The California Public Records Act, as with newspapers, faces its own threats, some of which have been on display here in Sonoma County concerning the stories about the embattled former agriculture commissioner.
An attorney for former Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner Cathy Neville said Friday that county supervisors fired her illegally and for political reasons, and that she will sue to get her job back plus back pay. “It’s unfortunate that the county took this step because it’s going to end up costing the taxpayers of Sonoma County a lot of money once the litigation is finished,” said Stephen Murphy, a San Francisco employment law attorney.
6:20 PM UPDATE: The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to move Animal Care and Control into the Public Health Department. The reorganization means Ag Commissioner Cathy Neville will lose roughly half of her agency’s budget and employees. Neville says she won’t resign.
Should the county Animal Care and Control Division remain under the purview of the Agricultural Commissioner or become a separate department? The ouster of Amy Cooper has mushroomed into a drawn-out public fight that has moved the issue well beyond the fate of one middle manager.
Sonoma County’s top executive is reviewing the dismissal of Amy Cooper, the animal care and control director whose abrupt departure last week sparked a staff revolt and outcry among other animal welfare officials.
Amy Cooper said she was expecting praise for a job well done after her boss, Agricultural Commissioner Cathy Neville, sent an e-mail to her asking Cooper to meet with her a week ago Monday. Instead, she was removed from her post.
Agricultural Commissioner Cathy Neville has appointed a longtime Sonoma County employee to take over accounting and budget duties at the county’s embattled Animal Care and Control division.
Despite a troubled history that has brought high-profile attention to Sonoma County’s animal shelter, neither County Administrator Veronica Ferguson or supervisors knew in advance that the agency’s top official was losing her job this week.
Sonoma County officials who a few months ago effusively praised Amy Cooper for turning around the county’s troubled animal shelter are now refusing to say why she was removed from her job with no warning to her staff.
Sonoma County’s animal care and control director is out of a job less than a year after she was hired, another setback for an agency that has struggled in recent years to maintain consistent leadership.