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Lightning strikes twice for former Lathrop city manager
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LATHROP – Prior to her forced resignation from her job in Lathrop two years ago, former city manager Yvonne Quiring was asked by union employees to resign based on a laundry list of complaints about her job performance. Their request was contained in a letter that they presented to the city council.

Now, lightning is striking twice for Quiring at her job as city manager of the City of Fillmore in Southern California where she was hired a year ago this month. Thirty-two of the 37 employees of that city have signed a letter of no-confidence in Quiring, with the letter read and presented to the Fillmore council members on Tuesday. Fillmore council member Laurie Hernandez, who contacted the Bulletin as part of her fact-finding effort on Quiring’s performance while working in Lathrop, said many of the employees who signed the letter have been with the city for “over 15 years” and that those who did not add their signatures were temporary employees who were hired by Quiring.

“It seems they are the same issues that they had in Lathrop,” she said of the complaints presented by the Fillmore employees.

Part of their letter indicated that all the signers were in agreement that they are being “micromanaged, belittled, intimidated, given unclear direction, harassed, and fear retaliation for informing council of the current status of their working environment.”

The letter was presented to the council before their job evaluation of Quiring’s performance which was conducted in closed session. Hernandez said three of the council members including Mayor Patti Walker gave Quiring’s job performance “a clean bill of health.” She was one of the two who cast the dissenting votes.

“I’m very disturbed that the three council members don’t want to do anything about it,” Hernandez said of the issues brought up by the employees in their letter.

Hernandez added she also voted against the hiring of Quiring in September of 2008.

Quiring and the other Fillmore council members could not be contacted for comment as of press time. However, in a telephone interview with Mayor Patti Walker prior to the hiring of Quiring in 2008, she said that they received with “due diligence” information that “was available online as related to an employee of the City of Lathrop.”

Walker also said at that time that they offered Quiring the job “because of her integrity, her ethics, and her openness.” At that time, Walker said the city staff was comprised of 48 full-time and 46-part-time employees.

The blistering letter from the Lathrop union employees was not the only thing that marred Quiring’s tenure as city manager from June 2007 to Oct. 2008. Around the same time the letter was presented to the council, Quiring fired Matt Browne who was the city’s chief building official after she placed him on administrative leave with pay for six months. After a prolonged administrative hearing following Browne’s unlawful termination filing, the judge ordered the city to re-instate him to his job in a $480,000 settlement which included all of his retroactive salary and benefits plus lawyer’s fees incurred.

When she resigned a week before the November 2008 elections, Quiring walked away from her job in Lathrop with $332,500. The amount was based on the terms of her contract with the city. The benefit lump sum was paid in lieu of severance pay due her for accumulated sick leave, management leave, vacation time and other accumulated benefits. Mayor Kristy Sayles and now Vice Mayor Martha Salcedo voted against accepting Quiring’s resignation but the majority vote cast by council members Sonny Dhaliwal, Steve Dresser and Robert Oliver prevailed.