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City Manager Statement In Response to Community Inquiries Regarding Employee Incident

Post Date:04/19/2019 12:00 PM

Update May 7, 2019 

Our personnel review of Mr. Olcott’s employment continues as the City collects information relevant to the matter. The City is committed to resolving this matter as expeditiously as possible, while ensuring that all relevant information is gathered and objectively evaluated. We recognize the desire for a clear timeline for completion of the investigation, but it is not possible to accurately estimate the duration of this process. 

There are a number of steps required in conducting a thorough personnel investigation that complies with applicable laws governing public sector employment. An independent investigator is reviewing the extensive criminal record from the District Attorney in the matter of Mr. Olcott’s misdemeanor guilty plea and work-related concerns stemming from that criminal matter. The criminal record to date includes evidence and records produced from ten days of court room proceedings in the matter (including trial, plea and sentencing proceedings).

Following the independent personnel investigation, the City will determine if there are workplace policy violations and take appropriate employment actions based on those findings.

Given that this is a confidential personnel matter, the City is limited in the information it can provide related to the investigation and any actions taken following the investigation. 

Original Statement  

This week, a video showing a seemingly unwarranted act of violence by Mr. Christopher Olcott, on two other individuals in May 2016 was released online. The City had not seen the video prior to its publication and did not have any detailed understanding of the underlying facts of the case, until the video appeared online this week. Immediately after becoming aware of the video, the City placed Mr. Olcott on administrative leave out of the work place.

The actions depicted in the video are appalling and we share the community’s shock in this incident. We are committed to a thorough and expeditious review of all available information from the criminal trial and other relevant information to determine whether there is a nexus between the off-duty crime and Mr. Olcott’s employment. The focus of the investigation will be on Mr. Olcott’s ability to perform the duties of his job effectively and in the interests of workplace and community safety.

There have been understandable questions regarding why the City did not take any employment action against Mr. Olcott sooner. It is not the City’s general practice to monitor the private, off-duty activities of its non-sworn employees. Peace Officers are required to report off-duty criminal activities, the City is notified of Department of Motor Vehicle designated violations for all employees who drive City vehicles and we would also be advised of relevant off-duty conduct by employees who work with children.

We hold all employees to a high standard of service and behavior, and we take our obligation to maintain public trust very seriously. All public employees understand that the public has a right to expect that we conduct ourselves in a manner that reflects our community values. Community and workplace safety and the impacts of Mr. Olcott’s conduct on the public’s perception of safety and confidence in the City will be primary considerations in our confidential personnel investigation.

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