County Reconsiders Contract with Downtown Streets Team

Once this news outlet exposed claims of sexual misconduct and discrimination by Eileen Richardson and Chris Richardson, the mother-son duo in charge of Downtown Streets Team (DST), a host of local governments promised to re-evaluate their dealings with the homeless services provider.

While officials from South Bay cities expressed shock and dismay at the allegations, they came as no surprise to the County of Santa Clara, which only decided to reconsider its ties to DST after the critical publicity.

County Supervisor Joe Simitian and Office of Supportive Housing Director Ky Le heard about the troubling accusations from former DST employee Zia MacWilliams back in May. Fly learned just a few days ago that the county struck up a one-year deal with DST anyway, hiring the non-profit as part of an $860,000 initiative to help CalFresh recipients find gainful employment.

Ly failed to mention that when we asked him about any pending DST allocations. Deputy County Counsel Tony LoPresti alerted us to it on Dec. 20, saying that because we sent our request for all DST contracts on Sept. 27 and the deal was signed on Oct. 4, it fell outside the scope of the search.

Though Ly provided information current as of the end of September, he waited exactly 10 days to respond to Fly’s email.

“Specifically, you requested copies of contracts that the County of Santa Clara has with Downtown Streets Team,” he wrote on Oct. 7. “After conducting a search, I have determined that the county does not have any contracts with Downtown Streets Team.”

“Is there a pending contract with DST?” we asked that same day.

“No,” he replied. “We had been working on a contract with DST for a culinary training program, but last week, DST withdrew.”

Technically, he was right.

By the time Ly responded, there were no pending contracts because the CalFresh partnership was signed and sealed three days prior.

LoPresti excused the mix-up by saying Ly didn’t know about the CalFresh agreement.

“This is a separate contract from the one Mr. [Ly] was communicating with you about,” LoPresti said, “and we are actively reviewing our options with regards to this contract in light of the allegations against DST’s leadership.”

Send a tip to The Fly

The Fly is a weekly column written by San Jose Inside staff that provides a behind-the-scenes look at local politics.

8 Comments

  1. Thanks SJI for pursuing this story.
    It seems Office of Supportive Housing director, Ky Le, doesn’t want the public knowing how our money is being used. Or misused.

  2. THE county really needs to pay attention to allegations against these local agencies contracting with county. Not only local agencies have become corrupted but the local county’s departments as well, friends and relatives working together. Stanford, Palo Alto, and SANTA Clara University obtain contracts not accessible to San José State and other public universities. This is in part because the top managers and public officials are now people graduating from these universities or current managers who have ties to these institutions. Thus, Santa Clara County has become an extension of these three private universities with the power of shaping the policies in the county and the leadership behind this political force. The nonprofit agencies in the county are non-paid employees for some of the county supervisors, Cortese, Chavez,…IT IS A WHOLE SYSTEMIC CORRUPTION! DA JEFF Rosen is the best example of these corruption in leadership and the blessing of the county supervisors to his unethical and illegal work! Learn to be proactive about these local agencies and the county’s departments issues supervisors. Do not wait until people are raped to act!

    • > The nonprofit agencies in the county are non-paid employees for some of the county supervisors, Cortese, Chavez,…IT IS A WHOLE SYSTEMIC CORRUPTION!

      I don’t know, but I suspect you may be correct.

      I’m just a tiny little pissant living miles away from city hall, and the corruptocrats don’t go out of their way to let me know what they’re up to.

      > DA JEFF Rosen is the best example of these corruption in leadership and the blessing of the county supervisors to his unethical and illegal work!

      I’m always open to thinking the worst of Jeff Rosen. Do you know if he was one of the DA’s that was supported by George Soros’ project to elect left-wing DA’s to local jurisdictions around the country?

      https://www.laadda.com/the-attempt-to-buy-district-attorneys-continues/

      “The Attempt to Buy District Attorneys Continues”

  3. > While officials from South Bay cities expressed shock and dismay at the allegations, . . .

    I personally have had frequent episodes of shock and dismay.

    > “and we are actively reviewing our options. . ..”

    Me too. I actively review my options all the time.

  4. typical of this rag to put the picture of the “toxic male” as the title image. this was lesbian abuse on display and this dude is living of mama’s largesse. he couldnt hold a toxic male’s beer.

    i would think the feminist squad would love this story, grrl boss being a boss while mainstreaming lesbianism. cant be equal if you cant have screwups like the men, right?

  5. The lead photo could be the County’s response to constituents’ questions about how our tax dollars are spent.
    How many people have actually been served by DST?

Leave a Reply to Robyn Cancel reply