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Review the Issues Not the Whistleblower

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We are in the professional basketball season playoffs and one of the things we have in the game to keep it fair for all sides is the “whistleblowing” referee.

If we did not have them, the big guys would run over the little guys and sometimes the little dirty guys would get away with hitting, tripping, or pushing, or other violations. Now when government got so big and department heads would fire any employee who went against them they had to give protection by enacting the whistleblowers act.

Employees who decide to uncover any wrongdoing by their bosses had better be prepared to undergo the kind of unnecessary name calling the organization or company can come up with, much like they do in the ballgame when the players or coach think the referee has made a bad call. They start asking the “ref” if he is blind or didn’t hear that slap on his hand. Sometimes the whole team and fans get upset and jump into the fray.

We would like to commend the Riverside Chapter of SCLC for “jumping into the fray” to say we want to help oversee this investigation to make sure Debrah Freeman, the young Black “whistleblower” in the Riverside County Human Resources Department, is treated fairly and her accusations are investigated properly. I hope other civil-rights groups will step up to the plate and help the Supervisors find justice in the midst of these highly charged allegations.

Ms. Freeman is the young lady who several weeks ago went before the Riverside County Board of Supervisors and made some serious allegations against her boss, the head of the county’s Human Resource Department.

These allegations range from racial discrimination in hiring and promotions, altering reports to the grand Jury, giving contracts to immediate family members, misusing authority and altering reports to the Board of Supervisors. The last allegation alone would make me go over every report. The Riverside County Grand Jury has already informed us that some reports to them have been touched up.

Our community needs to look at how the department recruits, where they advertise for employees, who they buy their cars from, how many Black vendors they purchase goods from, and what percentage of Blacks are getting promotions, transfers, terminations and disciplined. These organizations need to stretch from one end of the county to the other to see if there are others out there with complaints.

These organizations need to contact the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the Federal Department of Equal Employment Opportunity and require them to step up their investigation of any complaints they may have in their files.

There might be the need to ask the State Attorney General to investigate because of possible criminal violations. They need to contact the heads of all Black churches throughout the county and have them request any complaints from members be brought forth to them at this time. Ms. Freeman is a member of Life COGIC. There are close to a hundred COGIC churches in Riverside County alone.

These organizations need to call and make appointments with the five Supervisors individually and let them know these allegations are appalling and ask them to get to the bottom of this mess. This must be done in order to have confidence in our elected officials and government. I know the Supervisors want to find the truth in the midst of these allegations and when the investigation is over they want the findings to be believable, so the line of communication must be established early.

Now I hope the Board of Supervisors don’t stoop to unfounded discipline against Ms. Freeman for bringing these issues before the public, but instead take a serious look at the allegations.

One of the things people inside organizations like to do is criticize the complainant or investigate them by looking at their expense accounts, reviewing their applications for false information, reviewing their performance evaluations for any documented weakness, reviewing policies they might not have followed, talking with coworkers for negative things they might have said against the organization, and then releasing them as a threat, anything to destroy their credibility. I hope the Board of Supervisors doesn’t go there.

Just like in sports today, thanks to the instant replay the public can get a chance to review the close calls. We have to ask what is meant by the statement, “Black women speak too loudly and need to lower their voices” or when a Black employee is invited to a “lynching party”.

Yes this investigation must have broad oversight to protect the whistleblower and the taxpayers because we are also spectators in this serious game.

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