Candidates Respond to Sexual Harassment Survey

Former Employees Give Candidates Rave Reviews

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Bob Filner scandal left many people wondering why no information about Filner's misconduct had ever come to light before, and whether any of the current mayoral candidates had any similar issues in their past. NBC7's Wendy Fry reports on the employment history of the three leading contenders. (Published Friday, Oct 4, 2013)

    Former Mayor Bob Filner resigned after an avalanche of sexual harassment claims came to light, some decades old.

    It left some people wondering what may be lurking in the past of the current lead contenders for San Diego mayor.

    Mayoral Candidates Respond to Sexual Harassment Survey

    [DGO] Mayoral Candidates Respond to Sexual Harassment Survey
    The Bob Filner scandal left many people wondering why no information about Filner's misconduct had ever come to light before, and whether any of the current mayoral candidates had any similar issues in their past. NBC7's Wendy Fry reports on the employment history of the three leading contenders. (Published Friday, Oct 4, 2013)

    NBC7, along with our media partner Voice of San Diego, sent a questionnaire to Councilmen David Alvarez and Kevin Faulconer and former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher. We asked whether or not they had ever had any sexual harassment or discrimination complaints filed against them, and whether they have completed workplace training on such issues.

    "I think post-Bob Filner era, it's very important for people to know that this is an issue," said Liam Dillon, senior reporter for the Voice of San Diego. "It's something people care about. It unraveled one mayoralty. Certainly, no one wants it to unravel another, so it's important to make sure that we're aware of these issues, as soon as we can before the election."

    The candidates all responded they had never had had any sexual discrimination complaints, formal or informal, lodged against them. Councilman Kevin Faulconer responded that an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint had been lodged against an organization he led 24 years ago.

    We also contacted a handful of former employees and co-workers for each of the candidates. We asked a series of questions about the candidate's character, if any sexual harassment or other issues had ever been observed that voters should know about.

    Former employees gave rave reviews of their former bosses. None of the former employees surveyed had any direct evidence of sexual harassment in the workplace. Most gave predictable answers about their previous boss.

    Rudy Lopez, a former staffer who worked for Alvarez between November 2010 and January 2012, said Alvarez's management style being comfortable in a variety of situations and with diverse groups of people.

    "He's a solid moral guy," Lopez said. "He takes the time to learn the issues, to learn from constituents. He's committed to his family, his neighborhood. I got the sense working for him that he really cares.

    Erik Cadwell, who went to work for Fletcher in 2010, said his former boss is very good at defining his role.

    "With day-to-day operations, he was very willing to delegate that to the folks who he had hired to do that job," said Cadwell. "That's rare in politics. He relied on the strength of his team. He hired professionals who were good at whatever they were supposed to be doing and then trusted them to do their jobs." 

    Steve McNally, the first chief-of-staff for Faulconer, said Faulconer is really good at getting people to work together.

    "He is who you see and he doesn’t pretend to be anyone different. I know where he stands every single time," McNally said.

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    Here are the candidates responses to our survey, conducted with Voice of San Diego.:

    David Alvarez: 

    1. Have you ever had a formal or informal complaint (which includes any oral statement/email/letter) of workplace harassment or other inappropriate behavior lodged against you in any of your public or private jobs including campaigns? This includes complaints made directly with you, and/or complaints about you lodged with staff members or outside agencies. If yes, please explain the circumstances of the complaint and what the result was.
    No
    2. Have you ever had a formal or informal complaint of sexual harassment lodged against you in any of your public or private jobs including campaigns? This includes complaints made directly with you, and/or complaints about you lodged with staff members or outside agencies. If yes, please explain the circumstances of the complaint and what the result was.
    No
    3. Have you ever had a formal or informal complaint of discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability or anything else lodged against you in any of your public or private jobs including campaigns? This includes complaints made directly with you, and/or complaints about you lodged with staff members or outside agencies. If yes, please explain the circumstances of the complaint and what the result was.
    No
    4. Have you ever had formal training on workplace harassment, sexual harassment and discrimination issues? What was it?
    Yes. The City of San Diego's sexual harassment training program which I most recently completed on September 27, 2013.
    5. Do you believe the city's policies on workplace harassment, sexual harassment and discrimination adequately protect potential victims and those accused? If yes, why? If no, what specific reforms would you make in office?
    Yes, to a point. Rules and policies are no substitute for a culture of management at the City that focuses on treating all people with dignity and respect.
    6. Have you ever experienced any kind of workplace harassment, sexual harassment or discrimination yourself? If yes, please explain the circumstances and what happened.
    No
    7. Do you want to add anything else on these issues? No

