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Council Considers Outside Investigation Into Complaints Against City Manager

Bill Workman, city manager of Redondo Beach, is under fire from employee groups.

FILE PHOTO: Bill Workman. Photo credit Ed Pilolla.
FILE PHOTO: Bill Workman. Photo credit Ed Pilolla.

The Redondo Beach City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night during closed session to authorize the city attorney to research and recommend an outside investigator to look into complaints about City Manager Bill Workman.

Mayor Steve Aspel announced the vote when the council reconvened in chambers.

Workman concurred with the council's action, according to City Attorney Mike Webb.

Webb will come back in two weeks with the recommendation for an outside investigator, according to Aspel. Though the council and city manager desire an expedited investigation, Aspel, Councilman Steve Sammarco and Workman will all be absent from next week's council meeting.

This is a developing story.

David Mallen January 15, 2014 at 01:22 AM
City Attorney Mike Webb is wise. City Manager Workman and other City employees and stakeholders should welcome an independent investigation by a neutral.
Harry Munns January 15, 2014 at 04:13 PM
Workman concurred with the council's action? Why would anyone ask for his opinion? Our city manager, like other city managers, is an employee. He/she has a big job but that doesn't change the employer/employee relationship between the city and the city manager. Frankly, there are thousands of qualified people who could do the job as well or better and for less money. I'd like to poll the last few city employees who were terminated. Did anyone ask them whether they agreed with method by which the grounds for their termination was determined? Why is this employee different?
Harold Johnson January 16, 2014 at 04:00 PM
I find it highly suspect that mr workman wants an investigation as to his extreme poor leadership to our city employees, and residents. What that means is we MUST have oversight as to the complaints made against him, how the investigator is chosen, what he is being investigated on, and the outcome. If it is anything like the past in this city, our city leadership will choose a firm much like the firm used to check the city accounting....(in someone's hip pocket) with a favorable outcome for city administration. Can you imagine angry residents, angry employees, and one poor decision after another, and an investigator that finds no issues? Let's just watch this one close! Thank you brand and samarco for being there for honesty and oversight! You are the only ones we can count on. I think if this is done the right way, we should see some openings at city hall! Watch out for another trick! Let's keep an eye on what happens!
Jack Cates January 16, 2014 at 11:33 PM
The article makes it sound as though Mr. Workman was gracious in agreeing to the recommendations. He had no choice! He had no other option but to pretend to agree. The biggest issue in this investigation will be the interviews of past employees, specifically the last HR Manager, who was hired with a flourish in the last part of 2013, then abruptly quit in a single day after an issue on the job. Workman and his minion Assistant City Manager have the reputation of looking down on their employees, speaking to them in unprofessional and inappropriate terms, and simply having no care or concern for morale. It's Workman's way.....plain and simple. With everything that has happened in the recent past with Workman, specifically the allegations surrounding his treatment of city employees, I would think the members of the City Council would be wise to let Workman go, and repair the damage he has done. If our City Council members have the best interest of the city at heart like they all claim to, Workman's days in Redondo Beach would be numbered! Either way they probably are, as Workman's only goal is to add to his resume for his much desires consultant job. Don't leave mad Mr. Workman, just leave.
Jim Light January 16, 2014 at 11:48 PM
Waste of money. The 98% no confidence vote should be all the information the Council needs to give Workman his waling papers. I suspect some on the Council may just be trying to use this to justify their inaction.
David Mallen January 17, 2014 at 02:57 PM
I respectfully point out, from a legal standpoint, that the appointment of a neutral investigator to interview witnesses about alleged workplace misconduct is the gold standard of employment law compliance. Failure to appoint an investigator could potentially subject the city to more $$$ in lawsuits. Moreover, an investigator's findings could lead to structural changes in how the City Manager actually manages city employees moving forward. The problems may not arise simple because of personality clashes or management. The problems may also be systemic, in part. My two cents as an employment lawyer and mediator....
David Mallen January 17, 2014 at 03:01 PM
I second Mr. Munns' suggestion to conduct exit interviews with outgoing city employees. I recommend this approach to all my small business clients. Employers can learn a lot from exit interviews. Outgoing employees sometimes just want to be heard.

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