The Leddy story protects the identity of the victim, because the victim isn’t the story. The story is about the CAO’s unchecked behavior and why he was able to get away with what he allegedly did for so long. Allowing a CAO to double as a Human Resources Director is a perfect recipe for disaster. Supervisors are isolated enough from the larger organization without having their chief liaison, the CAO, serve in this additional capacity. It’s a Me, Myself and Irene situation. I would’ve told you I was harassing the help, but the human resources director told me that would make you upset so I told the janitor (Rudolph) instead.
County Counsel and the Supervisors do a weak job trying to explain what they did or didn’t do in regards to Leddy. There were cover-your-ass answers to questions about why the case took so long to be resolved – “the office is busy” – or why the Supervisors and the County Counsel were the only ones in the dark about what was going on, while nearly every County employee and their brother seemed to know.
Why was the alleged victim placed on leave on her own dime, while Leddy was free to roam the halls, mumbling about all the bad people he knew?
County Counsel Marshall Rudolph never answered if the County conducted its own investigation. (Doubtful it did). Supervisor Corless said she would never stand for a cover up or subversion of due process. But she never stated if she was aware of what was going on. Double-edged sword. Unaware and you’re out of touch. Aware and you’re a helpless and somewhat gutless bystander.
Corless said in a text message, The Sheet should be aware of the impacts to victims and fair process for employees by releasing “illegally obtained documents.” She suggested the story include how the process works, “Not as a diversion tactic, but just to lend better understanding.” She also suggested doing some research for a “story” and not an editorial piece.
The Sheet has been following the case since Leddy’s hasty departure in April. The Sheet also made numerous Public Records Act requests to the County resulting in boxes full of emails, calendars, names and dates with several redactions.
The County knew what we were looking for but appeared to do everything in its power to dissuade us from searching in the right place. Maybe Corless should worry more about the employees within her own organization than about the public relations fallout from a journalist doing his job.
County Counsel Rudolph said he felt that victims have a hard enough time trying to come forward. He said that could only be made worse if an article – a “news” story – about this were published.
Mr. Rudolph, victims have a hard time coming forward because when they do, you’ve already got the living room rug pulled up and the broom ready.
Corless added, “Local government processes and actions absolutely need to be thoroughly scrutinized and public officials and employees should be held to the highest standards. I wish more people held the Board of Supervisors accountable for things we say in our meetings and decisions we make (this email exchange is motivating me to take a more direct role in communicating about what we do).”
It must be very difficult to work so closely with someone, become friends with them, develop a relationship that’s both professional and personal … and then you’ve got to confront this sort of behavior. But a Supervisor doesn’t serve to protect his or her friends or particular constituency. Or are we really so lost at this point that doing the right thing is trumped by doing whatever the lawyer-of-the-moment deems as the most risk/liability-averse course of action?
Pay off the predator and pay off the victim and tell the newspaper (and public) to pound sand?
If I were a Supervisor or a member of the County’s upper management, I’d be taking a long, hard look in the mirror this morning. If these allegations are true, how could so many wise and talented and dedicated people get this so wrong?