SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The San Diego County Board of Supervisors agreed Tuesday to pay $310,000 to settle claims brought by three former staffers of Supervisor Dave Roberts, who was accused of misusing his powers.
In a joint statement, the board members said they don't necessarily believe all the allegations against Roberts, but found substantial risk that jurors would find some of the contentions valid at trial.
The board members said former Chief of Staff Glynnis Vaughan appears to have identified numerous areas where county policy was not being followed in Roberts' office.
"She acted in good faith to work with Supervisor Dave Roberts to correct identified problems and establish professional standards within the District 3 offices," according to the board members "Her actions were met with resistance from Supervisor Dave Roberts resulting in a hostile relationship."
The supervisors also said ex-scheduler Diane Porter "participated in activities in her role in Supervisor Dave Roberts' office that violated county policy. Whether she did so knowingly or not is uncertain."
Her activities were known by Roberts and might have taken place at his direction, the supervisors said.
Another former employee, Lindsey Masukawa, resigned "due to inappropriate pressure from the supervisor to influence the investigation" into his office, the supervisors said.
"The Board of Supervisors' decision to settle the claims is not intended as statement that we believe all the claims by the three former staff members are true," the statement said.
"But, we do believe there is substantial risk that a jury would find elements of several of the claims valid and would render an adverse verdict at trial," the supervisors said. "To minimize the significant financial exposure to county taxpayers, the board considers it's in the best interest of taxpayers to settle the claims immediately."
Combined, the women were asking for more than $1 million in compensation.
They said the supervisor, at minimum, showed poor judgment.
Gary Gartner, who has served as Roberts' spokesman on the matter, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
Supervisor Dave Robert released a statement which states:
When my Chief of Staff retired after 22 years in that position, the transition to a new Chief did not go as well as I expected and I take full responsibility for that. Now that the settlement has taken place, we are moving forward.
While I strongly oppose the action taken today by a majority of the Board of Supervisors, I respect my colleagues' right to make such a decision. I have said consistently that no taxpayer funds should be used to resolve these issues.
It is unfortunate that they occurred, but they are now behind us. My staff and I will continue to work hard delivering results for the people of the Third District as I have strived to do since my first day in office.