may arise. The Board further resolves that ballots will be counted and tabulated on Tuesday, January 6th, 2015, commencing at 6:00 p.m. Subsequent to tabulation of the vote the Board will convene on January 6th, 2015 to approve, adopt and ratify the membership vote.

7.  The Board further resolves that immediately following the Board ratification of the vote of the membership, and assuming that Disaffiliation prevails, the Board will then immediately convene to discuss and vote on necessary interim business items in order to implement a system that will replace AFSCME and assure the continued functioning of the Board. Those items will be Agendized prior to the January 6th and January 13th, 2015 meetings.

8.  The Board further resolves that this will also serve as notice of a Special Meeting to be held on Tuesday, January 13th, 2015, if necessary, to transition the ADDA and to address any items of business necessary to assure the continued functioning of the ADDA.

9.  The Board further resolves that in order to ensure that a quorum exists, and that no efforts are made to thwart a quorum for strategic purposes given the contractual timing and financial issues involved, no excuses will be accepted by any Board member for failure to attend any of the meetings, special, telephonic or regular, noticed herein or to be noticed concerning this subject matter. The membership will be immediately informed of the decisions of the Board via email and will be informed of the failure of any Board member to attend any and all of the respective meetings.

10.  The Board further resolves, given the importance of this determination to the future of the ADDA, that the membership has a right to know how each Officer and Director stands on these issues. Therefore votes cast by each individual Board members on each of these items will be made public and disseminated to the membership.

11.  The Board agrees to retain an attorney to review the affiliation contract and assist with our preparations to assure we are in compliance.

12.  The Board agrees that the membership list will be scrutinized to ensure that past balloting problems be reduced as much as is humanly possible.

13.  The Board agrees to hire an independent agency to assist with the balloting so that both this Board and AFSCME will be above criticism in the tabulation of ballots.

Marc Debbaudt
ADDA President

June 2014

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Board occurred on Tuesday, 6/17/14, and went from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm.

We now have a new post office box: Post Office Box 26598, Los Angeles CA 90026. Please address all correspondence to this address.

Pursuant to our affiliation agreement with AFSCME and at their expense, AFSCME has agreed to provide us with resources to facilitate our communication with our members and the public, including the County. Director Eric Siddall reported on his efforts to retain firms specializing in communications, and by the next ADDA Board meeting on Tuesday, July 15, the goal is to retain one for 6 months. The choice seems to be between Cerrell Associates, a Los Angeles public affairs, public relations, political consulting, and government relations firm specializing in advocacy and election campaigns; or Englander, Knabe & Allen, a Southern California firm with experience, ties and relationships with local, state and federal government, elected officials and their staff, who may be able to help influence and assist us in developing effective strategies to deal with legislative and political issues.

The Board approved the creation of plaques to bestow on all those DDA judicial candidates who the ADDA endorsed and who were successful in the primary elections. Director Bobby Grace will be working on this project and will be sending out congratulations letters to all successful candidates.

Vice President James Bozajian is working on preparations for an ADDA forum for the 3rd District Board of Supervisor runoff. Anyone who wants to volunteer to assist in that project please contact James.

The extent to which the ADDA will participate in a promotional party for all those recently promoted to Grade III and Grade IV positions will be discussed at our next meeting, 7/15/14. We understand there is additional time to make this decision because the promotees want to see the increased income in their checks before they commit to funding the party.

 

Also, believe it or not, Bobby presented to the Board a scaled down example of the scrolls that will soon be created and disseminated to past and future “DDA of the Month” recipients. I asked if those overdue scrolls will be delivered to past recipients by the next meeting, and there is hope and some assurance, after more than a year, that we may have finally broken the log jam in this effort. Thanks go to Director Bobby Grace and former Director Karen Tandler for their efforts.

The Membership Outreach Committee continues to report on their “Town Hall” meetings with DDAs throughout the County and the concerns of the many DDAs who have attended. I’m told that the anxiety of the past may be fading as we now have more than 50 new full-dues paying members as a result of these efforts, and there are several more Town Hall meetings to come.

The ADDA Board is the head of a spear that is only as strong as the demonstrable unity of the supporting membership. We can succeed in improving the Transfer Policy, the promotional process, bypassing security, and increasing our salaries only to the extent that you back us by a commitment to joining the ADDA as full dues paying members. If you are not a full dues paying member and complain that we have failed, you’re the reason why. Please join the ADDA. Contact our Business Representative, Tris Carpenter at tris@afscme36.org or Director Craig Gold.

