Letter to the Editor: Who knew what, and when, about problems in Ventura County executive office?
Regarding the abrupt retirement of Ventura County CEO Mike Powers, one can only wonder if anything would ever come of this issue had it not been leaked to the press. Were there any other abuses of authority that occurred under Mr. Powers’ watch? Did anyone else collude with him in any form of discrimination or any other illegal activity? Was a hostile environment created for any other principled employees who reported infractions? Were there two standards in place regarding discrimination protocols when it came to lower-level employees and those privileged with higher pay, status and authority?
Ventura County employees and taxpayers deserve that those who set examples in leadership do not contradict the county’s anti-discrimination protocols. We need action and accountability and not merely lip-service and optics. And more importantly, courage to prevent these kinds of situations from occurring, or worse, being hidden once they do.
This recent statement by Ventura County Supervisor and Board Chair Carmen Ramirez must be upheld. And it must apply first and foremost to the leaders themselves because real-world examples take precedence over principles when it comes to human behavior:
“Our first concern is for victims. We are committed to ensuring a safe and respectful workplace. And that is why we feel it necessary to speak out now. Our county will not tolerate abuses of power, including any inappropriate behavior, sexual or otherwise, by our employees, including the use of derogatory names.”
Mark C. McCormack