One of Marcia Mayeda’s many failures as head of the Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control has been her inability to supervise, motivate and discipline her employees.
For many years she had only one Chief Deputy, and this particular employee developed a reputation for claiming every Tuesday that he was going to leave the DACC’s Long Beach headquarters to visit the Carson Shelter. Somehow he rarely managed to arrive at Carson, and ironically his car was spotted parked in a driveway in nearby Inglewood. Coincidentally the aforementioned driveway was attached to the house in which the Deputy resided. On Wednesdays the same Deputy claimed he was going to the remote Lancaster shelter. Evidently traffic between Long Beach and Lancaster was very heavy and the Deputy never arrived.
Another big problem has been sexual harassment. Seemingly several male employees had thought “harass” was two words, and have inappropriately touched female officers. One Senior Sergeant was recently transferred from Baldwin Park to Downey because of repeated allegations of sexual misconduct. Several female employees at both shelters are concerned that this is merely a case of Mayeda kicking the can down the road, and there are concerns that this particular employee will still be in contact with women.
Another employee at Lancaster has trashed three county vehicles, left a dog locked in his truck with no air conditioning for 8 hours in 110 degree heat and is the one who clumsily backdated notes in Chameleon, the shelter system’s tracking program, stating that he had responded several times to Alex Jackson’s address, prior to Jackson’s dogs fatally mauling jogger Pamela DeVitt. According to Jackson, the officer never visited his property – and it was a part of Mayeda’s poorly conceived attempt to cover-up both her and her agency’s complicity in Ms. DeVitt’s death. However even if we accept that the notes were entered accurately and several months late – it was a clear violation of DACC policy – and the employee is still on the payroll.
The vast majority of DACC employees are hard working, underpaid and fundamentally decent people. However Mayeda’s unique ability to overlook major transgressions of certain employees while relentlessly carrying unjustified vendettas against good ones like Lieutenant Eillen Hill, former kennel attendant Erika Valles, and former Officer Fernando Perez-Garcia from Baldwin Park, calls her leadership ability into serious question – and that is before taking into consideration her reckless hiring of Pat “Google Me” Claerbout – who managed to live down to her reputation and bring disrepute onto the entire DACC during her brief tenure
Ms. Mayeda needs to clean house – and the first person who should be swept out the door is herself.