Also, if you want to read the terms of of our current MOU, or the past and proposed new By-Laws, you can find these posted as PDF files on our website at http://www.LA-ADDA.com We’ve also decided to print a small booklet of the MOU for distribution to all members.

Per our affiliation agreement with AFSCME, the ADDA is obligated to amend our By-Laws to conform to the AFSCME International Constitution. Besides that requirement, we also need to amend the By-Laws in order to add provisions authorizing the formation of a Political Action Committee [PAC] so we can begin to raise funds to support legislation and other efforts to improve the lives of DDAs. The Board has finalized the new By-Laws, approved them, and ballots will be sent to full dues payers in the middle to latter part of July, with the expectation of ballot counting and final ratification to probably occur sometime in August.

One of the principle changes in the By-Laws is a reduction of the size of the Board. Currently, the Board consists of 21 Officers and Directors, although only 11 seats are filled with 10 seats vacant including the Secretary. Coincidentally, the new By-Laws reduce the Board to 11 Officers and Directors, and 3 independently elected Trustees that primarily are responsible for regular financial auditing of the Board.

The Board voted to approve the expenditure of funds for the purchase of conferencing call equipment in an amount less than $500.

If you are interested in being a Steward on behalf of your colleagues and want to know more about what that entails, please contact our Business Representative, Tris Carpenter at tris@afscme36.org and he will answer your questions. This is important work that you can do on behalf of your colleagues.

We are looking into the issues, if any, concerning the pay step bonus for service in Lancaster. We should hear more about this at the next meeting, 7/15/14. If you have any Information or concerns about it please contact Director Craig Gold. Hopefully, we will soon better understand the criteria and implementation of that bonus. When we know more we will send out an email update explaining what we have learned.

As per our agreement, we will be meeting with AFSCME on 7/8/14 at a Special Meeting devoted solely to discuss our concerns about our relationship to AFSCME and any outstanding complaints and dissatisfactions with their performance.

We have formed a Committee to investigate concerns with workplace medical issues affecting DDAs. That Committee is comprised of James Bozajian, Bobby Grace, and Loren Naiman. If you are interested in assisting this Committee in anyway, please contact one of them and volunteer.

In preparation for bargaining when the current MOU expires, the Communications Committee and our Treasurer James Evans will be looking into what resources AFSCME has available to examine the County Budget for funding possibilities as well as determining the actual full value of our compensation in terms of salary, corollary present benefits, and future benefits. They will also consider hiring a financial analyst to assist us.

Efforts to improve by-passing security screening by DDAs are ongoing and new avenues are being explored and considered to facilitate that. I know that DA Jackie Lacey and her Administration supports this goal. As we learn more I will let you know.

The next scheduled Board meeting is Tuesday, 7/15/14. Your Board is comprised of uncompensated volunteers. There are many committees on various topics including Committees to address improving the Transfer Policy and Promotional Process. If you have complaints, let us know. The Board can always use your help to improve the lives of all our DDA colleagues. Please consider volunteering on a committee to assist our efforts. If you have a concern, the Board is here to try and resolve or dispel that concern and will devote resources especially if it is a matter that advances the interests of all DDAs.

Bargaining for a new MOU occurs in less than a year. If you have ideas and want to help us prepare to be the most effective representatives we can be at this important opportunity, please contact me.

Marc Debbaudt

President of ADDA

May 2014

On 5/20/14 your Board of Directors met at our regularly scheduled meeting.

I am relatively confident we will soon have scrolls to give to the DDAs of the Month thanks to the efforts of former Director Karen Tandler and we will try to get those to all the DDAs who have patiently been awaiting them as soon as possible. Sorry for the delay.

The Membership Outreach Committee, comprised of Craig Gold, James Evans, Stuart Lytton and our Business Representative, Tris Carpenter, reported to the Board about their membership meetings held at various DA offices throughout the County. The Directors discussed the concerns many of you have expressed with the Board.  More meetings are scheduled.

One goal of the Membership Outreach Committee and their town hall type meetings is to get feedback from the members on how the ADDA can improve and what is important to you. Another goal is to improve our dissemination of information about what we are doing and what is happening. To that end please make sure we have your current personal e-mail address because we are not permitted to utilize the County Lotus Notes e-mail system.

