Several Elk Grove City Employees Enjoy Gifts to Sporting Events, Dinners, Golf Outings From Vendors

March 9, 2018 |  

Several executive level-employees from the City of Elk Grove enjoyed a variety of gifts from vendors during 2017. That information was revealed in statements of economic interests filed in compliance with the California Fair Political Practices Commission.

The public employees work in the city's legal, garbage removal and public works departments. Those employees included legal department employees Jennifer A. Alves and Suzanne E. Kennedy; garbage department's Heather Lee Neff; and from the public works department, Brian J. Fragiao.

Alves accepted gifts of three dinners, and tickets to the She Shares Event valued at $60. The dinner Alves accepted were from the Sacramento-based law firm Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann, and Girard. The event tickets were from the Thomas Law Group in Sacramento, and one dinner was from the Charters Financial Analyst Society of Sacramento.

The other associate city attorney, Kennedy, accepted two dinners and a golf outing from Kronick Moskovitz.

Both Alves and Kennedy are direct reports to city attorney Jonathan Hobbs, who previously worked for Kronick Moskovitz. Hobbs has directed outside legal work to his former employer on a regular basis.

In the city's garbage department, Neff, who is a department's manager, accepted tickets to the Sacramento Rivercats valued at $200 from Republic Services, who is the city's contracted rubbish collector.

The city's public works department's Fragiao accepted gifts of tickets to an NFL game and numerous golf outing from a variety of vendors doing business with the city. Along with the football tickets, Fragiao accepted six golf outings.

The NFL tickets were from Psomas, Roseville, Calfornia, while the golf outings were given to Fragiao by Psomas, Bennett Engineering, Roseville, California; Twining Geotechnical, Sacramento; Unico Engineering, Folsom, California; Vail Cooper & Associates, Sacramento, California; and Willdan Engineering, Santa Ana, California. 

In 2016 Neff enjoyed a total compensation package of $173,642; Kennedy was $178,876; Alves was $222,614; and Fragiao was $151,452. 

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D.J. Blutarsky said...

Our local 'pigs eating at the trough' is taking the 'farm-to-fork' movement a little too far.

These public stewards were evidently smart enough to disclose the gifts as required by law, but I hope they're smart enough to recognize the optics don't look good on this!

Bad optics is the best-case scenario. The worst-case scenario is more nefarious and would imply influence peddling on the part of the city vendors.

And speaking of nefarious...

This whole intertwining of legal services between city legal staff and the old cronies at Kronick, Moscovitch is beginning to smell like rotten eggs, and not in the farm-to-fork sense of the word. Makes one wonder if Hobbs, a former partner in the firm, still retains a profit sharing retirement plan for future disbursement?

It would appear that a serious culture change is needed at city hall, especially if they are going to reach into our pockets for more sales tax. I urge these persons to pay back what they gave you, and give us back the trust in public officials we deserve and are paying for.

Capt. Benjamin Willard said...

After reading this story and the one on our city attorney Mr. Hobbs, I took a few minutes and checked out all the other statements filed to date for other city employees. I would point out that one person, our city treasurer, Mr. Brad Koehn, took meals from two financial institutions. The rest of those employees who have reported show no acceptance of gifts.

There are two things from these stories that stand out to me. First, it seems Mr. Hobbs and his staff, which are among the highest paid employees in the city, cannot separate themselves from the enticements offered by Kronick Moskovitz et al. I realize Mr. Hobbs may on rare occasion need to discuss work the firm is doing for our city over a meal. Nonetheless, given his high-salary, is it too much to ask him to whip out his own credit card and split the bill? This is being done while Mr. Hobbs will be adding another attorney to his staff. Will billings to his former employer ever decrease? Unlikely.

Also, it seems Republic Services has their claws not only into the entire city council, but they are also greasing the wheels of the waste management staff. Or perhaps I have it wrong -- the city council and staff have their claws into Republic. Either way, it smells like an uncollected waste receptacle that has been sitting curbside for a few extra days. Where I come from, waste haulers and the relations they have with their municipal customers smell like a fish left in your refrigerator for a week.

As for our city’s own Arnold Palmer, Mr. Fragiao cannot seem to keep himself off the links. Perhaps his supervisor or the city manager should have a one-on-one with him.

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