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Meeting Information


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MINUTES OF JULY 26, 2004 SPECIAL MEETING of the JUVENILE PROBATION COMMISSION held at City Hall room 400 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place  San Francisco, CA   94102


(ACTION)  Roll Call
The Chair called the meeting to order at 6:45pm. All commissioners were present at the gavel.


(Public Comment on all matter pertaining to the closed session)
Rev Toni Dunbar spoke in support of the Chief

Lleana Hernandez; JH counselor filed a workplace violence incident involving her encounter with Chief Tucker.   She said she was going to file suit for harassment.  She felt assaulted by the Chief. She was in favor of firing.

A Youth minister who volunteers in juvenile hall. complained that his proposal was denied while the current chaplaincy was chosen, but there is no service given in b5.  He charged that the current chaplaincy isn’t doing its job.

Jack Duggan, a counselor in juvenile hall (written statement available) spoke in favor of dismissing the Chief.  Said it was a unanimous sentiment in the hall for this.  Her leadership style is adversarial. She looks at the small things while the big picture is lost. 

A community person also spoke in favor of Tucker’s dismissal.  She   (Tucker) has no knowledge of or compassion for the communities. 

Mercy Hernandez Bran, human resources director, JPD, read a memo regarding the gas and fire incidents at LCRS, and charged the dept (the Chief and Asst Chief) with inattention to the danger.  She said that Chief Tucker screamed and yelled at her when she attempted to talk to her about this.

Ricardo Miller, former resident at LCRS during the gas leak incident (Dec. 03).  He stated that he got a headache from the air pollution. He charged D Sanders (Dir. LCRS) with inattention and fraud for not making the ranch work; no programs, but pretending to promise them to the residents.

Another resident of LCRS during the gas leak, spoke and also complained about how things were not being done at the ranch for the residents.  He encouraged Sanders’ firing.

Another former resident of LCRS also experienced chest pain and discomfort from the gas fumes.  He also criticized Sanders for not operating the place well.

Another resident, not during the gas leak, spoke about his experience at LCRS. He felt cheated because they promised him programs and services, but got nothing.  He said he was voted president of the resident counsel, but Sanders tried to keep him from being able to get it.  He also asked for Sanders’ firing.

Gonzalo Fierro, a counselor at Juv Hall and LCRS said a co-worker got 2nd degree burns because of the gas leak.  He accused Tucker and Sanders of lying all the time.  He said he observed Tucker tear down the posted agenda (for this meeting) at the Dept, on Friday night, and he asked if she was going to put it back, and she said yes, but he worked that weekend and it never got replaced.  He said he has witnessed her doing illegal things (driving) and the other day he witnessed her park in a disabled /handicapped parking space. And when she’s challenged, her favorite line is “so sue me.”

A chief engineer for the SFFD, formerly an engineer at LCRS:  He complained about how the Dept and his supervisor treated him when he was on workmen comp.  He got laid off.  He said that there are many safety issues at LCRS that go without repair, even after he put it in writing. He referred to a letter from the State that says Sanders committed fraud.   He generally complained about the management of the ranch and the dept. and made a comment (unclear on recording) about someone taking money.

Daphne from the Juvenile Justice Commission encouraged the commission to do the right thing.

Gary Thompson, formerly counselor at LCRS.  Charged that the then Asst Chief (Tucker) refused to do anything about things that needed attention at the ranch (eg. counselors bringing weapons on the premises), and was the cause of large settlements from suits brought against the Dept by staff, (est. $450K).  He had asked for an audit of the TANF funds and how other funds are spent in the Dept.

A woman (not clearly identified) said she was an advocate for youth and asked the Commission to consider the youth and how they should be treated as human beings in the dept. She gave a metaphor for the problems in the juvenile probation dept, she said, when a team is failing you start by looking at the coaches and then work down. So she encouraged the commission to look at the leadership of this dept, and please consider the requests of the community.

Giselle Garcia, representing a community based org., said it is important to have good policies, and that we need someone from the community who can lead the dept. 

Joanna Hernandez, Mission Neighborhood Centers, said that we need to institute change, and if it doesn’t happen we need to ask it from the Chief.

Thabiti Mtambuzi, Dir of SPY, opposed the process, saying there hasn’t been a performance review of the Chief, so how could it be fair to agendize dismissal at the same time? He said it probably violates some law.  He said that the Chief has worked long and hard on the goals of the Dept (he mentioned several areas). He said that there would be chaos if the commission releases the Chief.

Rudy Corpus, a private citizen, said the system isn’t working and asked the commission to make the right decision so change and ‘corrections’ can be made.

NTanya Lee, was troubled that the request by the community to follow a certain process for naming a replacement Chief hadn’t been responded to, and asked that when the commission re convenes in open session that they not only report on whatever actions were taken in closed session, but also to publicly name any names being recommended as the replacement.   She also encouraged the commission to utilize a national search for someone to lead the dept out of chaos, and forward.

Rick Miner, a counselor at LCR, feels that they are just warehousing there, as there are no programs for the most part. There needs to be real programs there.

Nicole Shaw Owens, former employee JPD, said that the Dept had broken rules and city codes in the way they processed things in the finance division. She said she could speak to the question of misappropriation of funds because she was there when contracts weren’t done right, and she refused to sign them.  She said that she didn’t sign one over the last five yrs.  She said there needs to be a change in leadership.

John Knox, supervisor of vocational programs.  He opposed the process. He said that the problems here didn’t start with this Chief or the past Chief. He said it rests with the Commission to make change.  He said the question was when would the Commission step up and deal with problems immediately rather than letting them drag on.

A woman with the SEIU spoke regarding the incidents of safety at LCRS.   The employees were exposed to long periods of gas leakage, and felt ill from it. She said things haven’t been fixed to this point, and asked the commission to think seriously about what needed to be done to fix the things that are broken in the Dept.

Jose Perla, Director of IT, JPD, read a letter in support of the Chief.

Charlie Walker, representing an organization from Bayview Hunters Point, expressed his concern that the City was firing many high level African American heads of depts.  He asked what could he do to encourage the Commission to reconsider the contemplated action.

Another staff and SEIU member spoke of concerns for safety issues brought up. And also opposed the Youth Authority.

Gerard of United Playas, said there is a lack of counselors who have knowledge and experience with the population of youth.



(ACTION) Convene in Closed Session Pursuant to Government Code section 54957 and San Francisco Administrative Code Section 67.10, to consider:

                                a.  PUBLIC EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE EVALUATION 

                                     Chief Probation Officer, Gwendolyn Tucker

b.       PUBLIC EMPLOYEE DISMISSAL:  One employee affected

                                     Consider recommending names to the Mayor for an acting Chief Probation
                                     Officer, who will serve as the department head for the San Francisco
                                     Juvenile Probation Department.


(ACTION) Reconvene in Open Session, pursuant to Government Code section 54957.1, and Admin Code section 67.10.
                a.  Disclosure of Action Taken in Closed Session
                     The matter taken up in closed session will be continued to Thurs. July 29
                      at 3pm. in City Hall.         

                b.    Vote on whether to disclose discussion during closed session         
                     The Commission voted to not disclose any of the discussion held in closed session.


Public comment on all matters under the jurisdiction of the Juvenile Probation Commission.
There were none.


(ACTION) Adjournment
There being no further business, the meeting was ended at 10:38 pm