I think I already mentioned in a previous e-mail that I personally met with both DA Jackie Lacey and Assistant DA Pam Booth. It was very pleasant and they indicated their general support of the ADDA. I think it is fair to say that we all agreed that what is good for the Office is good for DDAs, and what is good for DDAs is good for the Office. I am confident that there is a new spirit of mutual respect and cooperation. They also made it clear to me that they want to know the rumors and anxieties and concerns of their DDAs in order to address them and dispel them if possible. So please feel free to e-mail me if you have any issues.

We briefly discussed the ongoing security screening concerns of DDAs, and I think we are pretty much aligned on that topic and acknowledge that the ultimate resolution is in the hands of the judicial administration. The ADDA formed a Committee comprised of John Colello, Lauren Naiman and Richard Ceballos to advance our concerns. I am cautiously optimistic that John and the others can make some headway. We met with Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who will soon be termed out, and he was generally quite supportive of our concerns re security and general salary expectations. The County has agreed to a comparative salary review which we are still awaiting. As to security, it seems to me that it is only a matter of time before DDAs mingling with defendants and their supporters in the funnel of screening will one day inevitably result in a clearly avoidable tragedy.

If you want to know more about the timeline for ADDA’s possible disaffiliation with AFSCME please go to our website at laadda.com and click on the President’s page. I have laid it out there.

We established the Legislative Committee which so far is comprised of James Evans, Jeff McGrath, Stuart Lytton, and Tris Carpenter. We could use some more help with this, so if you are interested please give Tris a call at (213) 252-1313.

During the California Primary Election cycle your Board was quite active in endorsing judicial candidates. Bobby Grace and James Bozajian have worked hard to be thorough in vetting candidates and to make the process fair.  With some mild disagreement, the majority believe that DDAs are uniquely positioned to meaningfully evaluate and participate in influencing this important public office. We discussed modifying our endorsement protocols for future elections to address when we will and when we won’t endorse our colleagues, whether we will endorse two DDAs running for the same seat, publishing our criteria, and perhaps forming a program to assist those who are thinking about being a judge on how to go about it. We also discussed how we can, besides endorsing, further support those we endorse. We discussed joining with police groups, probation, and victims’ rights advocates for a group endorsement. When the Committee frees up, they will start exploring alternatives and make recommendations for the next round of elections.

The Directors unanimously chose to endorse both Danette Meyers and Alan Yochelson for State Bar Board of Governors. They both expressed the need to have public sector lawyers involved in the State Bar.

We heard from and endorsed Dan Dow for San Luis Obispo County District Attorney. It was unanimous.

We tabled consideration whether to endorse in Congressional races.

It should be noted that many beyond this County seek the ADDA’s endorsement. If you would like to participate on the Endorsement Committee, please contact Bobby Grace or James Bozajian.

Depending on the outcome of the Primary Election, we discussed conducting forums during the General Election on both the Sheriff and 3rd District Board of Supervisor positions. As to the 3rd District BOS race, the Board decided not to endorse in the Primary.

A Committee which includes Michele Hannisee, Bobby Grace and Tris Carpenter is working on securing and maintaining the confidentiality of property records of Deputy District Attorneys. Michele and others are looking into services that will purge internet database information of information that identifies DDAs, as well as what role the ADDA may play in providing those services to our members in the future.

The Formation of the PAC [Political Action Committee] is a major priority of Director Eric Siddall who chairs that Committee. The consensus was we need to hurry and finalize the new By-Laws so that they include language authorizing the formation of a PAC.

We will be meeting Tuesday, 5/27 to work exclusively on the new By-Laws which is a requirement of our Affiliation Agreement with AFSCME.

The Board elected not to travel to Chicago for the AFSCME Convention in July.

The Financial Auditors presented the Hudson Report which was unanimously approved.

We formed the Promotional Policy Committee to address the concerns that members have about promotional testing and alternatives to that, and the Transfer Policy Committee to address those general concerns. We also are studying remedies to the ongoing paid parking issues. If you are interested in participating on any of these Committees, please contact Tris.

We anticipate our next newsletter will be disseminated in September. If you would like to contribute an article, please contact James Bozajian.

