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New round of warnings issued to Assessor employees by union leaders for second straight day

By Brian Hews

District Attorney, Media focus of newest email issued on Thursday morning

Los Angeles, CA

For the second time in a three days, employees of the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office have been slapped with another stern warning from union leaders relating to a massive criminal probe centered on political “pay to play” allegations, money laundering, bribery and influence peddling, Los Cerritos Community Newspaper has learned.

When hundreds of union members arrived to work on Thursday morning they found a new email from their union leaders from the California Association of Professional Employees, AFL-CIO under the heading “Secure Written Permission Before Talking to Investigators.”

Los Cerritos Community Newspaper was faxed a hard copy of the two page memo that directly takes aim at members of the media and criminal investigators.

“As noted in prior communications, the media’s focus on the Assessor’s office will most likely continue. Consequently the protection of CAPE member’s careers and employee rights that directly takes aim at members of the media and criminal investigators.

“CAPE representatives have advised members to seek permission before providing information and documents to investigators because the so-called whistle blowers statutes may not provide the proper protections for county employees under these circumstances. Furthermore, receiving permission to disclose information and documents helps protect employees from retaliation after the investigation is over.”

The memo also states that “media attention will continue” and continues to stress that employees contacted by investigators “should take the necessary and longstanding procedural to protect themselves and their careers, even if investigators indicate the employee is not a target of a criminal investigation.”

“The reported misdeeds of a few executives reflect badly on the entire office. CAPE represented employees did not cause those alleged violations, and should not be punished by investigators and the press for simply trying to do their jobs and protect their careers,” the memo states.

It also takes a new swipe at Noguez and his top brass. “The Assessor’s top staff stated that the Assessor and his executives are fully cooperating with investigators. If that is true, there should be no hesitation to provide written authorization for CAPE represented employees to disclose information and documents to investigators.

“Broad base allegations are to be expected. The complicated issues right now in the Assessor’s Office have the potential to permanently damage working conditions and career advancement for everyone. CAPE representatives will continue to work on all aspects of every issue to ensure the lively hoods of dedicated County professionals are not harmed,” the memo concludes.

District Attorney Spokesperson Jane Robison told Los Cerritos Community Newspaper that they had “no comment” on the latest email.

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