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City of Lodi clarifies rules on outside employment

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Posted: Saturday, May 21, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 10:43 am, Wed Jan 30, 2013.

When it comes to city employees in Lodi having other fullor part-time jobs, the city's policy on whether they have to report those jobs to supervisors is loosely written.

According to Lodi's rules of personnel administration, employees are allowed to have outside employment but it cannot interfere with their city job.

"As long as it doesn't interfere with your job or reflect badly on the city or create some confusion in the eye of the public, it's not an issue," city spokesman Jeff Hood said.

The question of outside employment arose this past week when the Lodi Police Officers Association filed a claim saying the concessions officers agreed to during the past two years are invalid because of a private business relationship.

The unions alleged that Human Resources Director Dean Gualco and Lodi Police Sgt. Sierra Brucia, who was promoted last month, started Brucia-Gualco Consulting Company to work as labor consultants.

The claim said the two formed the business in 2008, so the officers believe any concessions negotiated since then should be returned to employees.

The union agreed to five different concession agreements the unions signed starting from February 2009 to June 2010, totaling more than $1 million. The 2010 agreement alone was $800,000 in concessions.

The union is also one of three throughout the city that has not reached a concession agreement for fiscal year 2011, which starts July 1.

The city's rules of personnel administration is the only written policy guiding outside employment, Hood said.

"A City employee shall not engage in any employment, activity or enterprise for compensation which is inconsistent, incompatible, in conflict with, or adverse to his/her duties as a City employee or with the duties, functions or responsibilities of such a person's Department Director or the department in which employed," the rules state.

The policy also states that each employee's outside employment will be judged on a case-by-case basis.

All contracted employees, mainly department heads, would have to report to the city manager if they had outside employment. But otherwise, employees would report to a department head if they were worried there might be a conflict, spokesman Jeff Hood said.

"It's a free country and people have the right to go work where they want. If someone wants to work hard and earn extra money, that's the American way," he said.

The city has no master list of outside employment, Hood said.

"The policy is written pretty loosely. If they are selling Avon, I don't think anyone is asking if that's OK. As long as it's not interfering with work," he said.

He knows certain departments do have policies on work that could conflict with job duties. For example, Lodi police officers traditionally have not been allowed to work at security jobs within the city limits.

The Lodi Police Department has a list of jobs that officers have outside of work, but the News-Sentinel could not get it in time for publication.

Hood said he could not think of any employees who currently have outside jobs, but he knows there was an employee in public works years ago who did plumbing work.

Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Director Jim Rodems said he has not had any employees report that they work outside jobs. The only thing he could think of is that some employees own farmland, like Park Superintendent Steve Dutra, who owns grape vines.

"But as far as full-fledged businesses, I'm not aware of any at the moment," Rodems said.

About 70 employees, or 18 percent, are required to fill out a state-mandated statement of economic interests. Of those employees, only three wrote down an outside business.

Lodi Fire Department Battalion Chief George Juelch made less than $500 as the president of a business selling hydrant wrenches.

Deputy City Manager Jordan Ayers earned between $500 to $1,000 through his company, Primerica Financial Services, but Hood said he stopped working for the business when he came to Lodii.

City Manager Rad Bartlam started his own company, The Bartlam Group, but he was being paid through the city of Lodi for consultant services to organize the General Plan and to serve as community development director and interim city manager.

Gualco did not list any income on his 700 form, and Brucia did not have to fill one out.

The union found out about the business earlier this month when a member was searching the Internet for Gualco's name. There is a website registered to Brucia with the business name listed, but when clicking on the link, it does not go to a site.

There also is no record of the business with the Secretary of State.

Lodi is pursuing an independent investigation of the allegations, Hood said. The city is planning to hire a company that specializes in employee investigations.

Contact reporter Maggie Creamer at maggiec@lodinews.com. Read her blog at www.lodinews.com/blogs/citybuzz.

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1 comment:

  • Josh Morgan posted at 10:07 am on Sat, May 21, 2011.

    Josh Morgan Posts: 529

    Before the City runs out and hires an "investigative" firm couldn't they attempt to just ask the two individuals if they are running a company together?
    And didn't the police officer association vote on these matters? I'm just not sure where this investigation is supposed to go. The two groups came to an agreement. What's the big deal? Are they claiming they didn't know what they were signing? This seems like a waste of time for both parties.



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