Your Board is comprised of unpaid volunteers working to improve the lives of our colleagues. We could use your help. Please join us by serving on a Committee. If you see a problem you want to address, you might discover that this Board wants nothing more than to help you improve conditions for all DDAs. Don’t hesitate to contact any one of us. Please visit our web page at laadda.com for more information.

~ Marc Debbaudt ~

ADDA President

President’s Update — March 2014

The ADDA had a regularly scheduled board meeting Tuesday 3/18/14.

We hired an independent contractor to serve part-time as a secretary and assist the board with various projects. Her name is Juliana Konze and her resume is impressive. She may be calling you soon to update our contact information so that we have everyone’s private email addresses.

We heard from Sheriff’s candidates Jim McDonnell and Jim Hellmold who are seeking the ADDA’s Endorsement. At the last meeting, 2/18/14, we heard from Sheriff’s candidates Todd Rogers and Bob Olmstead. The Board also voted to support the Forum and Debate for Sheriff scheduled for 4/17/14 at the Hollenbeck Youth Center. See DDA Richard Ceballos for more information. We will post and disseminate the flyers when they become available. The ADDA will submit questions to be asked of all candidates by the moderator. If you have a question you believe should be asked, please email it to ADDA Board Member Bobby Grace. The ADDA is also planning perhaps the last Sheriff debate before the primary to be held at Loyola Law School. Please See ADDA Board Member Bobby Grace for further information or to assist him.

The Board voted to form a committee to address issues concerning security screening and court access. The committee is comprised of Chairperson John Colello, Richard Ceballos and ADDA Director Loren Naiman. I had a very pleasant meeting with DA Jackie Lacey and Assistant DA Pam Booth before the ADDA meeting and we briefly discussed security screening and court access. They informed me that they are engaged in ongoing efforts to address our concerns and are quite supportive of our effort and are happy to work with our committee.

We voted to form the Membership Outreach Committee which is comprised of ADDA Executive Vice President Jeff McGrath, ADDA Treasurer James Evans, and new Board Directors Stuart Lytton and Craig Gold. Craig gold will serve as Chairperson. Please contact them concerning membership issues.

We also voted to form the PAC [Political Action Committee] which is comprised of Bobby Grace and new Board Director Eric Siddall. Eric will serve as Chairperson. Apparently, to form a PAC we have been advised that we need to amend our By-Laws, which we are also obligated to do anyway under our affiliation agreement with AFSCME. So, soon we will be submitting new By-Laws for member ratification.

A Communication Committee was formed comprised of Chairperson ADDA Board Director John Harrold, and Directors Bobby Grace and Eric Siddall. The goal is to consider how to improve our communications and whether to engage a professional communications company recommended by AFSCME to assist us.

The Board voted unanimously to endorse Hilda Solis for the 1st District Seat, Los Angles County Board of Supervisor. She is the front runner and a supporter and seems certain to prevail.

Efforts are being made by the Endorsement Committee to interview candidates for the 3rd District Seat. The Endorsement Committee is comprised of Chairperson Bobby Grace and ADDA Vice President James Bozajian.

Apparently we are somewhat popular across the state because our endorsement is also being sought by DA candidates outside of this County, and the Endorsement Committee is considering those requests.

Because of some recent controversies, I have asked the Endorsement Committee to suggest protocols to address under what circumstances we will not endorse a colleague and what we will do in the event that DDAs choose to run against each other.

We are somewhat closer to resolving the fact that we ran out of scrolls for DDA of the month and other occasions. We approved the Logo we will be be using on all future scrolls and hopefully we will soon eliminate the backlog of undelivered scrolls and have new ones ready in a timely fashion.

There was a rumor that the new Hall of Justice would accommodate DDAs in cubicles and not offices, but DA Lacey and ADA Booth informed me that, no, the DDAs assigned there will have offices.

The Board of the ADDA is comprised of volunteers. If you would like to volunteer to assist the Board in accomplishing projects of concern to your fellow deputies, please do not hesitate to contact any one of us. If you have any questions, concerns or anxieties or have heard rumors that trouble you, please let me know. DA Lacey and ADA Booth have encouraged me to communicate these to them so that they can do their best to clarify what is happening and resolve or alleviate anything that is troubling their Deputies.

I’ve asked the Directors and Officers of the ADDA to write a brief paragraph to introduce themselves to you and inform you of their goals for this year.  Later this week we will begin to email you brief statements from those who have volunteered their time to represent you on the Board.

Marc Debbaudt
ADDA President