The city of Inglewood’s legal woes are costing taxpayers millions of dollars. The city attorney’s office continues to grant rate increases and new contracts related to issues surrounding Inglewood Mayor James Butts, James Dolan (owner of the Forum), Steve Ballmer (Murphy’s Bowl LLC), and Butts’ former executive assistant, and alleged former girlfriend, Melanie McDade-Dickens. McDade-Dickens is currently on paid administrative leave due to employment related issues, that have since become public.
2UrbanGirls was the first to report that McDade was walked out of Inglewood City Hall. New details have emerged that she was allegedly violating city policies and “potentially” committing fraud, according to a court filing by Skip Miller, an attorney representing the city.
“This malfeasance was connected to personal financial pressures relating to McDade’s purchase of a home,” Miller wrote in the filing.
Skip Miller represents the city, Mayor Butts and at one time McDade in depositions related to the ongoing lawsuit involving the city and the owners of the Forum. It is unclear if Miller should have been privy to the city’s employment investigation of McDade.
2UrbanGirls submitted a public records request of the employee investigation of McDade, taking into consideration it is now public record since it was included in recent court filings, and were denied. The city cited Government Code 6254(b) & (c) and Evidence Code 915 and 954.
In laymen’s terms, 6254 is related to pending litigation & personnel record 915, 954 relates to attorney-client privilege. Miller didn’t conduct the investigation of McDade’s personnel issue but somehow obtained it for evidence in the Forum case.
2UrbanGirls has inquired of several home lenders of what the purported “fraud” could detail and to their knowledge the only instance could be related to providing the lender fraudulent financial documents to qualify for the loan.
Alleged “friends” of McDade have contacted this author through Facebook, to state McDade had to borrow extensive amount of money from friends and family for the down payment. At the time, McDade was earning roughly $14,000 per month, according to data on Transparent California.
Inglewood’s payroll is handled by three people. Maria Heaney, Revenue Manager, has the final say over payroll processing matters. Heaney and McDade have an established relationship when it comes to “wiping out” tax money owed to the city, from local businesses attached to the mayor.
If McDade were to allegedly committed fraud, related to the purchase of her home, is it possible that she enlisted Heaney to assist with said fraud?
Harris and Associates was tasked with conducting the investigation of McDade and would have had to interview other city employees with knowledge of McDade’s financial situation.
It is safe to assume Heaney was interviewed by Harris and Associates and would have been compelled to be truthful when questioned about her involvement with McDade’s alleged “fraud”.
If Heaney was enlisted to assist McDade, why is Heaney still working in city hall? Heaney, herself, was found to be paying herself and another employee unauthorized overtime, for working during the two week closure of city hall a few years ago.
Her superiors allowed her to pay the money back through payroll deductions.
In comparison, Heaney has had a former finance employee walked out, and terminated, for deleting a word document, yet she can assist and partake in alleged financial fraud, and still be gainfully employed?
Heaney would be in direct violation of multiple city civil service rules as outlined below:
City of Inglewood Civil Service Rules VI, Section 4(e):
“Dishonesty involving employment.”
City of Inglewood Civil Service Rules VI, Section 4(k):
“Improper or unauthorized use of City property.”
City of Inglewood Civil Service Rules VI, Section 4(l):
“Violation of the rules and regulations of any department, which rules and regulations are adopted pursuant to or continued pursuant to these rules and regulations”
City of Inglewood Civil Service Rules VI, Section 4(n):
“Any willful act of conduct undertakes in bad faith which either during or outside of duty hours is of such a nature that it causes discredit to fall upon the City, the employee’s department or division. Willful failure to maintain proper decorum during working hours causing discredit to the employee’s department or division.”
City of Inglewood Civil Service Rules VI, Section 4(u):
“Falsification of any City report or record, or of any report or record required to be, or filed by the employee.
City of Inglewood Civil Service Rules VI, Section 4(v):
“Willful violation of any of the provisions of the City Charter, lawful Ordinances, Resolutions, or any rules, regulations or policies which may be prescribed by the City Council, or City Manager or department head as appointing authority.”