Good old SLO County. There is always something splendidly delicious in watching the way they can weasel themselves into spectacularly compromising twists in order to accommodate people in power.
Case in point: Supervisor Bruce Gibson’s girlfriend is now back in her old $89,000 a year job as Gibson’s legislative aide.
If you recall, when the affair was made public, Bruce and the country frantically hustled her out into some other department where she continued to get paid out of the Supervisor’s budget while pretending to be doing some other job, while her original job was supposedly done by Bruce or wasn’t done at all.
And Bruce was all apologetic, hand-wringy in public but ,according to County Counsel, behind the scenes he was pushing since Dec 17th to get her back at her old job, please, please. But the County balked on account of being afraid of getting their asses sued since Bruce was sleeping with his employee, which is supposed to be a big, stupid no-no.
Oh what to do, what to do?
Well, never fear. While turning a blind eye to the ethical ramifications of such an arrangement, the County was ever ready to serve the Supervisor. So County Counsel cooked up a legal agreement for the couple to sign that included a release that would absolve the County for any al all liability claims, past and future, that might arise from this little “affair of the heart.” The document does include pledges that keep Gibson from “making decisions regarding the pay of legislative assistants, and gives the County unannounced access to the duo’s phones and computers.” Oh, and they also signed pledges not to go all kissey-face at the workplace or engage in long, loving looks across a crowded room at work-related functions.
So, problem solved! Once again, the County has done it’s Uriah Heepish best to make sure those in positions of power will be accommodated.
True, had the couple in question been some lower level duo, it’s likely that one or the other would have been demoted or fired, or certainly actually transferred , not just “pretend transferred.” But that’s why God blessse the child that has his own. . .
And true, this agreement doesn’t prevent a lawsuit from some other employee (you know, the “little people”) from suing the county for accommodating or creating a discriminatory or hostile workplace, as in, “Hey, why can’t I sleep with my employees, too, just like Bruce?”
But, not to worry. The county is only interested in creating legal protections for itself and carving out legal loopholes for the powerful . All other can just eat it.
As for the “ethical” problems with all this. Well, “community activist,” (and long time commentor on this blog) Lynette Tornatzky was quoted in the Tribune story saying, “Great! Let’s get her (Aspuro) back in there as soon as possible,” and called Aispuro “incredibly professional.” While Marshall Ochlyski of Los Osos said the issue was “whether Gibson can restore trust among the residents of the 2nd District.” And the Tribune reported that Gibson, “Asked whether he intends to run for a third term next year [said] it is too early to make that decision.”
“Incredibly professional? No. Incredible professionals aren’t stupid enough to sleep with their bosses. “Trust?” Anyone who’s watched Gibson from day one knows the answer to that question. “A third term” for Gibson? Well, near as I can see, Gibson’s answer to “the public” in this affair has been, “Go to hell. This is none of your business.” So, if the public is smart, their response will be, “Ditto back atcha, Bruce.”
As for the County, well, they can always be depended on to respond to power with a great big, “YESSIR! Anything you ask, SIR!”
Which is why watching SLO County in full weasel mode is so deliciously entertaining.