IPA: He Said / She Said

More on the appointment / resignation of police auditor Chris Constantin. According to the Mercury News, “Campos and Councilman Ash were not informed of the potential conflict.”  “‘He never disclosed to me and to other council members before we took the vote,’ Campos said.”

“(Reed) said he told council members in a closed-door session about the relationship and about two other potential concerns…”

“Constant and Councilmember Pierluigi Oliverio back the mayor’s account and say he clearly disclosed the potential conflict of Constantin’s brother being on the force…‘I was there, I was present and I heard it right from Chuck’s lips,’ Constant said.”  “‘...It was nine of us sitting around the table listening to the mayor.’”

The Mercury News reported, “Herrera and Pyle did not answer questions left through their offices Friday about whether they knew about the conflict when they voted.” (And, what about Liccardo?)

Shouldn’t every member of the San Jose city council be asked to weigh in on this question?  Did Reed present the information about Constantin’s brother in closed session, or not?

12 Comments

  1. Yet another reason to have these sessions recorded.  Chuck could play the recording for Nora, and either he’s right or she is; then both can shut up on that part of the issue.

  2. Here is a public records request a few of us sent to the CIty Attorney a couple days ago regarding the IPA hiring process.

    To: Richard Doyle, San Jose City Attorney

    CC: San Jose Mayor and City Council

    Re: California Public Records Act Request

    Dear Mr.Doyle:

    This letters serves as a public records request pursuant to the California Public Records Act.

    We are submitting this request on behalf of Silicon Valley De-Bug, the African-American Center, the NAACP, and the ACLU to request the following records:

        1. Please provide any and all correspondence related to the hiring of a search firm for the position of Independent Police Auditor, including but not limited to the list of vendors the city of San Jose reviewed before awarding the contract with Bob Murray and Associates and the actual contract with said search firm.

        2. Please provide any and all records containing background information assembled by the search team for each of the finalists.

        3. Please provide any and all records containing information about who received the background information from the search firm and when.

        4. Please provide any and all records of correspondence between the Mayor, City Council, City Attorney, San Jose Police Officers Association and Police Chief regarding any aspect of the hiring process including note taking, evaluations and oral recordings.

          5. Please provide any and all records containing information regarding the selection criteria used for establishing the Community Panel and the names of those who were selected.

          6. Please provide any and all records containing information regarding the deliberations of the Community Panel and the City Council Panel relating to the rankings of candidates, including any and all note taking, evaluations and oral recordings.

    Please respond to this request within the ten-day statutory deadline.

    Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

  3. #1 JMO

    I agree. Some accountability at the top would be at least a gesture at legitimacy. Right now no solution those clowns offer is going to be trusted. No wonder they are bringing in the consultants to study the drunk in public arrests; the insiders have no credibility.

  4. #3-Raj,
    A couple of questions for you:
    In the Merc you were quoted as supporting the Council’s choice of Chris Constantin, what happened to change your mind?
    Weren’t many of you on this Public Information Request on the community panel that interviewed Constantin, and others?
    What is the purpose of sending this request? (By the way, Public Information Requests are supposed to go through the City Clerks Office not through the city Attorney’s Office.)
    Who is paying for the information you are requesting?
    Are you requesting this information to create a basis on which to sue the City over this and the alleged disproportionate arrests of Latinos in San Jose for public drunkenness?
    Why did you and others on this request walk out of the last Task Force Meeting?

    #5-JMO,
    Can Raj request information on hiring, and employment under the Brown Act? I don’t think he can as that it is protected under employment privacy laws isn’t it?

  5. Hi Kathleen,
    for the questions:
    1) I was ready to work with Constantin when he was announced. He had approached my group months back about bringing a police oversight body to community colleges, and I respected his initiative. When I found out about his brother being SJPD, it didn’t change my opinion of him—every interaction Ive had with him he’s been genuine, smart, and ready to help San Jose. But rather, it was the impact his family ties would have on the IPA office being perceived as independent.

    2) I wasn’t on that panel.

    3)  I really want to know how honest the selection process was, and what else might have happened behind closed doors. De-Bug worked the IPA office alot thru Barbara’s term, so whomever the next one is I want to know they got there the right way. We’ve always sent our CPRA requests to the City Attorney, and its worked so far.

    4) We’ll pay it, or ask for a waiver since we’re a non-profit.

    5) The walk out was about the records, more so just that in order to move forward we needed more.