     

    Nathan Fletcher

    1. Have you ever had a formal or informal complaint (which includes any oral statement/email/letter) of workplace harassment or other inappropriate behavior lodged against you in any of your public or private jobs including campaigns? This includes complaints made directly with you, and/or complaints about you lodged with staff members or outside agencies. If yes, please explain the circumstances of the complaint and what the result was.

    No.


    2. Have you ever had a formal or informal complaint of sexual harassment lodged against you in any of your public or private jobs including campaigns? This includes complaints made directly with you, and/or complaints about you lodged with staff members or outside agencies. If yes, please explain the circumstances of the complaint and what the result was.

    No.


    3. Have you ever had a formal or informal complaint of discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability or anything else lodged against you in any of your public or private jobs including campaigns? This includes complaints made directly with you, and/or complaints about you lodged with staff members or outside agencies. If yes, please explain the circumstances of the complaint and what the result was.

    No.

    4. Have you ever had formal training on workplace harassment, sexual harassment and discrimination issues? What was it?

    The State of California required sexual harassment training every other year.


    5. Do you believe the city's policies on workplace harassment, sexual harassment and discrimination adequately protect potential victims and those accused? If yes, why? If no, what specific reforms would you make in office?

    The policies are adequate, but their effectiveness lies in their implementation. The attitude that discrimination and harassment won't be tolerated must be ingrained in the culture of an organization, and when I'm mayor, the message to managers will be very clear: They are responsible for ensuring their areas of supervision are harassment-free, and they must swiftly investigate and address any claims of harassment. I'll set high expectations for the workplace environment, then hold managers accountable.


    6. Have you ever experienced any kind of workplace harassment, sexual harassment or discrimination yourself? If yes, please explain the circumstances and what happened.

    No.
     

    Kevin Faulconer

    1. Have you ever had a formal or informal complaint (which includes any oral statement/email/letter) of workplace harassment or other inappropriate behavior lodged against you in any of your public or private jobs including campaigns? This includes complaints made directly with you, and/or complaints about you lodged with staff members or outside agencies. If yes, please explain the circumstances of the complaint and what the result was.

    No.

    2. Have you ever had a formal or informal complaint of sexual harassment lodged against you in any of your public or private jobs including campaigns? This includes complaints made directly with you, and/or complaints about you lodged with staff members or outside agencies. If yes, please explain the circumstances of the complaint and what the result was.

    No.

    3. Have you ever had a formal or informal complaint of discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability or anything else lodged against you in any of your public or private jobs including campaigns? This includes complaints made directly with you, and/or complaints about you lodged with staff members or outside agencies. If yes, please explain the circumstances of the complaint and what the result was.

    A:

    No complaints have been made against me during my professional career. There was an EEOC complaint filed against the Associated Students at SDSU while I was student body president 24 years ago. It stemmed from a student who applied for a position with the student government, but was not hired, and filed a discrimination complaint based on there not being a complete panel involved in the interview process. My recollection is the complaint was ultimately dismissed.

    4. Have you ever had formal training on workplace harassment, sexual harassment and discrimination issues? What was it?

    Yes, I've done regular training through the City. I most recently completed a sexual harassment course in September.

    5. Do you believe the city's policies on workplace harassment, sexual harassment and discrimination adequately protect potential victims and those accused? If yes, why? If no, what specific reforms would you make in office?

    A:
    We can do more. We have to be sure that we have an environment where victims of harassment feel comfortable coming forward. As mayor, I'll convene a task force of HR professionals from the public and private sector to review our current policies and make recommendations for further improvements.

    6. Have you ever experienced any kind of workplace harassment, sexual harassment or discrimination yourself? If yes, please explain the circumstances and what happened.

    No.

    7. Do you want to add anything else on these issues?

    N/A

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