Shake-up at Rialto-based water district leads to firing, suspensions amid miscon…

A West Valley Water District assembly Tuesday night in Rialto turned so disruptive it prompted an early adjournment after the board suspended three district directors who allege improper spending and hiring practices by board president Clifford Younger.

Following a closed session assembly of board administrators Clifford Younger, Greg Younger, Kyle Crowther, and Michael Taylor, the district’s basic counsel Robert Tafoya introduced that the board voted to put Assistant Common Supervisor Greg Gage, board Secretary Shanae Smith, and Human Assets Supervisor Karen Logue on paid administrative depart and start a personnel investigation. Board Director Donald Olinger abstained from voting and didn’t participate within the closed session assembly.

“Oh my God,” Logue stated aloud throughout Tafoya’s bulletins. “You’re going to do an investigation of what? As a result of we have been whistleblowers and did our job? I can’t consider this! I feel that is retaliation!”

“I do know you do, nevertheless it’s not,” Tafoya stated, in response to Logue’s assertion the board was retaliating for allegations by Logue, Smith, Gage and former district CFO Marie Ricci of misappropriation of public funds and unfair hiring practices by board President Clifford Younger, a former San Bernardino County supervisor and professor emeritus of Public Administration at Cal State San Bernardino.

“You’re going to place us on administrative depart and do an investigation, proper after these administrators acquired a memo that we now have whistleblower safety? Oh my God, I can’t consider this. That is completely retaliatory!” Logue stated.

Logue’s outburst prompted board President Clifford Younger to threaten to have Logue faraway from the board chambers. “You’re disrupting the general public assembly,” Younger advised Logue.

Logue’s demeanor resounded that of others who attended the almost full-capability assembly Tuesday. Amongst these in attendance included former Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown and husband Hardy Brown, Don Griggs of the Westside Motion Group, and A. Majadi, president of the NAACP’s San Bernardino department.

Throughout a particular assembly of the board Monday, the board voted to terminate district CFO Marie Ricci and place Common Supervisor Matthew Litchfield on paid administrative depart, stated Bob Christman, who on Monday was appointed interim common supervisor by the board. Christman stated in a phone interview Tuesday, previous to the board assembly, that Ricci was fired as a result of she didn’t move her probation interval.

“There’s been some dissension between the employees and the board on some vital points,” Christman stated. “I’m coming in recent. I don’t have all of the historical past.”

Christman is a former Loma Linda councilman who, like a number of different water district staff, beforehand labored at Cal State San Bernardino, the place Younger was a professor and administrator. Christman beforehand labored for the water district as its CFO.

He stated he doesn’t consider any of the allegations towards Younger.


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