  6. #7-Raj,
    Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I apologize in advance if I’m misunderstanding you, or reading more into your comments about Chris Constantin, but it seems to me that even you knew him well enough to publicly support his hiring, so why the turn about now? You knew he was a Police Officer, and to me, that makes him less “independent” than having a brother on the force! Secondly, you say you were concerned about the perception of the public on the IPA’s Office because of Chris’s family ties, but you openly admit to collaborating with Attard during her employment. I’m seriously confused. Are you saying it is okay for community activists to work with the IPA’s Office but not the Police, or pro-Police groups?

    In #2, you say you weren’t on the panel, but you and I both know several of the people you walked out of the Task Force meeting with were. These friends and colleagues of yours, and YOU know full well what the hiring process was, and were even a part of the hiring, so I’m real confused about this Public Information Request, and this need to pigeon hole the City about it. I could see it if you were NOT included in the process but you were! You knew who applied, and who was ultimately selected long before the rest of us in the public did! 

    In #4, you say you can get a fee waiver because you’re a non-profit, so that means tax payers will pick up the bill for your request. I’m not sure that is real fair to tax payers or employees about to be laid off at the City.

    In #5, you say the walk out was over the records. Now Raj, why couldn’t you make a statement instead of walking out and stalling the work the Task Force is supposed to be doing?

    Here’s my confusion with you and your buddies, do you guys understand exactly “what” you were asked to do by the Mayor and Council, and “what” the extent of your authority on this Task Force is exactly? I heard your instructions, and I think you either misunderstood the purpose of this Task Force or just simply blew off what you were told because you and your colleges aren’t following the direction I heard given to you.
     
    And finally, you completely ignored my question about suing the City. Are you, the NAACP, or the ACLU, or any other organization involved with this seeking to sue the City over this? If so, why?

  7. Hi Kathleen, so here’s some follow up answers to the q’s:
    1) It was the direct connection with the SJPD specifically that I think disqualified Constantin. And the IPA does work with police on an upfront, transparent manner, thats different than would could happen, or be perceived to happen, at the family dinner table.
    2) No, those folks that were on the panel never discussed the hiring process with me, plus none of them personally were on it. And from what I can tell their organizations didn’t know alot about the process either. Anything that happened before they saw the four finalists I think was not full and common knowledge. Thats what alot of us are curious about. I didn’t know who applied, and only knew who was chosen on the same day the rest of the public did.
    3)Good question, what they have done before to reduce costs, and I just got a call about this from the city, is that they just give up the documents electronically.
    4)It was a statement of sorts, not only about the records but that the agendas were crafted without input, were limiting.
    5) The charge does not address the larger problem, the reason why there is a taskforce to begin with.
    6)I cant speak on other organizations, you can ask them. De-Bug is not suing the city.

  8. Raj,
    Thank you for responding. Do you have a list of the members who were on the community panel that was involved in the hiring process, or do you know where I can get one?

    Also, where can I find a complete list of the Task Force members?

    I don’t think you’re being completely honest about your lack of knowledge in the hiring process, or whether this issue will result in a law suite or not. If you’re communication with fellow Task Force members is that bad, or with community members/groups, I’d say you might want to re-think the way you are passing vital information back and forth.

    Some of what you said didn’t make any sense. Could you explain the following?

    “The charge does not address the larger problem, the reason why there is a taskforce to begin with.”
    Are you talking about the charge/price for the information you’ve requested?

    According to the Merc, this statement is untrue, “plus none of them personally were on it.”

    You were quoted in the Merc as saying you could work with Constantin, before any public disclosure was made about his getting the job. I’m confused about that.

    Who were the other members that signed on to your Public Information Request?

    Again I must ask, do you and your fellow Task Force members understand exactly what the City requested from you? It really doesn’t seem like it to me given your behaviors thus far.

    In fairness to you Raj, I know the way the City and government treats active citizens isn’t always above board, or integrity ridden. They play a lot of games, and will find a million ways not to answer a direct question, even if you sit down and phrase it as directly as a good team of 90 lawyers could put it! But your walk out, and your refusal to participate with the Consortium was a very bad judgment call on your parts. I guess I can say that til the cows come home and you’ll continue to grandstand, but believe it or not Raj, I really want to see you succeed in getting this issue resolved. That is never going to happen though because you guys don’t trust the City, and they don’t trust you as far as they can spit. When two groups come into a room with that kind of distrust, and a different view of the mission, agenda, and goal before them, it is NEVER and I mean never going to get resolved.

    As to asking your fellow groups if they are preparing to sue the City, and whether or not you’ll join a suit with them, I don’t have to waste the energy asking them squat because the answer is self evident.

  9. #11- Been There,
    I guess having a serious discussion on a vital topic such as this is too much for your intellect to grasp, or for you to add in a coherent, and useful comment, so why don’t you take your own advise, “Get a life!”

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