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Commerce Councilman Mendoza Was Fired From His Job With Commerce for Dishonesty, Intimidation

Leonard Mendoza

HMG Staff Report

May 10, 2022~One week ago, Hews Media Group-Community News published a story concerning threatening emails sent from Commerce City Council candidate Leonard Mendoza to HMG-CN Publisher Brian Hews after Hews published a story about Mendoza’s questionable campaign donations.

Turns out threatening and intimidating people who he does not like or agree with is a character trait of Mendoza’s.

Several documents obtained by Hews Media Group-Community News show Mendoza was fired from his job at the city of Commerce for systematic harassment, intimidation, fighting, and ignoring safety policies that resulted in serious injuries to his crew.

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A portion of the termination letter from Mendoza’s boss outlining his “abusive and intimidating behavior, poor judgment, and dishonesty.” Click to see larger image. 

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Mendoza’s behavior was so abhorrent that the city was forced to hire outside attorney Sally Woolley; after she investigated, Woolley recommended the city fire Mendoza.

In 2014 Mendoza was fired with his boss writing, “You were demoted twice, we cut your pay twice and you still didn’t change your behavior; we have to terminate you.”

Mendoza appealed the decision twice with the final letter from the Commerce’s Director of Safety and Community Services Matthew Rodriguez writing that the city “was basically fed up with Mendoza’s chronic bad behavior.”

Behavior Went Back Six Years

Mendoza was first disciplined in 2008 and received a 5% reduction in pay finding that he “engaged in harassment, intimidation, abuse of authority, dishonesty, and creating a hostile work environment.”

In 2012,  he received a Notice of Intent to Demote but instead was hit with another 5% pay reduction for six months.

In 2013 he received another Notice of Intent to Demote for unprofessional behavior, putting his paint crew in danger, and abuse of authority.

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The letter from Mendoza’s boss outlining his pay reductions: one was for engaging in a systematic pattern of harassment intimidation and abuse of authority; the second one was for a pattern of unprofessional behavior and policy violations. Click to see larger image. 

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As the city tried to intervene with safety programs and consulting teams, Mendoza did not change his abusive pattern of behavior.

One incident occurred in 2014, investigated by Wooley, finding Mendoza ordered his employee to use an inferior ladder to paint a ceiling at Veterans Park.

The employee fell off the ladder, sustaining serious injuries that prevented him from working for eight months.

In another incident, consistent with what people said about Mendoza and the infamous contract cities fight in 2019, he challenged one of his employees to a fight; the incident was corroborated by two other employees.

When Mendoza testified, backed by AFSCME representatives, several witnesses later  contradicted Mendoza’s account of the story with the attorney ruling that Mendoza lied during the investigation.

“His testimony was not credible, [we found] Mendoza breaks the rules all the time when it comes to his other employees,’ wrote attorney Susan Wolley.

 

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A portion of the Report of Investigation of Mendoza by Susan Woolley indicating Mendoza “was not completely truthful” when asked about the two injury incidents. Click to see larger image. 

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In another incident, Mendoza’s crew was painting a room at City Hall when they had to move a large desk. One of Mendoza’s employees testified that he asked Mendoza to help, Mendoza stated, “you figure it out.”

The employee tried to move it and severely injured his elbow, forced out of work for nine months and filing a worker’s compensation claim against the city.

The report stated that several of the witnesses involved in the investigation expressed concern about retaliation by Mendoza, that was the last straw, in mid- 2014, the city terminated Mendoza.

2 Responses to Commerce Councilman Mendoza Was Fired From His Job With Commerce for Dishonesty, Intimidation

  1. Pingback: Commerce Councilman Leonard Mendoza Dangerously Harassed Family on Day of Uvalde Shooting | Cerritos Community News.

  2. Pingback: Councilman Mendoza Has Ten Voters Registered at His 500 S.F. House in Commerce | Cerritos Community News.

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