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Doing the Right Thing

As many of you know, my husband worked for the City of Vallejo from 2016-2020. Slater was one of more than a half-dozen senior City officials who blew the whistle on wrongdoing under then-city-manager Greg Nyhoff in 2019 and 2020, expressing concerns over race- and gender-based harassment, HR cover-ups, graft in land deals including the sale of North Mare Island, and grave misconduct within the Vallejo Police Department. 

 

He and his colleagues put their careers and personal safety on the line to stand up for what was right, and to do right by our community. Unfortunately, instead of addressing the wrongdoing, the City leadership illegally retaliated against the whistleblowers, firing 4 within 9 months, including 3 on the same day in April 2020. 

 

It has now been over four years since my husband was fired for doing the right thing. With city officials continuing to cover up misconduct, we find ourselves relying on the courts for accountability. This is not something we ever wanted, and I hate that this is what it has come to – that he lost a job he loved and was forced to pursue litigation against the city we live in, and love, as the only option for accountability. What breaks my heart more than anything is that the perpetrators have faced no consequences, and the residents and taxpayers in our community are the ones left holding the bag. 

 

This is only one example of many instances in which our city leaders have demonstrated reckless mismanagement of our tax dollars and blatant disregard for the public trust. There is a pattern in Vallejo of officials getting away with misconduct, and in many cases illegal activity, with no accountability whatsoever. That problem is only going to worsen until it is addressed – and I intend to address it. 

 

The city has settled with two of the four whistleblowers but continues to fight the other two, including my husband. With Slater's case still pending, and scheduled for trial in October, I am not able to comment on specifics. But please know that I have much to say, and I will, when I am able. 

 

I am running on a platform of transparency, and I will always be open and transparent with you. I have personally witnessed the consequences of a lack of transparency and lack of accountability in Vallejo. It is something that weighs on me every day, and motivates me in this run. I love this city too much to watch it suffer like this. 

 

I also want to be very clear that the lawsuit in no way impacts my ability to campaign or serve as Mayor of Vallejo. There are folks on the other side who will attempt to spin this and smear my and my husband's character, when in fact the truth is the opposite. Vallejo needs leaders who will operate ethically and with integrity. Slater and I have had our integrity tested, publicly, and have stood up for the community. I will never waver from that – not in the face of bullies or special interests. I will always take the side of truth, inclusion, and doing right by our community. 

 

Among my first acts as Mayor will be requesting an audit of our city finances, so that we are set up for fiscal success, and creating a whistleblower policy with a process to independently investigate complaints and ensure that our staff are protected and able to report misconduct without fear of retaliation.  

 

We aren't going to be able to change things overnight, but I know we can accomplish this change together. It starts with inclusive, ethical leadership from the top. It starts with doing the right thing.

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