It’s been another surreal week for the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Control. On Sunday, Patricia Learned, the agency’s Executive Assistant and Marcia Mayeda’s right hand aide posted on her personal Facebook page “Sharpening my claws for tomorrow”. On Monday morning people received messages from Learned’s private e-mail account announcing that her DACC E-mail account was not functioning. This was followed shortly by the news that the DACC had changed its entrance codes to its headquarters – and rumors that Learned was escorted out of the building by DACC hatchet-man David Hou, who would not even let her gather her personal belongings before she was tossed out the door. An hour later e-mails were sent instructing DACC employees to no longer e-mail Learned.
Usually everyone knows quickly why a DACC employee has been dismissed – but this time it was different. Although there are salacious rumors involving Learned having disclosed things Marcia Mayeda did not want known, the DACC has finally managed to keep something secret at least for a little while – although this reportedly might have something to do with a short Asian DACC official warning people at various shelters that they had better start shutting up because his boss was getting tired of their leaking information.
We do not know why Learned was dismissed – and we’re not sure if she has civil service protection so she can continue to draw her salary (In 2013 Learned made $92,206 in salary, $7,163 in “other pay” and $27,964 in benefits for a total package of $127,333) like the recently removed Pat Claerbout receives while she fights efforts to terminate her. However we do know that Learned’s termination could come to bite Mayeda in the ass – as Patricia Learned is in possession of many damning secrets which if revealed could prove very damaging to Mayeda’s tenuous grip on her job. Mayeda has never been an adherent of the old adage, keep your friends close to you and your enemies even closer. If Learned sings, Mayeda could be quickly joining her former aide in the unemployment line.
Meanwhile headquarters was not the only scene of ongoing DACC scandals. Lancaster’s Officer in Charge tried to blame an underling for the death of five animals who recently were left without medical care. However video tape reviewed this officer to be lying and instead she was the one responsible for their deaths. Yet this officer still has her job – even though she is living with another Lancaster shelter officer – which is a direct violation of DACC rules.
Also the County Auditor is reportedly looking into goings on at the Castaic after the shelter’s staff allegedly turned in complaints claiming that Shelter Manger Karen Stepp has repeatedly been taking three to four hour trips to make bank deposits – chores which normal Castaic workers can perform in less than ten minutes.
However all was not scandal at the DACC. This weekend’s Sleepover at the Downey Shelter event organized by Shelter Me and Bark Avenue was an unqualified success seeing approximately 100 pets adopted and $26,310 raised in donations to be used to provide free spay/neuter surgeries in the Downey service area.
Further good news emanated from Baldwin Park where the shelter’s staff and volunteers are being deprogrammed and re-socialized after a year of being subjected to abuse from Marcia Mayeda’s prized hire, Pat Claerbout. Volunteers were allowed to produce a full networking list with the blessing of new manager, Danny Ubario. Ubario’s arrival has sparked rescuers and transporters to return to Baldwin Park and it was refreshing for them to discover that the fetters have been taken off the shelter’s staff and once again Baldwin Park’s staff is smiling and rescue friendly.